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On November 27, 2020, IRIS and Warriors Against Violence Society hosted an event for Victims & Survivors of Crime Week entitled: Access to Justice for Indigenous, Racialized and 2SLGBTQ+ people with disabilities. There were over 150 participants in attendance. 

You can watch each of the panel presentations below.

Doris Rajan, Director of Social Development at IRIS introduced the session with a summary of learnings from a local to national initiative funded by Justice Canada. She outlines some of the key barriers and promising practices in relation to the issue of access to justice for systemically marginalized people with disabilities. 

Joyce Fossella, Executive Director of Warriors Against Violence Society in Vancouver, speaks about Indigenous peoples, gender-based violence and the need for a Community Safe House. 

Michael Bach, Managing Director at IRIS speaks about the ‘right to decide’ for people with disabilities and compounding impacts for Indigenous and racialized peoples. 

Kelly Johnson, with Thunder Woman Healing Lodge Society in Toronto, speaks about the experiences of Indigenous women with disabilities and the justice system. Kelly is an Indigenous front-line worker from the reservation of Six Nations Ontario and has worked in the housing and homeless sector for 5 plus years as an advocate for Indigenous women and their families who experience Intergenerational traumas from poverty, mental health, and human rights violations. 

Fran Odette, with George Brown College’s Assaulted Women & Children Counselor Advocate Program, speaks about the experiences of 2SLGBTQ+ people with disabilities and the justice system. Fran  is a feminist and disability rights activist for over 25 years, with a focus on the intersections between gender, disability and sexualities.   

Quinn Saretsky, Executive Director of Elizabeth Fry Society Manitoba, speaks about race, disability, and incarceration. Quinn is a Métis woman and holds a BA from the University of Winnipeg in Politics and an MA in Indigenous Governance from the University of Victoria.  Her community work is premised on building anti-colonial community-based praxis that incorporates Indigenous feminism and land-based healing methodologies into violence prevention and de-carceration strategies in Manitoba. 

Ingrid Palmer, CEO of Focus on Ability, speaks about racialized, Black/African-Caribbean/African people with disabilities and the justice system. Ingrid is an award-winning inspirational speaker, a diversity and inclusion consultant, and program coordinator. As a partially sighted woman of colour, Ingrid works with organizations to build stronger and supportive communities. A former Crown Ward herself, Ingrid has championed causes in the child welfare, disability, education, housing, and poverty sectors.  

Access the transcript from the community conversation portion of the event here. 

This event was made possible through financial support from Justice Canada as part of Victims and Survivors of Crime Week, 2020.