Work that does not honor what a community says is colonial.
The act of listening is really, really powerful.Keynote: The Game Has Changed – Cornelius Minor | CTRH! 2023 – YouTube
Nothing About Us Without Us (NAUWU)
“If we have learned one thing from the civil rights movement in the U.S., it’s that when others speak for you, you lose.”Ed Roberts
It also reminds me of epistemic injustice. “Work that does not honor what a community says” often comes about because the community is not regarded as credible commentators on their own lives.
Epistemic injustice refers to harms that relate specifically to our status as epistemic agents, whereby our status as knowers, interpreters, and providers of information, is unduly diminished or stifled in a way that undermines the agent’s agency and dignity. The concept was defined by Miranda Fricker (2007), who identifies two key forms of epistemic injustice. The first is testimonial injustice, which refers to cases where testimony is unduly dismissed because of prejudiced beliefs regarding minority groups. Hermeneutical injustice refers to cases where a community’s shared vocabularies have been structured in a way that unfairly distorts or stifles understanding for, and of, a minority group. In each case, there is an instance of people being harmed specifically in their capacity as knowers: individuals capable of knowing or providing knowledge.Neurodiversity, epistemic injustice, and the good human life – Chapman – 2022 – Journal of Social Philosophy – Wiley Online Library
NAUWU helps us avoid doing colonial work. To tie this to Dr. Darder’s keynote:
Confront epistemic injustice and build an epistemology of love through epistemic disruption. Do this through the act of listening while respecting NAUWU.
…engage with the epistemic disruptions that are necessary if we are to change the world.Keynote: A Critical Reflection on Our Struggle for a More Just and Loving World – Dr. Antonia Darder – YouTube
Andratesha Fritzgerald, host of the anti-racist UDL track at the conference, distills all this nicely.
The moment we become an expert on someone else is the moment we allow our biases to rule in power. And, it takes away honor.Andratesha Fritzgerald
That statement gets at the heart of recognizing epistemic injustice, confronting it via epistemic disruption, and avoiding colonial work by respecting NAUWU and by listening.
- Changelog: Engage With the Epistemic Disruptions That Are Necessary if We Are to Change the World – Stimpunks Foundation
- Stimpunks Guide to the NeurodiVerse Issue #3: Mental Health and Epistemic Justice – Stimpunks Foundation
- Epistemic Injustice – Stimpunks Foundation
- Nothing about us without us. – Stimpunks Foundation