From: "'Andrew Phelps'"

To: <>

Cc: Friends

Subject: [S-ACC] habit change, institutional upgrade

Date: Wed 07/08/15 12:47 AM



The "Mad Lives Matter" workshop at the San José Social Forum brought about 25 persons and went well, in a working kind of way.

flyer here

program here

We are moving past the “first wave” of the client/survivor movement — a lengthy process, and we took a step forward. Each of us knows more than we were able to say, so let the conversation continue! We promoted habit change as the personal discipline of moving forward with grassroots activism working from the lived experience of trauma, and notably youthful trauma. And we promoted institutional upgrade as the social discipline of transcending the oppression deriving from our social condition.

For habit work, Delphine Brody spoke to the “mad map” for carrying forward along the beauty path; she wanted to say more. Then Celeste DiGenova read Christina De Haro's talk on “breaking barriers” text here and also made personal comment; Hope Holland spoke to her personal integrity in love for her family in current crisis. Melissa Martinez - who had met with Hope the night before - could not handle readily the immediate lived experience derivative of “family abuse,” and did not present. I spoke to the habit change lived experience of “culture change” and of my work on behalf of Basaglia's Vision in collaboration with Berkeley Medical Anthropology.

For institutional upgrade, the U.S. Social Forum frame of another world is possible empowered bring[ing] together the student activism at De Anza College with that at San José City College. Metaphorically, the apple of Cupertino (home of Apple, Inc.) met what seemed like the orange (actually the SJCC Jaguar colors are purple and gold). Marquis Johnson (known as “Drew”) presented the second part of the workshop. He presented on “Mad Merikkka” and how the madness of our society needs to be challenged for “disability justice.”

Delphine’s summary for the conference organizers is available here. I would stress that “disability advocacy,” the dominant thread at the Social Forum, indeed needs to be understood as insufficient to embrace how “mad lives matter.” Also, I would note that two days after, an Oakland, CA activist from the “Black Lives Matter” advocacy there challenged what seemed (to her) to be a “copy” movement being created. That is not however what was intended — rather we mean to invoke the social change metaphor as we work for dignity and respect for the ‘mad’, and for a new institutional paradigm for the phenomenology of ‘madness’.