Today I’m in conversation with Alena Morales, who will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Disability Studies at UC Berkeley in Spring 2021. Alena is a queer disabled advocate of color and the former Chair and Co-Founder of the Disabled Students Commission, and through loving interdependence and collective labor with her fellow crips, she co-created one of the few Disability Cultural Centers in the country at UC Berkeley. You’ll hear Alena talk about developing her disability identity, finding community, and getting involved in community organizing at school. She’ll also talk about the importance of creating space for the broader disability community with the formation of the Disability Cultural Center and the years-long process that made it happen.
“I’m a Berkeleyan: Student Alena Morales on the fight for campus’s new disability cultural center,” Anne Brice, October 6, 2020, Berkeley News.
“An Introduction to Disability Cultural Centers in U.S. Higher Education, Part I,” Kim Elmore, Toni Saia, Elizabeth Anh Thomson, November 2018, AHEAD.
“Disability cultural centers: How colleges can move beyond access to inclusion,” Evelyn S. Chiang, Disability & Society, Volume 35, 2020, Issue 7, pages 1183-1188.
“‘Ableism is real at Stanford’: Prospective frosh calls out insufficient OAE accommodations,” Kaushikee Nayudu, March 2, 2021, The Stanford Daily.
— Anna Landre ♿️ (@annalandre) February 5, 2021
Alena Morales (she/her) is a queer disabled advocate of color. She will graduate with her DPD BS in Nutritional Sciences with a minor in Disability Studies at UC Berkeley in Spring 2021. Alena is the former Chair and Co-Founder of the ASUC Disabled Students Commission, and through loving interdependence and collective labor with her fellow crips, she Co-Created one of the few Disability Cultural Centers in the country. After graduation, Alena hopes to combine disability justice activism and nutrition to ensure that people with disabilities are represented in key nutrition policy dialogues ultimately opening up her own disability justice organization that tackles socioeconomic and clinical nutritional inequities for the community she calls home.
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Geraldine Ah-Sue, Audio Producer
Alice Wong, Writer, Audio Producer, Host
Cheryl Green, Text Transcript
Lateef McLeod, Introduction
Mike Mort, Artwork
Theme Music (used with permission of artist)
Song: “Dance Off”
Artist: Wheelchair Sports Camp
“Gathering” by Podington Bear (Gathering by Podington Bear is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International License)