by Judith Heumann with Kristen Joiner
Why do we choose a book and read it together as a Law School community? What are we trying to accomplish?
We began this practice in 2015 – the year after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Everywhere on campus, we were having difficult conversations and struggling to hear each other and to be heard in return. In the practice of law, it is important for attorneys to be exposed to and aware of aspects of the world beyond their own daily experiences. To facilitate this understanding, and to strengthen our community at Hulston Hall, Mizzou Law started a One Read program. Law students, staff, and faculty are invited to read a particular book that relates to law, the legal profession, or legal education, and touches on important issues of the moment. We believe that a One Read program strengthens our community within Hulston Hall by providing a focus for conversations and events within the law school exploring the issues of race and the experience of “otherness.”
Over the past few years, our One Read program has led us to read books that consider otherness from different vantage points. Our inaugural One Read opened our eyes the justice offered to the marginalized and impoverished in Just Mercy, by attorney Bryan Stevenson. Since then, we’ve considered the Japanese American internment experience in the United States during World War II, the effects of the “War on Drugs” and the resulting mass incarceration, and health care, power, and self-determination. In 2019, we read Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance’s compassionate yet provocative account of poverty in Appalachia and his tumultuous childhood. Last year, we explored how to have hard conversations about race by reading Ijeoma Oluo’s best-seller, So You Want to Talk about Race.
This year, we have chosen Being Heumann as the 2021-22 One Read title because it gives a first-hand account of the feeling of invisibility marginalized people experience. Judy Heumann’s memoir of her activism to help advocate for equal rights for disabled people is an invigorating read and one that provides a road map for attorneys who want to make a difference.
Interview with Judy
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
Monday, October 4th, from 5:45-7:45, Courtroom
Join the Disabled and Allied Law Student Association (DALSA) to watch a free screening of the groundbreaking and Oscar-nominated documentary, Crip Camp. View the documentary trailer. Trust us, it is not what you are expecting – unless you are expecting sex, drugs, rock-n-roll, civil disobedience, activism and an incredible story of people striving to be heard. Popcorn will be served.
This event is co-sponsored by the Disabled and Allied Law Student Association and the One Read Committee.
September 15 at 7:30 p.m.
The Shack in the MU Student Center
No advance registration needed
Come to the Shack for a free showing of the groundbreaking and Oscar-nominated documentary Crip Camp. View the documentary trailer.
September 16 from 6-7:30 p.m. CST (registration details pending)
Join Mizzou Disability Coalition during Disability Culture Month over Zoom to learn from Amanda Kraus, Executive Director for Disability Resources and Campus Life at the University of Arizona, as she discusses how to reframe disability, disability awareness, and the history of the Disabled community. We hope by increasing disability awareness on Mizzou’s campus that it will allow campus to be more inclusive to everyone. At the end of the panel, there will be time for students to participate in the Q&A.
Beyond Crip Camp: The Disability Community and Disability Rights in America
September 20 at 1 p.m.
Register on Engage: https://missouri.campuslabs.com/engage/event/7257465
Amber Cheek, Mizzou’s ADA Coordinator, will lead a discussion of the evolution of disability rights advocacy and disability rights law, how cultural and historical forces in the United States shaped the experiences of people with disabilities and disability law and policy, and how you can personally advance accessibility and disability rights in your own community on an everyday basis.
Disability Law Panel
September 22 at 1 p.m.
Virtual event via Zoom; Check email or Sage for link
Learn more about the work Mizzou Law grads are doing in the area of disability law. The One Read Committee and the Disabled and Allied Law Student Association will host a panel of Mizzou Law alumni speakers on their experiences practicing and advocating in disability law. The panel includes Nikki Evans, managing attorney at Parmele Law, who litigates in workers compensation and SSI claims; Amber Cheek, the UM Director of Accessibility and ADA Coordinator, who works in university compliance; and Kim Lackey, the Sr. Director of Public Policy and Independent Living for Paraquad in St. Louis, who lobbies and advocates.
This event qualifies for Career Development Cultural Competence/Wellness credit. It is co-sponsored by the Disabled and Allied Law Student Association.
Student Accessibility Walk
September 22 at 4 p.m.
Student Center Room 2206
The Mizzou Disability Coalition is hosting its 5th Annual Student Accessibility Walk to celebrate Disability Culture Month. In this walk, we will highlight the steps that Mizzou has taken to promote accessibility around campus by visiting different areas on campus. We will also inform fellow students about how to be an ally and inclusive to the Disabled community.
Featured Speaker: Day Al-Mohamed on Disability Representation in Media
September 28 from 5-6:15 p.m.
Register on Engage: https://missouri.campuslabs.com/engage/event/7257433
More than one in ten Americans live with an apparent disability. If you consider invisible disabilities, that number goes up to 1 in 4. Yet, the portrayal of disability in popular culture, like characters in blackface, is often based on stereotypes lacking depth or understanding of the disability experience: exaggerated caricatures of heroes, victims, sidekicks, and villains. Increasingly, these portrayals impact not only the success or failure of creative endeavors, but also impact individual lives.
The protests for the film “Me Before You” are an example of this, and the perception of the value of people living with chronic health conditions during COVID is a reminder of this. Using examples from the publishing industry, independent film, popular culture, and a dash of humor, we will examine disability in media and discuss how to develop authentic disabled representation.
Invalid Corps Screening and discussion
Monday, October 11th, from 1-1:55 p.m. Room 6
Day Al-Mohamed created a short film (28 min.) highlighting the contributions of the Invalid Corps during the Civil War. The Invalid Corps was a branch of the Union Army formed during the American Civil War to allow service members injured and disabled in the war to continue to serve. They were not well regarded or treated by other service-people or civilians but still managed to play a key role in the war.
We will screen the film and discuss the portrayals and legacy of their contributions.
This event is co-sponsored by the Veterans Clinic, the Disabled and Allied Law Student Association, and the One Read Committee. The Veterans Clinic is providing pizza to registered students. Attendance is limited to 40 in Room 6 due to Covid safety protocols, but if there is more interest, we will consider opening a second room.
Access the Book
There are several ways you can access the book:
- You can purchase a print or audio copy here or here.
- Borrow it from our Law Library: The Law Library owns multiple print and electronic copies of Being Heumann. Contact the Circulation Desk for information about the book.
- Find it at a library near you: You can find local public and academic libraries that have the title.