Sunday, March 20, 2016

UNCSW 2016: Sarah Watkins

The UNCSW began March 14. The Episcopal Women's Caucus and The Episcopal Church Women have partnered to help support the Episcopal Delegates to the UNCSW. In the comments section are instructions for donating. 

Here is Sarah Watkins' story:

I am a UNCSW delegate from the Diocese of Texas. I am a member of St. James' Episcopal Church, Austin, where I serve on the vestry and worship with an emerging Latino missional community.

For the last decade, I have been heavily involved in local, state, and national efforts to end the warehousing of people with disabilities in nursing homes and other institutions. As a woman with a significant physical disability who depends on the paid support of other women to live my daily life, the fight to end unnecessary institutionalization and extend quality community-based services to anyone who needs them is deeply personal.

I currently serve as president of Community Now!, a grassroots organization working to right-size the system of large, publicly-operated institutions in Texas and expand alternatives to institutionalization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. I also volunteer as a legal assistant with a local immigration attorney who represents women and children locked up in detention centers for fleeing violence in their home countries.

I come to UNCSW passionate about the many intersecting injustices faced by women with disabilities and women immigrants, including physical and social isolation; increased risk for sexual and other forms of violence; and economic marginalization. I am particularly excited to use this opportunity to highlight the need for global action to promote the community integration and full potential of women and girls with disabilities. I look forward to encouraging The Episcopal Church and our faith partners to engage more fully in the ongoing work of seeking social justice for women, girls and all people with disabilities.   

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