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August 21, 2019

Adult Education

Written by: Julia Smolucha

Public Affairs with Pia Justesen

From the Periphery on sale at The Book Stall

Pia Justesen’s new book From the Periphery, is full of real-life stories of people with disabilities. All are welcome to discuss disability oppression, inclusive societies, and equality at this presentation in the Culbertson Room on Monday, October 28 at 7 p.m. For more information on this program please contact Julie Peterson.

From the Periphery consists of around 40 first-person narratives of everyday people and activists who describe what it’s like to be treated differently by society because of various visible and invisible disabilities. Race, class, and intersectionality are recurring motifs. The stories are raw and painful, but also surprisingly funny and deeply moving. The oral histories describe anger, independence, bigotry, solidarity and love—in the family, at school and at the workplace. Inspired by the oral historians Studs Terkel and Svetlana Alexievich, From the Periphery will become a classic oral history collection and a landmark work that will increase the understanding of the lived experiences of people with disabilities, their responses to oppression, and their coping strategies.

Pia Justesen, PhD, is a Danish human rights lawyer, professor and writer who moved to the United States in 2014. In Chicago she has taught disability rights at the University of Illinois and worked with the independent living organization Access Living. She has an extensive list of publications on human rights and discrimination issues. Her work focuses specifically on the human rights of racial minorities and persons with disabilities. In Denmark she also worked as a corporate social responsibility advisor and a labor union lawyer, specializing in employment law. She lives with her family in Evanston, IL. Tom Harkin served as US Senator from Iowa from 1985 to 2015. He coauthored the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and was its chief sponsor in the Senate.