Disability - The Blind Spot in Climate Activism

10jun4:00 pm6:30 pmDisability - The Blind Spot in Climate ActivismOnline via Zoom, Edinburgh United Kingdom4:00 pm - 6:30 pm OrganiserExtinction Rebellion ScotlandEvent TypeWebinar & Talks

Event Details

Do you value equality in your life and the work that you do? Is social justice on your agenda?

Would you like to overcome the hypocrisies that detract from your integrity and connection to environmental and social justice work?

Everybody possesses inherent prejudices that we carry in our daily lives. Ableism is present at all levels of society, often left unspoken, it is the essence of othering, stating what is desirable and not desirable. It is an ‘ugly’ issue to address and is often left at the bottom of the pile when doing anti-oppression work in activism including anti-racism work, anti-sexism work etc. In reality this means that addressing ableism meaningfully forces us to direct the lens of attention onto ourselves to start to understand and unpick these patterns of behaviour.

Emily Obree is an experienced disabled activist who will guide us through this process in a judgement free environment. This session will explore the wider narratives surrounding disability, it’s history and more specifically it’s history in Environmental movements.

A critical eye will be cast constructively onto XR, as one of the largest movements in the UK it bears considerable burden of responsibility to establish best practice. Together we will look at what has gone wrong in the climate movement with regards to disability and inclusivity and signpost the way to changing this together, to create a more inclusive, fair, just and sustainable society. That process starts at home. This is a messy and nuanced fight and the inner work we each do speaks volumes.

This will be the first of two sessions, and we strongly encourage you to sign up for both.

Session 1 will be about unpicking this issue in detail and in a relatable context. It will focus on what history has taught us, what has not worked, what is perpetuating harm. It will be a listening space to hear directly from a disabled activist and to learn from the emotional work she has personally put in to process these traumas. It will be personal and thus needs to be taken sensitively and compassionately. This is not a space for people without disability to take space to express how they feel offended, feel a need to defend themselves with regards to this issue. Leave your egos and know we are here together to make this better together.

Session 2 will be more of an interactive discussion more open to wider experiential understanding, empathy response and solutions. It will focus on what positive steps we can take going forward. The date is yet to be confirmed but we aim to have it before July

Each will last for 2.5 hours including a 15 minute break for personal reflection and a snack.

A pre-recorded session will be made available and the attended session will not be recorded.

Financial contribution. We have a role in reshaping the economic world around us. Culturally it has become acceptable for much of the ‘public good’ work, the caring work, the justice work to come from volunteer labour or low waged workers. Essentially we believe we must pay oppressed people for their labour in undoing the oppressors that live within us. Therefore we are asking for funding through a sliding scale contribution.
£3, £7 and £12

Accessibility. We are providing some free spaces for those who are not able to pay for this. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a free space you are really welcome! If you need additional support for example a pre-sent transcript, a buddy during the meeting who you meet before to provide emotional support please get in touch with us at [email protected] and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Please sign up here for the event https://xrsjustice.bpt.me

About the speaker:

Emily identifies as a disabled-diability and climate crisis activist. For the last 2 years Emily has been a highly active member of the Glasgow Disability Alliance, a charity by disabled people for disabled people focusing on advocacy and rights for disability in Scotland. She has been a part of the ‘Drivers for change’ group pressuring the government for policies and education including writing the material and reviewing it with the government. Since the age of 17 she has been involved in the zeitgeist movement of a resource based economy and social movement science. Emily also has been involved in digital privacy/rights and hacker-space autonomy which she has applied in the context of speaking out against unjust police surveillance.



(Wednesday) 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm


Extinction Rebellion Scotland

Extinction Rebellion Scotland is a non-violent direct-action movement formed to take urgent action in the face of climate emergency and ecological catastrophe, as part of the global justice movement.

Learn More