MDRC cultivates disability pride and strengthens the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression.
“Holding an event like this is important because it’s crucial that others know that they aren’t alone and that they are on a journey like everyone else. With this event, girls build onto skills, learn new skills, make new friends, and most importantly become confident of ourselves, our disabilities and what we can do” ~ 2012 Her Power! Participant
What is Her Power!?
Her Power! Her Pride! Her Voice! is an annual event for high school girls with disabilities in Michigan. This event uses accessible art techniques because of their universal ability for any girl to express herself. This four day event holds conversations around media to help girls explore their multiple identities. Talking about media is a perfect tool to dive into topics essential to building confidence.
Media and the commercial advertisers have worked hard to sell every aspect of a girl’s life, from how she is supposed to look, act, and think, to who she is supposed to believe, trust, and impress. Critically exploring media brings up such topics as:
The weekend moves beyond a program focused on “self-esteem.” Every topic from why we may feel bad when we look at ourselves in the mirror, to why we believe walking is superior mode of movement over rolling is explored. We look at who tells us these lies, and what we can do to dismantle them. As a group, we explore what it means to be a girl teen with a disability, in today's world. We challenge stereotypes and shatter myths about what it mean to be a girl with a disability through interactive art-based activities.identity, body issues, how media perpetuates girl bullying, violence against women and their bodies, role models, and social change.
The girls’ artwork sends powerful messages. Messages included in the artwork: “Proud to be big,” “Yes I am awesome, special, beautiful, strong, witty and proud, BUT so are you!!” “If Barbie was real we would all kick her plastic butt” “Happy to be disabled” “Proud and powerful” For more information, click here.
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“This event empowers these young ladies to be independent. It shows them that they can depend on their own decisions, and it’s OK to be ‘different’ and to embrace those differences with grace and confidence.”