CFP: Special Issue of JCSCORE on Disability Justice, Race, and Education (deadline: Sept. 13, 2019)

The Journal Committed to Social Change on Race and Ethnicity (JCSCORE) is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published by the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), a production of the University of Oklahoma Outreach.

JCSCORE (ISSN 2642-2387) is committed to promoting an exchange of ideas that can transform lives, enhance learning, and improve human relations in higher education.

The journal explores and examines interaction from interdisciplinary perspectives and reports on the status, needs, and direction of human relations studies affected by race, ethnicity and sovereignty in higher education policy, practice, and theory.

Introduction: The current sociopolitical climate in the U.S. – where marginalized communities are constantly under threat of institutional violence (e.g., deportation centers, police violence, healthcare policies, lack of emergency response to natural disasters) – has encouraged disabled BIPOC (Black, indigenous, and people of color) scholar-activists to stay dedicated to CRiT walking (Hughes & Giles, 2010) in their fight for their communities. New movements have emerged, such as the Disabled Latinx Movement and NeuroDiversity Movement, and activist communities have been reinvigorated, such as Sins Invalid and ADAPT. These organizations are led by knowledge producers who are unrecognized by those in the academy who privilege capitalistic measures of success and dominant ways of knowing and being. These scholar-activists, many of who identify as queer women of color, understand the centrality of intersectionality (Crenshaw, 1991) and are grappling with how to best use it to run their organizations, organize around particular social issues, and engage in solidarity work across difference. Academics in higher education have an opportunity to learn from these grassroots thinkers to create and foster liberatory educational spaces.

For example, Patty Berne from Sins Invalid, a disability justice performance group, developed the 10 Principles of Disability Justice to highlight the need to recognize the uniqueness and power of all bodyminds as well as understand that “[t]he histories of white supremacy and ableism are inextricably entwined, both forged in the crucible of colonial conquest and capitalist domination” (Berne, 2015, para. 11). Berne, along with Mia Mingus, Leroy Moore, Stacey Milbern, Eli Clare, and Sebastian Margaret, contest that there should be a “second wave” of the Disability Rights Movement, as the current one “simultaneously invisibilized the lives of peoples who live at intersecting junctures of oppression …” (Berne, 2015, para. 7). Writer, social worker, and activist Villissa Thompson even created the Twitter hashtag #DisabilityTooWhite in 2016 to call attention to Whiteness within the movement.

Whereas disabled BIPOC activists have been discussing, negotiating, and engaging with intersectionality and theorizing and practicing Disability Justice for decades, academia is more recently grappling with the intersection of disability and race in knowledge production. Chris Bell (2006) called for “White disability studies” to be critically reflexive about issues of race and addressing the scarcity of “scholarship by and about disabled people of color” (p. 278). Bell (2011) insisted that, to understand raced and disabled bodies and the systems that transform them, we need to engage in recovery and detection work. Subini Annamma, David Connor, and Beth Ferri (2013) have heeded Bell’s call by formulating a theoretical framework (Disability Critical Race Theory- DisCrit) to elucidate the intersectional complexities of disability and race within education. This special issue looks to further this work and the work of disabled BIPOC activists within and outside the academy.

Within the context of the U.S., people with disabilities are one of the largest minoritized groups, making up approximately one-fifth of the population (United States Department of Labor, n.d.). The majority of those disabilities (approx. 74%) are not visible (Connell, 2013). The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center on Educational Statistics (2011) states that approximately 11% of our college student population are students with disabilities. This percentage is always in flux, as the number of diverse students with disabilities continues to grow on campuses across the country, with veterans accounting for 21%, students over the age of thirty 16% (U.S. Department of Education, 2011), and students on the autism spectrum and those with acquired brain injury rapidly increasing in number (Evan, Broido, Brown & Wilke, 2017). Much like in the Disability Rights Movement and disability studies, our collective understanding of disability within higher education is often White-centered, and this is seldom problematized (Pearson, 2010).

This special issue pushes for BIPOC communities and intersectional centered perspectives on disability and Deaf communities within higher education as a way to expand our understanding of disabled and Deaf communities’ lives. We are looking for work that forces us to dwell in the complexity of multiple identities; is committed to grassroots knowledge and multiple ways of knowing and being; and gives us perspective on how to transform our institutional practices. Keeping in mind, race, disability and Deaf life in higher education are the heart of this Special Issue, we have provided the following list of topics and guiding questions to serve as a starting point for your thinking, but this is in no way an exhaustive list of acceptable topics:


● Disability Cultural Centers

● Autism and college students

● Deaf People/Students/Communities of Color

● Disability and Indigenous Communities

● Disability community or student activism

● Mental health and race

● Disability and STEM students

● Engaging disability justice in the classroom

● Queer People of Color and disability

● The application of critical theories, disability and colleges

● Disability politics on college campuses

● Invisible disabilities and intersectionality

● Deaf and disabled Communities of Color and extracurricular college life (e.g., study abroad, leadership, or student housing)

● Trans* communities of color and disability

● Transfer and graduate students and disability services

● Multiple disabilities and college access for students (e.g.,learning disabilities and chronic pain)

● Undocumented Disabled and Deaf students

Guiding Questions:

● How do disabled/Deaf POC students and faculty navigate the structural barriers at their institutions and within their disciplines?

● What can we learn from disability/Deaf activist movements about intersectionality, self-care, and bodyminds in our current neoliberal educational context?

● How can a Disability Justice framework help us to (re)imagine higher education?

Review and Submission Process: As co-editors, we will take an active role in interacting with authors throughout the submission period; thus, we hope activists, scholars, and students will feel compelled to submit their work to this special issue, as this will be a developmental and inclusive process. We encourage submissions by Disabled and Deaf People of Color and nondisabled and hearing People of Color. We are open to multiple modalities, including but not limited to, empirical research, scholarly work, poetry, scholarly personal narratives, autoethnography, participant action research, and more. We will accept written or signed/voiced captioned video scholarship.

Abstract/Application of Interest

Submission Requirements: Please email a word document with the following information to

1. Name(s) of Authors

2. Bio(s): Each author should submit a bio no longer than 50 words

3. Abstract: Please respond to the following question-What are you proposing to submit and how does it connect to the theme? If written, no more than 250-350 words. If a video, no more than 5 minutes, and please include the video as a YouTube link. The video can be signed or voiced.

4. In hopes of having a well balanced and diverse pool of authors, please include the following background Information:

● How do you racially/ethnically?

● Do you identify as a person with a disability/disabled?

● Do you identify as linguistically marginalized/Deaf/hard of hearing?

● Do you identify as an activist, scholar, student, or other? Please be specific

● What format would you like to submit your final draft- written/ video signed/ video voiced

Final Submission Requirements: If selected to be a part of the special issue, the following are the requirements for the final pieces:

– If written, final paper should be 15-20 pages in length, including references.

– If a video is created, it should be between 10-15 minutes with captions and 250 max word abstract.

– More details will be shared with selected authors


● Sept 13, 2019- Author’s Abstract/ Application of Interest

● Sept 27, 2019- Notification of acceptance into the special issue

● Dec 20, 2019- First Draft due

● Jan 24, 2020- Feedback on First Draft

● Feb 28, 2020- Second Draft due

● April 1, 2020- Final edits due

● May 15, 2020- Publication deadline

Contact: We welcome substantive inquiries regarding the Special Issue in order to provide insights that may be useful in developing your submission. Lissa D. Stapleton ( Lisette E.Torres ( .

For more information, go here:

Special Issues Editors:

Lissa D. Stapleton (she/her/hers) is an assistant professor of Deaf Studies and Core faculty of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Northridge. She identifies as a Black female hearing scholar with a learning disability. Her research primarily focuses on educational history, equity, and access for Deaf communities with a particular interest in the intersections of race, gender, and disability.

Lisette E.Torres (she/her/hers) is the Director of the Cooper Foundation Center for Academic Resources and a coordinating team member of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Program at Nebraska Wesleyan University. She identifies as a Puerto Rican mother-scholar-activist with a non-apparent disability (fibromyalgia). Her research looks at the sociocultural context of science, examining the intersections of race, gender, and disability with science identity as well as how those social identities impact knowledge production and STEM.

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