A Gentle Word

Image Description: The logo for Detroit Disability Power. The name of the organization is on the right with a swirl of various colors on the left. Visit Detroit Disability Power here: https://www.detroitdisabilitypower.org/

Detroit Disability Power is a non-partisan organizing collective that advocates for people with disabilities through the intersectional framework of Disability Justice. Over the weekend, I attended their virtual event in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. This event included music, poetry, and workshops.

Detroit Disability Power places high value on accessibility and adds time and space to ensure that everyone is fully included. When we all arrived on the shared Zoom, there were many more participants than expected (a great outcome) so it was taking longer to make sure everyone could be assigned to the correct breakout rooms for their workshops.

One of the leaders apologized for the extra time this was taking, and right then, someone said in the chat,

“This is a gracious space.”

And I loved that.

Yes, it was a gracious space. It’s okay to take time. Inclusion is worth it. And this is certainly needed when an event has many more participants than expected.

I found myself thinking about the power of a gentle word. Sometimes, we can say a soft, true statement, and it puts everyone at ease.

“This is a gracious space.”

That’s a gentle word.

Renee Roederer

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