So, this I ended up in a meeting with two of the scholars in the emerging field of Caribbean disability theory. For those of you that don’t know, disability studies is an academic field in and of itself. It is an emerging field but it is more established in the UK and the USA. In the Caribbean, it just about being born.These ladies who are pioneers are Dr. Jacqueline Huggins from Trinidad and Dr. Annicia Gayle-Geddes from Jamaica. So imagine, these two heavyweights and lil ole B.Sc. me.
You would think that the discussion would be disability heavy (and it was). You would think we would talk about disability- policy and laws, programmes and international agencies. And you think that the talk would be technical and boring with plenty big words.
You could not be more right and yet more wrong. Yes, we talked shop but it was relaxed and casual. It started with hugs all around and ended with hugs. In between, we talked about our ups and downs and our lives. We were all just sisters in that room who were passionate about what we do and supporting each other.
It has struck me as I have started as an activist that I have been lucky to find a spot where I have found sisters, sister-friends, friends and one auntie within this disability struggle for rights. Some who I talk to everyday, some who I see maybe monthly (like Dr. Huggins) and some like Dr. Gayle-Geddes, who I see online and when she is in the country. Some who I talk to for a particular project or event. Some who taught me at undergrad and some who I serve with on committees.Some who share my interest especially in psycho-social disabilities. All of these ladies have nurtured and supported me in my life as person with a psycho-social disability, as an activist, hell just as a woman.
So when I hear discussion about female mentors, I guess I am lucky(?). I don’t know what it is to not have female mentors, peers and colleagues.
So this post is to lift up these ladies …….I owe you all a debt of gratitude and cheesecake!!!