Photo: Incluse This! Podcast Logo

Episode 2: Inclusion is Bullsh**

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

GUEST: Leroy Moore, Founder of Krip Hop Nation

Guest Leroy Moore, founder of the Krip Hop Nation, joins host Sarah Kirwan, to talk all about what the words Disability Equity and Inclusion mean, and how they're subjective and based upon interpretation. We discuss Disability Justice, as it relates to policing and prisons, along with Disability Policy and Leadership, Black Artists, the historical exclusion of people of color from the Disability Rights Movement, and much more.

QUICK LINKS

As language, perceptions and social mores change at a seemingly faster and faster rate, it is becoming increasingly difficult for communicators to figure out how to refer to people with disabilities. This style guide, developed by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University, is intended to help. It covers almost 200 words and terms commonly used when referring to disability.

DOWNLOAD PDF »

OUR GUEST: Leroy Moore

Leroy on his bike

Leroy F. Moore Jr., Founder of the Krip-Hop Nation.  Since the 1990s, has written the column "Illin-N-Chillin" for POOR Magazine. Moore is one of the founding member of National Black Disability and activist around police brutality against people with disabilities.  Leroy has started and helped started organizations like Disability Advocates of Minorities Organiztion to Sins Invalid to Krip-Hop Nation.

His cultural work includes film documentary, Where Is Hope, Police Brutality Against People with Disabilities, spoken-word CDs, poetry books and children’s book, Black Disabled Art History 101 published by Xochitl Justice Press.  His graphic novel,  Krip-Hop Graphic Novel Issue 1: Brown Disabled Young Woman Super Hero Brings Disability Justice to Hip-Hop was published by Poor Press 2019 and 2020 under Poor Press Leroy also published Black Disabled Ancestors.

Moore has traveled internationally networking with other disabled activists and artists.  Moore has wrote, sang and collaborated to do music videos on Black disabled men.

LEARN MORE:

www.kriphopnation.com
http://www.blackdisability.org
http://www.poormagazine.org/krip_hop
https://twitter.com/kriphopnation
https://www.facebook.com/LeroyFMooreJr
https://soundcloud.com/user-147187058/building-process-to-get-to-krip-hop-nations-politics

TRANSCRIPT

Sarah Kirwan:

Hi, and welcome to Incluse This! I'm your host, Sarah Kirwan and this is a movement for disability equity. Today, we're talking with Leroy Moore and we're talking about inclusion. Leroy F Moore Jr. Is the founder of the Krip-Hop Nation. If you haven't checked them out online, you absolutely should. Since the 1990s, Leroy has written the column, Illin-N-Chillin for POOR Magazine, he's also one of the founding members of national black disability and an activist around police brutality against people with disabilities.

Leroy has started or helped to start many organizations, such as disability, advocates of minorities and Sins Invalid. His cultural work includes film documentary, Where is Hope, along with police brutality against people with disabilities. He also produces spoken word CDs, poetry books, and children's books along with Black Disabled Art History 101. His graphic novel Krip-Hop Graphic Novel Issue 1 Brown Disabled Young Woman Superhero Brings Disability Justice to Hip Hop was published by Poor Press in 2019 and 2020. Under Poor Press Leroy also published Black Disabled Ancestors. Leroy Moore has traveled internationally networking with other disabled activists and artists. He has written and collaborated to produce music videos on black disabled men. We are so thrilled to welcome Leroy Moore to Incluse This today. Hi, Leroy and welcome.

Leroy Moore:

Hey, how are you doing, thanks for having me.

Sarah Kirwan:

I am so excited to have you here today to talk about inclusion. Leroy and I met virtually a few months ago as I was planning and strategizing for this podcast. And I really wanted to get his thoughts on the premise of the podcast and the topics for the show. And as a public administrator by trade, I was really laying it out there, how much we need equity and inclusion, how I've dedicated myself to the cause, how much I believe in it. And then when I was done with my rant, Leroy responded with, "Inclusion is bullsh** Sarah." I was silent for a few minutes, as I thought about what he was saying, "Is he really saying this is bullsh**. Do other people with disabilities, see this term and think it's bullsh**? Do I need to re-strategize and change all of my business messaging? Do I need to change my mission statement?" I went down a rabbit hole and as we talked, I started thinking about how many different ways of thinking about inclusion there really are. So, Leroy with that, I kind of want to start with why is inclusion bullsh**?

Leroy Moore:

Yeah Inclusion is bullsh** because people with disabilities have always been here, you know, so if you go back to the story of Moses in the Bible, Moses had a disability and God gave Moses an accommodation without the ADA, of course, haha, his brother. So you know, so thinking that story is like people with disabilities have always been here. So I see inclusion as, as, as bullsh**. It’s like just follow the law, implement law, and let's do it that way. Because we've been here, we've always been here. It's not up to you to open up that space and make this inclusion happen. It’s the law. So do it and let's do it.

Sarah Kirwan:

I like how you said it's not up to you. So let's talk a little bit about some historical movements that have tried some successfully, some unsuccessfully to move the needle on inclusion for disabled folk in our country. The two that come to mind for me first are the individuals with disabilities education act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. So the IDEA was previously known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act and was signed into law by president Gerald Ford in 1975, 2020 actually marks the 45th anniversary, which I didn't know. I think it was very much overshadowed by the 30th anniversary of the ADA, which we'll get into in a minute. But can you tell us about your experience with the IDEA when you were growing up?

Leroy Moore:

Yeah, so the IDEA was that my mother used it to get me out of, um, special education, you know, I was, um, you know, segregate back then, you know, so my mother used the law to get me quote unquote mainstreamed, and um you know, because she took I think it’s the East Hartford Connecticut Schoolboard to court, they quote unquote mainstreamed me mainstreamed me into quote unquote regular classes with a teacher’s aid, and I flourished because of that. And, um um, you know, we gotta see the history of IDEA, because when Gerald, when the President, President Ford signed it into law, he signed in a secret place, it wasn’t a public ceremony like the ADA, and he said yeah, that he’ll sign it but it it’s gonna be hard to enforce and he said he probably won’t enforce it.

So that’s that, you know, that started in the beginning before it was passed. So you know, you know, so so we we are here in 2020, and we have seen that the IDEA has never been fully funded and it’s never been fully enforced, so that affects a lot of disabled students who are in school. So, you you have a law that’s never been fully funded or fully enforced and it’s hard to make the schools do what they should do under the law. And and it’s interesting because a lot of um people blame the parents blame the schools, but they don’t blame the politicians and the legislators who never fully funded and never fully implemented the law.

Sarah Kirwan:

That's interesting because I wonder if, if they know, you know, I wonder if they know where that blame lay, should be laid.

Leroy Moore:

I don’t know.

Sarah Kirwan:

So did this law actually have an impact on your life?

Leroy Moore:

Oh yeah. I mean, you know that’s why I, you know escaped you know special education because my Mom took the schoolboard to court. I mean, without that court case, you know, you know who you know I don’t know where I would be you know. And that was when the law first came out. So, my Mom she didn’t know it, but she was doing something that was totally new back in the late seventies.

Sarah Kirwan:

With those barriers. Do you think the law did move the needle on inclusion for children with disabilities when it was signed originally in the seventies? And do you think it actually is doing the same today?

Leroy Moore:

I think, I think, I think yes of course, you know, having a law on the books of course, you know, pushes the system to do right and um, you know and um parents can use the law to push the system to do right. I was, um, I was, uh, I was an advocate for, um, IEPs Individual Education Plans when when I was working at CIL. And it was funny because all the parents loved me, but the school district hated me. Because I would tell the parents nope, don’t sign it, you can take it home, you can read it, so I would push for parents’ rights and I would make sure the school was doing their um, their half of what the IEP promised.

Sarah Kirwan:

That's the unfortunate part. When we look at these programs that are available, there are a lot of organizations that don't fully educate staff, clients, customers, consumers, anyone about the laws that actually exist for protections or for resources, it affects so many people's lives and they miss out on opportunities. It's very sad.

Leroy Moore:

Yeah. I mean, you know, it’s totally sad when parents don’t have the time to advocate you know, because it takes time to know your rights, to know the IEP, to get you know a doctor’s note, so the student can be evaluated, to get the right advocate in the meetings, to know your right that you have the right to an emergency IEP meeting, you know parents can call a meeting anytime and the school has to be there. So, it’s it’s it’s kinda sad when when there’s a lack of resources to get parents educated and to get parents to be um advocates you know, and and not only to get parents to be advocates, but you know to let them know that we’re here when they go into meetings because you know there’s so many parents that go into meetings and don’t advocate and just sign it and just say okay done. And they don’t know what they signed.

Sarah Kirwan:

Yup. And they don't know what the resources will be that their child will receive or what they're missing out on too.

Leroy Moore:

Yeah, yeah.

Sarah Kirwan:

You know, we hit another big milestone in 2020 as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the ADA, right? The Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26th, 1990. It's hard to think it was only 1990. 'Cause the nineties feel like yesterday to me. But anyway, on July 26th, 1990 president George H.W Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act the ADA, the most sweeping affirmation of rights for the disabled in American history at the time into law, as disability rights attorney, Arlene Mayerson would later write the story of the ADA actually began when people with disabilities began to challenge societal barriers that excluded them from their communities.

And when parents of children with disabilities begin to fight against the exclusion and segregation of their children, 30 years later, we are still struggling for equity. As we fight for full implementation of the ADA to protect the rights of people with disabilities. As writer, Molly Bushay said in her article titled the ADA 30 years later, a continued call to action. This year in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the legacy of the ADA and the disability rights activists work is clear. Many changes that enable effective quarantine are the very same accommodations people with disabilities have fought for, and have often been denied, including myself. I'm saying that personally in their workplaces, and school environments for decades, yet accommodations like remote work, and telecommuting live streaming of events, online coursework and post-secondary classes, telemedicine and online grocery ordering and delivery became commonplace overnight, once the able-bodied community expressed a need.

Many fights like raising home and community-based services, funding levels to meet heightened need as a result of the pandemic are still underway. Even today, several aspects of daily life remained partially or wholly inaccessible to people with disabilities. So Leroy, we need to make this law actually work for the people it was designed to work for. We need to address everything from public spaces to technology. What needs to happen in this space for us to make some lasting change with this law?

Leroy Moore:

Well, I think it's almost like, it’s almost like the IDEA you know, we need more legislators need to enforce it, and legislators need to fully fund it. It’s interesting that we get these laws on the books, but they’re not enforced. It’s like why do it, if you’re not going to enforce it, why do it, you know, so what we need is more enforcement and more funding to enforce it. Um. It’s interesting in the 90’s, um my organization back then Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization we had the other side rally, the other side of the ADA rally for almost three-years. When we looked at the cover of the ADA, and we had a statement saying, "Who is missing from this cover." And if you look the cover of ADA it's, it's so obvious who is missing, you know people of color.

So, we, so we had a rally for people of color with disabilities saying that ADA, has fallen short for people of color to me just look at the cover it makes obvious sense, you know. Since then, you know, under Obama, the ADA got attached so many times and that’s under Obama, so once again our laws are not being enforced and they’re being attached. So, I mean I mean, what we need is I think we need a whole new leadership, of disability advocates, in Washington because because you know politics is a game of compromising, and how can the disabled community compromise. We don’t have nothing to compromise.

Sarah Kirwan:

I was just going to say, what, what are we gonna compromise?

Leroy Moore:

Exactly. I think, I think how we do is that, well, when Obama was in second term. He came to me, like Leroy can you join. why can't you join. I said, no, I said no. People are like you said no to Obama?

Sarah Kirwan:

Yeah.

Leroy Moore:

I said no because I knew, I knew, I knew his watered down politics on disability. So these new leadership need to pushback and I think I think we have them, in local in local advocates, but we need to push them to the federal and to the state. I mean especially now, because everything is changing, you know, because of COVID, you know we definitely can't go back to, to the norm because even the norm has left us out, so we have a good chance today because everything is changing, so we need to change our disability lobbyists, you know. Uh, our disability, people in Washington, I mean, Biden is about to pick his cabinet, and so so who’s going to be the disability you know person in his cabinet. I mean we can’t go back to you know what was there in Obama. So, does that mean the same people you know the same disabled peoples under Obama is going to return under Biden? You know. It’s time to pass the torch. I’m 53-years-old.

Sarah Kirwan:

You're young.

Leroy Moore:

I don’t feel it.

Sarah Kirwan:

A couple of things that you just shared resonated with me. So the watered down, I think that that is one thing that has always bothered me about some of the legislation that gets passed. Um, even when we look at the healthcare, the affordable care act, I actually worked in Congress in 2009 on healthcare reform legislation. And I remember the night when it passed, it must've been the house in December and we were all sitting there watching it. I just remember thinking it's so watered down. It's so easy to pick it apart. And so I do think that we fall short a little bit on actually getting real change. Now the flip side of that is that in order for some of these laws to be passed, they have to be watered down because...

Leroy Moore:

I mean, you know, take for example in California, California passed a law to have disability history in in high schools and grade schools, right? You know, everybody loved the law, everybody’s like yeah, yeah, good, good, and the law’s been in there for what two or three years, and it’s not enforced. I mean, I mean, I understand that we have to compromise with the government, but let’s go back to these laws and it’s like okay, we compromise at first, but you guys have left a big hole that’s not that that goes against the law, you know, let’s let’s fix what we didn’t do in the first round. So that that that I mean everybody in Congress now knows that the IDEA has never been fully funded and fully enforced. I mean, my thoughts on that is that campaign for politicians is like Christmas eve for kids they will say anything and anything just to get that vote, same thing with kids, they will say anything and anything to get that toy. But the thing that we don’t do is that we don’t go back to the history and it’s like aww, you’ve been in office for almost 30-years and haven’t done sh** with IDEA, oh yeah, now you have it on your platform, but you haven’t done sh** for 30-years. So, so we we need to question that. And, people tell me well, you have to believe in the platform, and I was like no no I don’t because those are promises. I believe in their history and in their record.

Sarah Kirwan:

So the other thing that caught my ear as you were talking was that the ADA fell short for people with disabilities of color. And I think that's a really important piece of our conversation today, in addition to just how the appearance of the pamphlets and the information that they gave out, how are people of color left out of the ADA?

Leroy Moore:

Well, it's not only the ADA, it's the whole disability rights movement, you know, so the whole disability rights movement um, hasn’t really dealt with race and racism, so because of that all the all the fruits and goodies that comes on the disability rights movement, from civil rights to disability students to disability arts and stuff hasn’t really um covered people of color with disabilities. So, so now now we have disability justice, we have sins invalid, we have my organization, we’re krip-hop, we have um the national black disability coalition. So, now it’s time to change that and it’s time for um for these national disability organizations to really let go of their other power and their reigns and really you know, first come to the table and think okay yes, we have a lot to work on, and you know, we can listen and learn from you.

You know, all the of disability rights movement. right school, you know, disciplinary right school, um, haven't really dealt with race and racism. So because of that, you know, all the routes and good things silvereyes to disability studies, to disability arts and stuff, haven't really, um, covered people of color with disabilities. So, so now, now we have disability justice, you know, yes, says invalid, do we have this in recent weeks, Krip-Hop. Well there, uh, um, international works coalition. So now it's, it's time to change that. It's time, or, um, buddy's national this way to, to really, uh, like go, uh, their, their power in their room and really, you know, um, first come to the table and say, okay, yes, we, we have a lot to work on and, you know, we can listen and learn from you.

Sarah Kirwan:

Yeah. I love that. You know, we've obviously been talking about disability in general, as well as how it relates to disability rights, and justice, and how people of color are often left out of that conversation. We live in a society where we want to put people into boxes, right? You're this. So you go over here. And you're this, so you go over there, however, disability intersects with all other social categorizations, like race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender, et cetera. And unfortunately, we often look at disability through a lens that has historically said, "White is the norm for disability." But that's not the case. As we've talked about, we need to look at this from an historical perspective.

According to a report published by the Ruderman family foundation, a disability focused organization, almost half of the people who die at the hands of police have some kind of disability. Let me say that again. Almost Half of the people who die at the hands of police has some kind of disability. The report states that police are often drawn into emergencies where urgent care may be more appropriate than lethal force. The report also States that while police interactions with minorities draw increasing scrutiny, disability, and health conditions are still neglected in media coverage and law Enforcement, "Police have become the default responders to mental health calls." Right, the authors historian, David Perry and disability expert Lawrence Carter-Long who analyzed incidents from 2013 to 2015, they propose that people with psychiatric disabilities are presumed to be dangerous to themselves and others in police interactions.

This report leads directly into the racial debates over policing. Noting that while coverage of police brutality cases has understandably focused on race, that lens can also obscure how disability factors into police interactions. Let's take one of the most discussed police brutality cases. The Chicago police shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager killed while acting erotically and holding a knife. Prosecutors took the unusual step of charging an officer with first degree murder. Noting McDonald did not pose a legal threat to the officers who had surrounded him. When video of the shooting was released it sparked the resignation of Chicago's police chief and a national debate over race policing. There was far less focused, however, on McDonald's health.

According to later investigation by the Chicago Tribune, McDonald suffered from PTSD and complex mental health problems. That reality may be relevant to his contact the night of his death and ways the police might have deescalated the interaction according to law enforcement experts. It's crucial that officers precisely evaluate the problems a suspect may be experiencing. So Colin Kaepernick's media group has published many articles on the relationship between disability, justice and policing and prisons, because it's extremely important we understand this. If we truly want to change these systems in our country, Leroy, what has your experience with the black lives matter movement been as a black disabled man? And what do we need to focus on to bring awareness to this issue?

Leroy Moore:

God. I can, I can tell you stories about that. And my this is my, um, thinking about black lives matter, that I’ve been doing police brutality activism since 84 right, so you know, so saw a lot of groups come and go, been talking about disability and police brutality since 84. And when black lives matter jumped off, I was working with Sins Invalid and we you know tried to get them on. Board with disability justice and it took awhile and um we were almost there, we had one call, and we were supposed to have you know other calls and workshops and you know and it just didn’t happen. I don’t know what happened, but we tried with Sins Invalid So After Sins Invalid, Krip Hop did a film documentary called where is hope and that film documentary talked about police brutality and people with disabilities and this happened like almost a year after black lives matter started, and we myself and Emmett sower tried to get other organizations involved you know, and we got slammed door after slammed door, you know, but we kept on doing the film, you know, and the film has been out for years, you know, and the film with the hip hop music cd has been out for years. So you know, my my … and another point about black lives matter that I Know is that people have been doing the work way before black lives matter and um especially in you know Missouri when when you know black lives matter had started. And so for me, you know, I always go back to you know the groups that have been doing the work with no money and no support you know hands up don’t shoot been doing the work, cop watch chapters across the country have been doing the work, poor magazine has been doing the work, so so, yeah. I think um, at this moment you know, and at at this moment, you know real radical changes are becoming mainstream because local artists have been pushing it. I mean the whole defunding the police, I mean, we’ve been talking about that for decades now. You know um, its become popular because finally mainstream movements are forced to talk about it. IN the beginning, you know, black lives matter was talking about police training and you know police cameras and stuff and we was like what. So you know, I’m glad that they’re they’re finally you know having the talk about you know defunding the police and now black lives matter is um you know have been um include certain black disabled women in their in their movement, which is a good thing. And, I just I just wonder it’s like huh, that’s interesting, because most of the shootings are black disabled men. So, I’m just like where is the black disabled man and boy’s voice in black lives matter. So, you know it’s really controversial for me, but, the work continues on the ground, you know.

Sarah Kirwan:

So for you and I have talked about this, that the buzzwords for today are inclusion and equity, right. Inclusion and equity. And for me, and for my company, when I set this up and kind of go back to the beginning, when I thought, Oh my gosh, do I have to change all my messaging? Do I have to change everything that I wrote my whole website, but what I decided, why don't I just define for myself, for me, inclusion is not just the word, right? It's the action on the backend. It's holding that accountability, having, uh, people with disabilities, uh, at the table, having a seat at the table, making decisions, helping to make decisions. Um, so it's action. It's when you actually do something, as opposed to just talking about it. So do you feel with today's buzzwords being inclusion and equity, do you feel that in some ways disabled folks are actually less included now?

Leroy Moore:

Um, I think, I think, disabled folks are being slowly included. Um you know you see it in Hollywood you see it in like I said Black Lives Matters, um, yeah, I think I think we’re slowly being included. I think I think only the safe people are being included only the people that um that their politics is easy to swallow is being included. So, yeah.

Sarah Kirwan:

Yeah. I find that interesting because I've, I've worked for a lot of non-profit organizations. I've been in government for a lot of years in public administration. And when, when people who, well, let's just say that the individual has a disability and they're working for an organization that helps that disability, right. Supports that disability. I have learned that oftentimes they don't want to hear that voice because it really goes against maybe what their beliefs were or what their thoughts were or what, the direction they were going in. So it does take a lot of time on their end to kind of pivot and regroup, but that's the point is to understand the peoples that you serve, what their need is and how do you best fulfill that need, right?

Leroy Moore:

Yeah. Well, you know, I’ll give you an example of my own work. Is that it’s totally amazing that I say this and it’s still shocking when I say it is that I’ve been a college um lecturer on a college campus for almost 21-years, right. From Harvard, to UC Berkely to Princeton, but I haven’t gotten any invite from a black college yet. And that just that just totally blows my mind you know, although I’ve tried many time, and every year I send out thousands of emails with my website, and all that, and it’s just like wow. It’s just like are you serious, you just don’t want to hear the other voice, you know. And, you know, it’s not me, it's disability, I think.

You know, you know, at this point I just shake my head, like wow. It’s so obvious and it’s so like, you know, anytime I say it people are like what, and I’m like yeah, you know. I think, I think the disability justice movement, which I helped start, I think they had jumped the gun, because how can we say that we want disability justice when there’s no disability education in the black and brown communities. So, first we have to do the political education for our communities, because our community thinks disability as two things, one something to overcome, or two something to get services. So, we’re dealing with that. Like no wonder I’m not invited to black colleges. Because they don’t think disability has a principal, historical, cultural thing to study. ‘They just think that disability is you get services, or you overcome it. In 2020, we still. Have that outlook? I was like yeah, we still have that view because there’s no education.

Sarah Kirwan:

I didn't actually think about that when we talk about disability justice, I didn't think about how, how can we really have that justice, if there's no education in the communities. We have a lot of work to do.

Leroy Moore:

Yeah, yeah, yeah I mean, and, and I, and I'm one of the persons that helped start disability justice with Clayburn and Mi Amigas, but you know, now now I look back on it and it’s like no wonder. It’s like It’s we can talk about disability justice and we want it and we wish for it but there’s no education that’s going to make that hump from a viewpoint of overcoming to a viewpoint of disability justice because there’s so many humps to get through it’s that you’re trying to change people’s outlook on disability. So, if the community thinks of disability as something to overcome and services, so you have to go through those humps, then you have to get through disability right, then you have to get to disability justice. We’re talking about education that needs to be in there a long time just to make those humps.

Sarah Kirwan:

Okay. So from your experience, is it possible to do inclusion well and what projects have you worked on that you feel are truly inclusive?

Leroy Moore:

Okay. Is it possible to do inclusive well. I mean, I go back to the story of Jesus. I mean right there. He did with no law. You know, so yes it’s possible if people can learn and take on models that’s outside their own model. If they can do that yeah. If they can’t do that then they’re just wasting their time.

Sarah Kirwan:

Yeah. And that kind of goes back to what you said about, why do it, can you share with us a project that you're currently working on?

Leroy Moore:

Oh my God! There’ so much and so much. Well, the big thing that Krip Hops is trying to do, and this is going to come in a couple of years because we’re still building it and that’s one reason why I’m going for my PhD at UCLA. But, we’re trying to have a Krip Hop institute where it came to me a couple of months ago, but we need to take over a building. You know, first it was just a two story house and I was like no Krip Hop needs a building. Just like, you know, just like we have the Ed Roberts building at Berkeley, same thing needs to happen with Krip Hop Krip Hop needs a building. And, you know people are like why a building because Krip Hp does so much we have visual arts. I can see one for just visual arts from around the world. You know we have a large library; you can see a large library; you know on the 2nd floor. You know, we bring in people from all of the world. Last year we had the um the disabled African musician’s tour. We brought people from all over Africa.

Sarah Kirwan:

That's incredible.

Leroy Moore:

So yeah. I was like, you know, it’s time for the Krip Hop Institute and it’s time for having that institute in a building where we could you know show off our visual arts, a music studio and a meeting space where you know, disabled people can come internationally, you know we could have archives. And not only, not only keeping it to the building, but have other cultural organizations come, like for example, the hip hop museum that’s going to open next year. Krip hop should be in that museum and that’s just all to it. You know, so , they can come to the krip hop institute and learn why krip hop needs to be in a building. The same thing with the African American museum in DC that just opened up, they have nothing on disability. Nothing. And it just opened up. It cost millions to open up that museum. So, they can come to krip hop institute and take what they learn to their own museum.

Sarah Kirwan:

I love that idea Leroy share the disability culture and the history of disability, the history of disability rights, all of those pieces that are forgotten.

Leroy Moore:

You know, the Krip Hop Institute would be more than a museum, you know, it’s somewhere where you know disabled black boys can come and see themselves you know. It can be a meeting space, it can be a meeting space, we can have events, you know, we can do music right there, you know so, yeah, so that’ a huge thing that we’re working on. And, it might be in LA because that’s where I’m going to be for graduate school and and I was thinking yeah, UCLA can play a part in it. You know. I don’t know how but they could um be um a resource of any rare books or rare records into our institute. That individual can’t get.

Sarah Kirwan:

So before we go, I want to ask you one last question. How can we, you and I, our listeners, how can we all make inclusion more than just a buzzword in our daily lives?

Leroy Moore:

Um, I think how is um really really uplift the work. I mean, the work outside of hashtag, I mean the real work, you know, um, sins invalid, um you know I just talked about the krip hop institute, you know people can help support that. Yeah, people can help support Lydia Brown’s work, I mean there’s so much that people are doing that should be uplifted. I mean, the thing is that a lot of our so-called famous stars and stuff like that, they still believe in charity, so they still have charities for people with disabilities. I’m like no, no forget that, you know, get your hands dirty and get into Krip Hop, get into sins invalid, you know.

Sarah Kirwan:

And where can our listeners find Krip Hop, and Sins Invalid?

Leroy Moore:

So, you can go to our website, kriphopnation.com. And of course sinsinvalid.org, um, you can check out, um, our YouTube page. We started last year. It's been a, I think almost two or three years. We started this black men with disabilities talk videos we do it every month and it goes up on YouTube, so you can check out that. Jut type in Krip Hop. Send me an email. kriphop@gmail.com you know, we’re doing so much on internationally, um, keytones is working with a group of disabled rappers in Australia and they’re about to perform in Japan. So yeah, we’re doing things.

Sarah Kirwan:

That's incredible. That's incredible. I'm so happy that you joined me on the podcast and I just really appreciated you having the conversation with me. And I just look forward to continuing that conversation with you.

Leroy Moore:

Yeah and thanks for having me, good luck on your podcast. I’m going to listen to it. I love podcasts.

Sarah Kirwan:

Thank you again, Leroy, I'll talk with you again soon.

And once again to our listeners, thank you for spending your time with us and joining the Incluse This! conversation and movement.

Incluse This! brought to you by Eye Level Communications, LLC. Eye Level is a California based woman and disability owned small business committed to having critical conversations at Eye Level that are necessary to move disability to the forefront of the greater diversity conversation. If you'd like to learn more about the work we're doing, please visit the website http://www.eyelevel.works. You can also email me directly with any podcast, episode ideas or questions and comments sarah@eye-level.works. Remember to put your disability lens on when you look at the world and tune in next week for another stimulating conversation on Incluse This!, the podcast, that's really a movement. Take care and be well.

Sarah Kirwan:

Hi, and welcome to Incluse This!. I'm your host, Sarah Kirwan. And this is a movement for disability equity. Today, we're talking with Leroy Moore and we're talking about inclusion. Leroy F Moore Jr. is the founder of the Krip-Hop Nation. If you haven't checked them out online, you absolutely should.

Since the 1990s, Leroy has written the column, Illin-N-Chillin for POOR Magazine, he's also one of the founding members of national black disability and an activist around police brutality against people with disabilities.

Sarah Kirwan:

Leroy has started or helped to start many organizations, such as disability, advocates of minorities and Sins Invalid. His cultural work includes film documentary, Where is Hope, along with police brutality against people with disabilities. He also produces spoken word CDs, poetry books, and children's books along with Black Disabled Art History 101. His graphic novel Krip-Hop Graphic Novel Issue 1 Brown Disabled Young Woman Superhero Brings Disability Justice to Hip Hop was published by Poor Press in 2019 and 2020. Under Poor Press Leroy also published Black Disabled Ancestors. Leroy Moore has traveled internationally networking with other disabled activists and artists. He has written and collaborated to produce music videos on black disabled men. We are so thrilled to welcome Leroy Moore to Incluse This today. Hi, Leroy and welcome.

Leroy Moore:

Hey, how are you doing, thanks for having me.

Sarah Kirwan:

I am so excited to have you here today to talk about inclusion. Leroy and I met virtually a few months ago as I was planning and strategizing for this podcast. And I really wanted to get his thoughts on the premise of the podcast and the topics for the show. And as a public administrator by trade, I was really laying it out there, how much we need equity and inclusion, how I've dedicated myself to the cause, how much I believe in it. And then when I was done with my rant, Leroy responded with, "Inclusion is bullsh** Sarah." I was silent for a few minutes, as I thought about what he was saying, "Is he really saying this is bullsh**. Do other people with disabilities, see this term and think it's bullsh**? Do I need to re-strategize and change all of my business messaging? Do I need to change my mission statement?" I went down a rabbit hole and as we talked, I started thinking about how many different ways of thinking about inclusion there really are. So, Leroy with that, I kind of want to start with why is inclusion bullsh**?

Leroy Moore:

Yeah Inclusion is bullsh** because people with disabilities have always been here, you know, so if you go back to the story of Moses in the Bible, Moses had a disability and God gave Moses an accommodation without the ADA, of course, haha, his brother. So you know, so thinking that story is like people with disabilities have always been here. So I see inclusion as, as, as bullsh**. It’s like just follow the law, implement law, and let's do it that way. Because we've been here, we've always been here. It's not up to you to open up that space and make this inclusion happen. It’s the law. So do it and let's do it.

Sarah Kirwan:

I like how you said it's not up to you. So let's talk a little bit about some historical movements that have tried some successfully, some unsuccessfully to move the needle on inclusion for disabled folk in our country. The two that come to mind for me first are the individuals with disabilities education act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA. So the IDEA was previously known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act and was signed into law by president Gerald Ford in 1975, 2020 actually marks the 45th anniversary, which I didn't know. I think it was very much overshadowed by the 30th anniversary of the ADA, which we'll get into in a minute. But can you tell us about your experience with the IDEA when you were growing up?

Leroy Moore:

Yeah, so the IDEA was that my mother used it to get me out of, um, special education, you know, I was, um, you know, segregate back then, you know, so my mother used the law to get me quote unquote mainstreamed, and um you know, because she took I think it’s the East Hartford Connecticut Schoolboard to court, they quote unquote mainstreamed me mainstreamed me into quote unquote regular classes with a teacher’s aid, and I flourished because of that. And, um um, you know, we gotta see the history of IDEA, because when Gerald, when the President, President Ford signed it into law, he signed in a secret place, it wasn’t a public ceremony like the ADA, and he said yeah, that he’ll sign it but it it’s gonna be hard to enforce and he said he probably won’t enforce it.

Leroy Moore:

So that’s that, you know, that started in the beginning before it was passed. So you know, you know, so so we we are here in 2020, and we have seen that the IDEA has never been fully funded and it’s never been fully enforced, so that affects a lot of disabled students who are in school. So, you you have a law that’s never been fully funded or fully enforced and it’s hard to make the schools do what they should do under the law. And and it’s interesting because a lot of um people blame the parents blame the schools, but they don’t blame the politicians and the legislators who never fully funded and never fully implemented the law.

Sarah Kirwan:

That's interesting because I wonder if, if they know, you know, I wonder if they know where that blame lay, should be laid.

Leroy Moore:

I don’t know.

Sarah Kirwan:

So did this law actually have an impact on your life?

Leroy Moore:

Oh yeah. I mean, you know that’s why I, you know escaped you know special education because my Mom took the schoolboard to court. I mean, without that court case, you know, you know who you know I don’t know where I would be you know. And that was when the law first came out. So, my Mom she didn’t know it, but she was doing something that was totally new back in the late seventies.

Sarah Kirwan:

With those barriers. Do you think the law did move the needle on inclusion for children with disabilities when it was signed originally in the seventies? And do you think it actually is doing the same today?

Leroy Moore:

I think, I think, I think yes of course, you know, having a law on the books of course, you know, pushes the system to do right and um, you know and um parents can use the law to push the system to do right. I was, um, I was, uh, I was an advocate for, um, IEPs Individual Education Plans when when I was working at CIL. And it was funny because all the parents loved me, but the school district hated me.

Because I would tell the parents nope, don’t sign it, you can take it home, you can read it, so I would push for parents’ rights and I would make sure the school was doing their um, their half of what the IEP promised.

Sarah Kirwan:

That's the unfortunate part. When we look at these programs that are available, there are a lot of organizations that don't fully educate staff, clients, customers, consumers, anyone about the laws that actually exist for protections or for resources, it affects so many people's lives and they miss out on opportunities. It's very sad.

Leroy Moore:

Yeah. I mean, you know, it’s totally sad when parents don’t have the time to advocate you know, because it takes time to know your rights, to know the IEP, to get you know a doctor’s note, so the student can be evaluated, to get the right advocate in the meetings, to know your right that you have the right to an emergency IEP meeting, you know parents can call a meeting anytime and the school has to be there. So, it’s it’s it’s kinda sad when when there’s a lack of resources to get parents educated and to get parents to be um advocates you know, and and not only to get parents to be advocates, but you know to let them know that we’re here when they go into meetings because you know there’s so many parents that go into meetings and don’t advocate and just sign it and just say okay done. And they don’t know what they signed.

Sarah Kirwan:

Yup. And they don't know what the resources will be that their child will receive or what they're missing out on too.

Leroy Moore:

Yeah, yeah.

Sarah Kirwan:

You know, we hit another big milestone in 2020 as we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the ADA, right? The Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26th, 1990. It's hard to think it was only 1990. 'Cause the nineties feel like yesterday to me. But anyway, on July 26th, 1990 president George H.W Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act the ADA, the most sweeping affirmation of rights for the disabled in American history at the time into law, as disability rights attorney, Arlene Mayerson would later write the story of the ADA actually began when people with disabilities began to challenge societal barriers that excluded them from their communities.

Sarah Kirwan:

And when parents of children with disabilities begin to fight against the exclusion and segregation of their children, 30 years later, we are still struggling for equity. As we fight for full implementation of the ADA to protect the rights of people with disabilities. As writer, Molly Bushay said in her article titled the ADA 30 years later, a continued call to action. This year in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, the legacy of the ADA and the disability rights activists work is clear. Many changes that enable effective quarantine are the very same accommodations people with disabilities have fought for, and have often been denied, including myself. I'm saying that personally in their workplaces, and school environments for decades, yet accommodations like remote work, and telecommuting live streaming of events, online coursework and post-secondary classes, telemedicine and online grocery ordering and delivery became commonplace overnight, once the able-bodied community expressed a need.

Sarah Kirwan:

Many fights like raising home and community-based services, funding levels to meet heightened need as a result of the pandemic are still underway. Even today, several aspects of daily life remained partially or wholly inaccessible to people with disabilities. So Leroy, we need to make this law actually work for the people it was designed to work for. We need to address everything from public spaces to technology.

What needs to happen in this space for us to make some lasting change with this law?

Leroy Moore:

Well, I think it's almost like, it’s almost like the IDEA you know, we need more legislators need to enforce it, and legislators need to fully fund it. It’s interesting that we get these laws on the books, but they’re not enforced. It’s like why do it, if you’re not going to enforce it, why do it, you know, so what we need is more enforcement and more funding to enforce it. Um. It’s interesting in the 90’s, um my organization back then Disability Advocates of Minorities Organization we had the other side rally, the other side of the ADA rally for almost three-years. When we looked at the cover of the ADA, and we had a statement saying, "Who is missing from this cover." And if you look the cover of ADA it's, it's so obvious who is missing, you know people of color.

Leroy Moore:

So, we, so we had a rally for people of color with disabilities saying that ADA, has fallen short for people of color to me just look at the cover it makes obvious sense, you know. Since then, you know, under Obama, the ADA got attached so many times and that’s under Obama, so once again our laws are not being enforced and they’re being attached. So, I mean I mean, what we need is I think we need a whole new leadership, of disability advocates, in Washington because because you know politics is a game of compromising, and how can the disabled community compromise. We don’t have nothing to compromise.

Sarah Kirwan:

I was just going to say, what, what are we gonna compromise?

Leroy Moore:

Exactly. I think, I think how we do is that, well, when Obama was in second term. He came to me, like Leroy can you join. why can't you join. I said, no, I said no. People are like you said no to Obama?

Sarah Kirwan:

Yeah.

Leroy Moore:

I said no because I knew, I knew, I knew his watered down politics on disability. So these new leadership need to pushback and I think I think we have them, in local in local advocates, but we need to push them to the federal and to the state. I mean especially now, because everything is changing, you know, because of COVID, you know we definitely can't go back to, to the norm because even the norm has left us out, so we have a good chance today because everything is changing, so we need to change our disability lobbyists, you know. Uh, our disability, people in Washington, I mean, Biden is about to pick his cabinet, and so so who’s going to be the disability you know person in his cabinet. I mean we can’t go back to you know what was there in Obama. So, does that mean the same people you know the same disabled peoples under Obama is going to return under Biden? You know. It’s time to pass the torch. I’m 53-years-old.

Sarah Kirwan:

You're young.

Leroy Moore:

I don’t feel it.

Sarah Kirwan:

A couple of things that you just shared resonated with me. So the watered down, I think that that is one thing that has always bothered me about some of the legislation that gets passed. Um, even when we look at the healthcare, the affordable care act, I actually worked in Congress in 2009 on healthcare reform legislation. And I remember the night when it passed, it must've been the house in December and we were all sitting there watching it. I just remember thinking it's so watered down. It's so easy to pick it apart. And so I do think that we fall short a little bit on actually getting real change. Now the flip side of that is that in order for some of these laws to be passed, they have to be watered down because...

Leroy Moore:

I mean, you know, take for example in California, California passed a law to have disability history in in high schools and grade schools, right? You know, everybody loved the law, everybody’s like yeah, yeah, good, good, and the law’s been in there for what two or three years, and it’s not enforced. I mean, I mean, I understand that we have to compromise with the government, but let’s go back to these laws and it’s like okay, we compromise at first, but you guys have left a big hole that’s not that that goes against the law, you know, let’s let’s fix what we didn’t do in the first round. So that that that I mean everybody in Congress now knows that the IDEA has never been fully funded and fully enforced. I mean, my thoughts on that is that campaign for politicians is like Christmas eve for kids they will say anything and anything just to get that vote, same thing with kids, they will say anything and anything to get that toy. But the thing that we don’t do is that we don’t go back to the history and it’s like aww, you’ve bene in office for almost 30-years and haven’t done sh** with IDEA, oh yeah, now you have it on your platform, but you haven’t done sh** for 30-years. So, so we we need to question that. And, people tell me well, you have to believe in the platform, and I was like no no I don’t because those are promises. I believe in their history and in their record.

Sarah Kirwan:

So the other thing that caught my ear as you were talking was that the ADA fell short for people with disabilities of color. And I think that's a really important piece of our conversation today, in addition to just how the appearance of the pamphlets and the information that they gave out, how are people of color left out of the ADA?

Leroy Moore:

Well, it's not only the ADA, it's the whole disability rights movement, you know, so the whole disability rights movement um, hasn’t really dealt with race and racism, so because of that all the all the fruits and goodies that comes on the disability rights movement, from civil rights to disability students to disability arts and stuff hasn’t really um covered people of color with disabilities. So, so now now we have disability justice, we have sins invalid, we have my organization, we’re krip-hop, we have um the national black disability coalition. So, now it’s time to change that and it’s time for um for these national disability organizations to really let go of their other power and their reigns and really you know, first come to the table and think okay yes, we have a lot to work on, and you know, we can listen and learn from you.

Leroy Moore:

You know, all the of disability rights movement. right school, you know, disciplinary right school, um, haven't really dealt with race and racism. So because of that, you know, all the routes and good things silvereyes to disability studies, to disability arts and stuff, haven't really, um, covered people of color with disabilities. So, so now, now we have disability justice, you know, yes, says invalid, do we have this in recent weeks, Krip-Hop. Well there, uh, um, international works coalition. So now it's, it's time to change that. It's time, or, um, buddy's national this way to, to really, uh, like go, uh, their, their power in their room and really, you know, um, first come to the table and say, okay, yes, we, we have a lot to work on and, you know, we can listen and learn from you.

Sarah Kirwan:

Yeah. I love that. You know, we've obviously been talking about disability in general, as well as how it relates to disability rights, and justice, and how people of color are often left out of that conversation. We live in a society where we want to put people into boxes, right? You're this. So you go over here. And you're this, so you go over there, however, disability intersects with all other social categorizations, like race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender, et cetera. And unfortunately, we often look at disability through a lens that has historically said, "White is the norm for disability." But that's not the case. As we've talked about, we need to look at this from an historical perspective.

Sarah Kirwan:

According to a report published by the Ruderman family foundation, a disability focused organization, almost half of the people who die at the hands of police have some kind of disability. Let me say that again. Almost Half of the people who die at the hands of police has some kind of disability. The report states that police are often drawn into emergencies where urgent care may be more appropriate than lethal force. The report also States that while police interactions with minorities draw increasing scrutiny, disability, and health conditions are still neglected in media coverage and law Enforcement, "Police have become the default responders to mental health calls." Right, the authors historian, David Perry and disability expert Lawrence Carter-Long who analyzed incidents from 2013 to 2015, they propose that people with psychiatric disabilities are presumed to be dangerous to themselves and others in police interactions.

Sarah Kirwan:

This report leads directly into the racial debates over policing. Noting that while coverage of police brutality cases has understandably focused on race, that lens can also obscure how disability factors into police interactions. Let's take one of the most discussed police brutality cases. The Chicago police shooting of Laquan McDonald, a black teenager killed while acting erotically and holding a knife.

Prosecutors took the unusual step of charging an officer with first degree murder. Noting McDonald did not pose a legal threat to the officers who had surrounded him. When video of the shooting was released it sparked the resignation of Chicago's police chief and a national debate over race policing.

There was far less focused, however, on McDonald's health.

Sarah Kirwan:

According to later investigation by the Chicago Tribune, McDonald suffered from PTSD and complex mental health problems. That reality may be relevant to his contact the night of his death and ways the police might have deescalated the interaction according to law enforcement experts. It's crucial that officers precisely evaluate the problems a suspect may be experiencing. So Colin Kaepernick's media group has published many articles on the relationship between disability, justice and policing and prisons, because it's extremely important we understand this. If we truly want to change these systems in our country, Leroy, what has your experience with the black lives matter movement been as a black disabled man? And what do we need to focus on to bring awareness to this issue?

Leroy Moore:

God. I can, I can tell you stories about that. And my this is my, um, thinking about black lives matter, that I’ve been doing police brutality activism since 84 right, so you know, so saw a lot of groups come and go, been talking about disability and police brutality since 84. And when black lives matter jumped off, I was working with Sins Invalid and we you know tried to get them on. Board with disability justice and tit took awhile and um we were almost there, we had one call, and we were supposed to have you know other calls and workshops and you know and it just didn’t happen. I don’t know what happened, but we tried with Sins Invalid.

Leroy Moore:

So After Sins Invalid, Krip Hop did a film documentary called where is hope and that film documentary talked about police brutality and people with disabilities and this happened like almost a year after black lives matter started, and we myself and Emmett sower tried to get other organizations involved you know, and we got slammed door after slammed door, you know, but we kept on doing the film, you know, and the film has been out for years, you know, and the film with the hip hop music cd has been out for years. So you know, my my … and another point about black lives matter that I Know is that people have been doing the work way before black lives matter and um especially in you know Missouri when when you know black lives matter had started.

Leroy Moore:

And so for me, you know, I always go back to you know the groups that have been doing the work with no money and no support you know hands up don’t shoot been doing the work, cop watch chapters across the country have been doing the work, poor magazine has been doing the work, so so, yeah. I think um, at this moment you know, and at at this moment, you know real radical changes are becoming mainstream because local artists have been pushing it. I mean the whole defunding the police, I mean, we’ve been talking about that for decades now. You know um, it’s become popular because finally mainstream movements are forced to talk about it. IN the beginning, you know, black lives matter was talking about police training and you know police cameras and stuff and we was like what.

Leroy Moore:

So you know, I’m glad that they’re they’re finally you know having the talk about you know defunding the police and now black lives matter is um you know have been um include certain black disabled women in their in their movement, which is a good thing. And, I just I just wonder it’s like huh, that’s interesting, because most of the shootings are black disabled men. So, I’m just like where is the black disabled man and boy’s voice in black lives matter. So, you know it’s really controversial for me, but, the work continues on the ground, you know.

Sarah Kirwan:

So for you and I have talked about this, that the buzzwords for today are inclusion and equity, right. Inclusion and equity. And for me, and for my company, when I set this up and kind of go back to the beginning, when I thought, Oh my gosh, do I have to change all my messaging? Do I have to change everything that I wrote my whole website, but what I decided, why don't I just define for myself, for me, inclusion is not just the word, right? It's the action on the backend. It's holding that accountability, having, uh, people with disabilities, uh, at the table, having a seat at the table, making decisions, helping to make decisions. Um, so it's action. It's when you actually do something, as opposed to just talking about it. So do you feel with today's buzzwords being inclusion and equity, do you feel that in some ways disabled folks are actually less included now?

Leroy Moore:

Um, I think, I think, disabled folks are being slowly included. Um you know you see it in Hollywood you see it in like I said Black Lives Matters, um, yeah, I think I think we’re slowly being included. I think I think only the safe people are being included only the people that um that their politics is easy to swallow is being included. So, yeah.

Sarah Kirwan:

Yeah. I find that interesting because I've, I've worked for a lot of non-profit organizations. I've been in government for a lot of years in public administration. And when, when people who, well, let's just say that the individual has a disability and they're working for an organization that helps that disability, right. Supports that disability. I have learned that oftentimes they don't want to hear that voice because it really goes against maybe what their beliefs were or what their thoughts were or what, the direction they were going in. So it does take a lot of time on their end to kind of pivot and regroup, but that's the point is to understand the peoples that you serve, what their need is and how do you best fulfill that need, right?

Leroy Moore:

Yeah. Well, you know, I’ll give you an example of my own work. Is that it’s totally amazing that I say this and it’s still shocking when I say it is that I’ve been a college um lecturer on a college campus for almost 21-years, right. From Harvard, to UC Berkely to Princeton, but I haven’t gotten any invite from a black college yet. And that just that just totally blows my mind you know, although I’ve tried many time, and every year I send out thousands of emails with my website, and all that, and it’s just like wow. It’s just like are you serious, you just don’t want to hear the other voice, you know. And, you know, it’s not me, it's disability, I think.

Leroy Moore:

You know, you know, at this point I just shake my head, like wow. It’s so obvious and it’s so like, you know, anytime I say it people are like what, and I’m like yeah, you know. I think, I think the disability justice movement, which I helped start, I think they had jumped the gun, because how can we say that we want disability justice when there’s no disability education in the black and brown communities. So, first we have to do the political education for our communities, because our community thinks disability as two things, one something to overcome, or two something to get services. So, we’re dealing with that. Like no wonder I’m not invited to black colleges. Because they don’t think disability has a principal, historical, cultural thing to study. ‘They just think that disability is you get services, or you overcome it. In 2020, we still. Have that outlook? I was like yeah, we still have that view because there’s no education.

Sarah Kirwan:

I didn't actually think about that when we talk about disability justice, I didn't think about how, how can we really have that justice, if there's no education in the communities. We have a lot of work to do.

Leroy Moore:

Yeah, yeah, yeah I mean, and, and I, and I'm one of the persons that helped start disability justice with Clayburn and Mi Amigas, but you know, now now I look back on it and it’s like no wonder. It’s like It’s we can talk about disability justice and we want it and we wish for it but there’s no education that’s going to make that hump from a viewpoint of overcoming to a viewpoint of disability justice because there’s so many humps to get through it’s that you’re trying to change people’s outlook on disability. So, if the community thinks of disability as something to overcome and services, so you have to go through those humps, then you have to get through disability right, then you have to get to disability justice. We’re talking about education that needs to be in there a long time just to make those humps.

Sarah Kirwan:

Okay. So from your experience, is it possible to do inclusion well and what projects have you worked on that you feel are truly inclusive?

Leroy Moore:

Okay. Is it possible to do inclusive well. I mean, I go back to the story of Jesus. I mean right there. He did with no law. You know, so yes it’s possible if people can learn and take on models that’s outside their own model. If they can do that yeah. If they can’t do that then they’re just wasting their time.

Sarah Kirwan:

Yeah. And that kind of goes back to what you said about, why do it, can you share with us a project that you're currently working on?

Leroy Moore:

Oh my God! There’ so much and so much. Well, the big thing that Krip Hops is trying to do, and this is going to come in a couple of years because we’re still building it and that’s one reason why I’m going for my PhD at UCLA. But, we’re trying to have a Krip Hop institute where it came to me a couple of months ago, but we need to take over a building. You know, first it was just a two story house and I was like no Krip Hop needs a building. Just like, you know, just like we have the Ed Roberts building at Berkeley, same thing needs to happen with Krip Hop Krip Hop needs a building. And, you know people are like why a building because Krip Hp does so much we have visual arts. I can see one for just visual arts from around the world. You know we have a large library; you can see a large library; you know on the 2nd floor. You know, we bring in people from all of the world. Last year we had the um the disabled African musician’s tour. We brought people from all over Africa.

Sarah Kirwan:

That's incredible.

Leroy Moore:

So yeah. I was like, you know, it’s time for the Krip Hop Institute and it’s time for having that institute in a building where we could you know show off our visual arts, a music studio and a meeting space where you know, disabled people can come internationally, you know we could have archives. And not only, not only keeping it to the building, but have other cultural organizations come, like for example, the hip hop museum that’s going to open next year. Krip hop should be in that museum and that’s just all to it. You know, so , they can come to the krip hop institute and learn why krip hop needs to be in a building. The same thing with the African American museum in DC that just opened up, they have nothing on disability. Nothing. And it just opened up. It cost millions to open up that museum. So, they can come to krip hop institute and take what they learn to their own museum.

Sarah Kirwan:

I love that idea Leroy share the disability culture and the history of disability, the history of disability rights, all of those pieces that are forgotten.

Leroy Moore:

You know, the Krip Hop Institute would be more than a museum, you know, it’s somewhere where you know disabled black boys can come and see themselves you know. It can be a meeting space, it can be a meeting space, we can have events, you know, we can do music right there, you know so, yeah, so that’ a huge thing that we’re working on. And, it might be in LA because that’s where I’m going to be for graduate school and and I was thinking uyeah, UCLA can play a part in it. You know. I don’t know how but they could um be um a resource of any rare books or rare records into our institute. That individual can’t get.

Sarah Kirwan:

So before we go, I want to ask you one last question. How can we, you and I, our listeners, how can we all make inclusion more than just a buzzword in our daily lives?

Leroy Moore:

Um, I think how is um really really uplift the work. I mean, the work outside of hashtag, I mean the real work, you know, um, sins invalid, um you know I just talked about the krip hop institute, you know people can help support that. Yeah, people can help support Lydia Brown’s work, I mean there’s so much that people are doing that should be uplifted. I mean, the thing is that a lot of our so-called famous stars and stuff like that, they still believe in charity, so they still have charities for people with disabilities. I’m like no, no forget that, you know, get your hands dirty and get into Krip Hop, get into sins invalid, you know.

Sarah Kirwan:

And where can our listeners find Krip Hop, And Sins Invalid?

Leroy Moore:

So, you can go to our website, kriphopnation.com. And of course sinsinvalid.org, um, you can check out, um, our YouTube page. We started last year. It's been a, I think almost two or three years. We started this black men with disabilities talk videos we do it every month and it goes up on YouTube, so you can check out that. Jut type in Krip Hop. Send me an email. kriphop@gmail.com you know, we’re doing so much on internationally, um, keytones is working with a group of disabled rappers in Australia and they’re about to perform in Japan. So yeah, we’re doing things.

Sarah Kirwan:

That's incredible. That's incredible. I'm so happy that you joined me on the podcast and I just really appreciated you having the conversation with me. And I just look forward to continuing that conversation with you.

Leroy Moore:

Yeah and thanks for having me, good luck on your podcast. I’m going to listen to it. I love podcasts.

Sarah Kirwan:

Thank you again, Leroy, I'll talk with you again soon. And once again to our listeners, thank you for spending your time with us and joining the Incluse This! conversation and movement. Incluse This! brought to you by Eye Level Communications, LLC. Eye Level is a California based woman and disability owned small business committed to having critical conversations at Eye Level that are necessary to move disability to the forefront of the greater diversity conversation. If you'd like to learn more about the work we're doing, please visit the website @wwwd.eyelevel.works. You can also email me directly with any podcast, episode ideas or questions and comments @sarah@eye-level.works. Remember to put your disability lens on when you look at the world and tune in next week for another stimulating conversation on Incluse This!, the podcast, that's really a movement take care and be well.

Leave a Reply