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Showing Revision 6 created 07/25/2020 by kirstenms.

  1. - [Interviewer] Now, do you see
    the record button in the corner?
  2. Up in the corner it should say
    "Recording," and so-
  3. - [Leroy] Yep.
  4. - [Interviewer] Okay, cool.
    And then I'm gonna mute myself
  5. while you introduce yourself.
  6. You're going to tap on the table
    or make a noise before you start.
  7. - [Leroy] Okay.
  8. Hello, my name is
    Leroy Franklin Moore, Jr.
  9. and I live in Berkeley, California.
  10. I am an author, activist, founder
    of many organizations,
  11. founder of Krip Hop Music with a K
  12. to, back in the day,
    I had a nonprofit called
  13. Disability Advocates
    of Minorities Organization,
  14. and I also helped to start
    what's called Sins Invalid.
  15. I'm a journalist with POOR Magazine,
  16. and yeah, just an activist and a writer
    of many books.
  17. The latest book is
    Black Disabled Ancestors.
  18. And I'm also a lecturer
    on college campuses.
  19. - [Interviewer] Great, Leroy, thank you.
  20. Okay, so the first question is
    tell of your first memory realizing
  21. that there were accessibility issues,
    discrimination, or lack of inclusion.
  22. What is your personal story or connection
    to the Americans with Disabilities Act?
  23. What do you remember about the day
    that it was signed, if applicable,
  24. and what was the impact on you
    and on others?
  25. - [Leroy] So the first example that
    I realized that there was discrimination
  26. was back in the early '80s
    when me and two other Black disabled boys
  27. decided to a letter campaign,
  28. and this was before computers
    so we had to write.
  29. So we did a letter campaign
    to a lot of Black organizations
  30. and Black leaders at the time
  31. asking why there was no
    Black disabled people on TV or anywhere.
  32. So that was the first time
    that I, you know, put it on my shoulders
  33. and challenged the system.
  34. So the other time when I realized
    that there was a lack of accessibility
  35. is when I was attending my father's
    activist meetings in the early '80s,
  36. and they were talking
    about police brutality
  37. and other stuff that happens
    to Black community.
  38. And when I left that meeting,
    I was approached by a disabled group
  39. that wanted me to join their group to
    talk about, to advocate about curb cuts.
  40. And I asked them, "Well, you know,
    I just left a meeting with my father,
  41. "and they were talking
    about police brutality,
  42. "and a lot of Black disabled people
    can't enjoy the curb cuts.
  43. "They can't go outside, because
    they're getting shot by the police."
  44. And the group said,
    "Well, we can't deal with that.
  45. "We're dealing with curb cuts."
  46. So that's when I really found out, like,
  47. wow, this is two different worlds
    and two different issues.
  48. So that's the first time that I
    found out there's, you know, difference.
  49. And with the ADA, you know,
    when the ADA was signed
  50. and that picture was everywhere,
  51. once again, I looked at the picture
    and I was like,
  52. "Huh. Nobody looks like me."
  53. And back in the late '90s,
  54. I had an organization called Disability
    Advocates of Minorities Organization,
  55. and we had tons of copies
    of the cover of the ADA,
  56. and we put on the top of the ADA
    who is, what is missing from this picture.
  57. And, of course, we all knew the answer
    is people of color,
  58. so, you know, that was the first statement
    that I made about the ADA.
  59. You know, it was like where is
    people of color in the picture of the ADA?
  60. - [Interviewer] Yay!
    Beautiful, thank you.
  61. - [Leroy] Yeah.
  62. - [Interviewer] The present.
  63. Has the ADA made a difference?
  64. Tell us about your a-ha moment
    that told you that the ADA
  65. is or is not making a difference.
  66. And to what extent, based on your passions
    and areas of expertise, where do you see
  67. or not see the impact of the ADA?
  68. - [Leroy] So, yeah, of course the ADA
    has made a difference in society,
  69. in, you know, the global society.
  70. You know, you can see it with
    accessibility in public places.
  71. You can see it in communication, you know,
  72. especially during these social network
    life that we're living in
  73. with Google and Twitter, you know,
  74. all of them are making their products
    more accessible, so that's good.
  75. You know, we see a little-
  76. We're in the airlines a lot,
    but, you know, yes, we see it.
  77. And the place that it needs more growth
  78. is, of course, people of color, you know,
  79. people that are poor,
    people that are "immigrants."
  80. And they still, the ADA do not reach them,
  81. and that's why my organization
    in the '90s and early 2000s
  82. had the Other Side Rally.
  83. It was the other side of the ADA,
  84. to give the voices of communities
    that hadn't felt the good of the ADA.
  85. So yeah, it needs a lot of work,
  86. especially when it comes to our cities,
    our inner cities.
  87. You know, I live in Berkeley.
  88. Berkeley's like a utopia place
    for people with disabilities.
  89. You know, you see curb cuts,
    we've got the Ed Roberts building.
  90. But if you go to East Oakland, you know,
    there's only a handful of curb cuts.
  91. The roads are still bumpy;
    stores are still small.
  92. So you can see the difference
    between communities.
  93. And so that needs to change.
  94. Of course, the high unemployment rate
    of people with disabilities
  95. hasn't changed since the '80s.
  96. Talking about Black
    and brown disabled people,
  97. it's still a high 90% unemployment rate.
  98. So that still hasn't changed.
  99. And I can go on and on, but yeah.
  100. There needs to be more push of the ADA
    in certain communities.
  101. And also I think our leadership
    more actually needs to change.
  102. Not only the president, but our
    disabled lobbyists needs to change.
  103. We need more young people
    with disabilities
  104. taking over the leadership
    who won't compromise,
  105. because I think that's one
    of the biggest things that we lose
  106. is that, when we compromise,
    we look back and it's like,
  107. "Oh my God, we didn't get nothing
    for that compromise."
  108. So I think we need more leaders
    that don't compromise.
  109. - [Interviewer] Well said, Leroy.
    You're doing great, thank you.
  110. For the future, and you may have already
    covered what you want of this,
  111. but you can just listen,
  112. and if there's more you want to say,
    then go for it.
  113. With the work you've been doing,
  114. you've seen a lot
    in terms of progress and barriers.
  115. If you could pick one thing to change
    or that needs to occur
  116. to have access and equality present
    in the lives of people with disabilities,
  117. what would that be?
  118. - [Leroy] I think people with disabilities
    in key roles.
  119. I think we need a disabled president.
  120. You know, in key roles,
    we need disabled people in the media.
  121. We need disabled people in the DOJ,
    the Department of Justice.
  122. The DOJ enforces the law,
  123. so we need strong people
    that will enforce the laws.
  124. We need more disabled people
    in all kinds of areas.
  125. Education, mental health, legislators,
  126. people that are passing budgets, you know.
  127. - [Interviewer] Thank you, Leroy.
  128. And for the call to action,
  129. what steps can we
    as community members take right now?
  130. - [Leroy] Well, right now it's hard,
    because of this COVID-19.
  131. Right now, people need to be safe,
  132. you know, that's basically, from COVID-19.
  133. Really think of what they're doing,
  134. really think, you know,
    if it's necessary to go outside,
  135. if it's necessary to protest.
  136. Yeah, we definitely need to think
    what's really necessary
  137. and what's not necessary.
  138. So I think, at this time,
    we can't think of anything else,
  139. because it's life or death, you know?
  140. The media is talking about the elections,
  141. talking about other things,
    but, if we don't live,
  142. then we can't enjoy
    anything on this Earth.
  143. So I think people really
    to take serious on this COVID.
  144. Because t's not over,
    and that includes about all the services
  145. and the laws and the lifestyles
    of people with disabilities.
  146. So, yeah, that's on my plate.
  147. The only thing that's
    on my plate right now.
  148. It's, you know, trying to stay safe
  149. and trying to stay in contact
    with people with disabilities.
  150. - [Interviewer] Very nice, Leroy.
    Very nice.
  151. Is there anything else that you want
    to say that you didn't say?
  152. - [Leroy] I think also there needs to be
  153. more mentorship
    for young disabled people coming up.
  154. And mentorship in the public domain,
  155. not only in the disability community,
    but in the community wide open
  156. so people know about about it
    in other communities.
  157. That and I also think that, going back
    to Black and brown disabled communities,
  158. there needs to be a national campaign,
    national awareness campaign,
  159. for the Black and brown community
    around disability,
  160. because we do not get it through the ADA.
  161. We do not get it through 504.
  162. And, because of that, our communities
    are slowly becoming not important
  163. for Black and brown disabled people.
  164. We have to leave our communities
    to get services.
  165. We have to leave our communities
    just to be recognized as disabled people.
  166. So I think there needs to be
    a national campaign
  167. in the Black and brown communities
  168. so disabled people can return home
  169. and really educate our
    Black and brown communities.
  170. And what I call "Black ableism"
    is one thing that is a roadblock
  171. for a lot of Black and brown disabled
    activists that want to come back home
  172. and work in our communities.
  173. So we need a national campaign
    so we can get rid of the Black ableism.
  174. - [Interviewer] Awesome, Leroy.
  175. I appreciate you taking your time out
    to just share your thoughts,
  176. and I think this is gonna be eye-opening
    for a lot of people.
  177. I love it, thank you.
  178. - [Leroy] Yeah!
    So when is this gonna go up?
  179. - [Interviewer] So let me-