Sat. 24th February, Akemi Nishida "Diversifying Activism: Bed Activism by Disabled and Sick People of Color"

Monday,February 12,2024

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Diversifying Activism: Bed Activism by Disabled and Sick People of Color

Akemi Nishida
Associate Professor in Disability & Human Development and Gender & Women’s Studies, University of Illinois Chicago

Date: Saturday 24th February 2024
Time: 12:00-14:00 (Japan Time)
Venue: Webinar ※ Registration required
Please register from the URL below
Language: English
※ Japanese simultaneous interpretation and UD talk available
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How can bed space become a site for social change? What is the unique wisdom of radical resistance and another world making disabled and sick people of color suggest from their bed spaces to the world? Based on her decade long research on care—from public healthcare programs to mutual aid groups by queer disabled people and bed space activism—Nishida describes what bed activism entails and how it broadens entry points and strategies for social justice work. Social justice activism often internalizes hierarchies and normalization regarding what such activism work should look like. Direct actions and the occupation of public spaces, for instance, are often recognized as the hallmark of resistance. Nishida challenges this notion by centering the wisdom emerging from the bed spaces of sick and disabled people of color, who often find mainstream movements inaccessible. Instead, from their bed spaces, they challenge hegemonic notions of who are considered as leaders and knowers of social change activism by shifting focus from the singular emphasis on productivity and products of movements to the processes of social change making. In this presentation, Nishida explores what social justice work could be like, when we center our vulnerability and inherent interdependences on one another within such work. 


Akemi Nishida uses research, education, and activism to investigate how ableism is manifested in relation to racism, cis-heteropatriarchy, xenophobia, and other forms of social injustices. Additionally, she employs these methods to contribute to disability justice activism. Nishida is the author of Just Care: Messy Entanglements of Disability, Dependency, and Desire (Temple University Press, 2022) in which she examines public healthcare programs as well as grassroots interdependent care collectives and bed-space activism. She is an associate professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, while advocates for disability justice both locally and nationally.

Inquiry: Center for Gender Studies (
Hosted by Center for Gender Studies
Co-hosted by Peace Research Institute
Organised by Fumina Hamasaki, Chikage Kuzuhara, Chloe Wen

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