September 9, 2021

“Disability is part of the human experience”

More than a billion people in the world are disabled. And yet ableism is woven into everyday life—shutting people with disabilities out of everything from job opportunities to housing to public transportation.

How can we better understand disability as part of the human experience, and move toward a more inclusive and equitable world? To help everyone have the tools and language to fight ableism, the brilliant Emily Ladau—writer, activist, and founding member of The Meteor—has written Demystifying Disability: What to Know, What to Say, and How to Be an Ally.


The editor in chief of Rooted in Rights and co-host of “The Accessible Stall” podcast, Ladau’s writing has appeared in The New York Times and HuffPost.

You can get a sneak peek of her new book on our site, where she shares some of her story and ways we can all help build a more inclusive world. Plus head over to our Instagram this Friday, September 10 at 3pm ET, where she’ll be LIVE in conversation with another member of The Meteor collective Liz Plank. The event will have a link to stream live captioning. ⁠See you there!



“It is pretty wild to start a podcast in the middle of a pandemic and a revolution and right before a life-changing election. But you know what? That was the point.” So begins Brittany Packnett Cunningham on the season finale of UNDISTRACTED, pointing out that the podcast takes its name from Toni Morrison’s famous quote: “The function of racism…is distraction…. It keeps you from doing your work.”

But even through the year’s distractions, Packnett Cunningham sat down with “thought leaders, freedom fighters…artists and poets and mothers and friends,” examining the week’s news through an intersectional lens. To wrap up Season 1, the UNDISTRACTED staff shared their favorite moments:

Raquel Willis discussing “the complexity of gender and identity”: “One of the things that I am particularly hungry and thirsty for…is for more and more people to understand that we’re all gender nonconforming.” (Shared by producer Rachel Matlow)

The “Nap Bishop” Tricia Hersey on the radical act of rest: “Rest is your divine right; it’s a human right.” (Shared by Ayesha Johnson)

Nikole Hannah-Jones encouraging Black people to “take ownership and pride” of the U.S.: “We built this country and we have a right to claim it.” (Shared by Brittany Packnett Cunningham)

Representative Cori Bush recounting her January 6 experience: “At not one point did I feel like I was about to die…what I felt like was, if you touch these doors and if you come in this place trying to get at my staff…we bangin’ until the end.” (Shared by associate producer Taylor Hosking)

Black Voters Matter founder LaTosha Brown singing when asked about the ancestors who guide her: “Oh, freedom, oh, freedom, freedom over me, over me and before I be a slave, I’ll be buried in my grave, and go home to my Lord and be free.” (Shared by Cindi Leive)

Connie Walker on the present (not just past) of Indigenous women: “This is not ancient history. This is something that is happening now.” (Shared by Treasure Brooks)

Hear the full highlight reel, and catch up on episodes you may have missed, wherever you get your podcasts. We’ll be back with Season 2 in the fall.

Listen on Apple Podcasts,  SpotifyStitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.