Healing Justice Lending Library FAQ

contact us at: hjlloberlin@gmail.com or facebook.com/hjlloberlin

What is the Healing Justice Lending Library?

The Healing Justice Lending Library will house a collection of healing tools circulated in the style of a library, ranging from mobility devices, like wheelchairs, scooters, crutches and canes, to sensory tools, like weighted blankets, to heating pads and trauma kits.

The Library will also serve as a community building space, and an entry point into conversations about radical healing, disability justice, and generational trauma.

What is healing justice?

Healing Justice is a framework that was developed in 2010 at the US Social Forum in Detroit. As described by INCITE! organizer Cara Page, activists and organizers at the forum “built two political and philosophical convergences of healing inside of liberation”, a Healing Justice Practice Space and a People’s Movement Assembly on health, healing justice and liberation. Page defines Healing Justice as  “a framework that identifies how we can holistically respond to and intervene on generational trauma and violence and to bring collective practices that can impact and transform the consequences of oppression on our bodies, hearts and minds”. Healing justice takes the principles of disability justice and extends them to address generational trauma and violence, as well as ableism.

For more please see:


What is disability justice?

Disability Justice is a framework that was first developed in 2005 by a group of queer and trans, disabled, majority POC activists who began discussing a ‘second wave’ of the disability rights movement that would center people at the intersections of multiple forms of oppression. They were a group of disabled and chronically ill people who had been politicized in liberation movements that didn’t address disability, but did not feel at home in the disability rights movement. They criticized the disability rights movement for its single issue politics and emphasis on legal and bureaucratic strategy. They also felt isolated from the disability rights movement due to racism, queerphobia and an emphasis on assimilation within a capitalist system that they called “incompatible with life”.

Over the summer of 2015, Sins Invalid, a performance project and disability justice incubator founded by Patty Berne and Leroy Moore, both part of the 2005 group that developed the disability justice framework, published ten principles of disability justice, to try to document and clarify the emerging movement. The ten principles are intersectionality, leadership of those most impacted, anti-capitalist politic, commitment to cross-movement organizing, recognizing wholeness, sustainability, commitment to cross disability solidarity, interdependence, collective access and collective liberation.

For a more in depth explanation of disability justice, please read “Disability Justice- A working draft” by Patty Berne (http://sinsinvalid.org/blog/disability-justice-a-working-draft-by-patty-berne)


How do you define “disabled”?

We define “disabled” expansively, following the lead from Sins Invalid who write: “We define disability broadly to include people with physical impairments, people who belong to a sensory minority, people with emotional disabilities, people with cognitive challenges, and those with chronic/severe illness. We understand the experience of disability to occur within any and all walks of life, with deeply felt connections to all communities impacted by the medicalization of their bodies, including trans, gender variant and intersex people, and others whose bodies do not conform to our culture(s)’ notions of “normal” or “functional.” We recognize that there is a vast range of experiences within disability and are committed to cross-disability solidarity. We are united by the political objectives of dismantling ableism and collective liberation.”


What is generational trauma?

When we say “survivors of generational trauma,” we are talking about the many different communities who have survived systematic violence for generations, including Black, indigenous, colonized communities. We also know that most communities who have survived this trauma continue to experience and survive systematic violence in the present day.  Recent scientific scholarship has begun to catch up with what movement leaders have known for a long time, that oppression, generational trauma and violence can have lasting impacts on our bodies and minds, even if we were not the ones to experience the violence firsthand. Therefore, we see generational trauma survivors as inherently linked to both healing and disability justice.


How will the library system function?

All items in the library that are reusable will be circulated in a borrow and return system, just like taking out a book, but you might be taking out a TENS machine!


Do I need documentation to check items out of the library?

No!! It is very important to us that we do not ask for proof of disability. We trust your knowledge of your body and your needs. To check an item out of the library, all you have to do is to make an account with our catalogue and provide contact information so we can remind you when the item is due.


I don’t identify as disabled! What is my place in the library?

While we center self-identified disabled people in our work, we agree with the statement of the Getting Proud: Disability Justice and Collective Access Network Gathering at the 2016 Allied Media Conference who write that some  “people who may experience disability oppression do not self-select as disabled because of the community-specific stigmas that are associated with this identity.” Additionally, many people who are not disabled are still in need of healing, especially members of communities that have experienced generational trauma. For this reason, anyone can check out an item from the library.

In terms of involvement with organizing the library, we have lots of work that needs to be done and welcome the support and solidarity of non-disabled folks. It is important to us that we maintain leadership within communities that have experienced generational trauma and disabled communities. For that reason, our Advisory Board, the mechanism that is responsible for large scale decision making, is only open to people who identify as a member of one of those communities. All of the other teams of volunteers are open for non-disabled folks. We really would love your support!


How can I educate myself and/or find resources?

We will be uploading resources to our facebook group facebook.com/hjlloberlin as well as our website which is currently under construction. We will also be offering frequent Healing Justice Lending Library info sessions, and are in the process of developing a disability justice 101 workshop as well as a Healing Justice Exco for Fall 2017.   


How can I get involved?

The Healing Justice Lending Library has many working groups that you can be a part of. We are in need of a variety of different skills from zine making, to website design, to group recruitment. If you have a skill that you would like to contribute to the library, please let us know! We have time based tasks that honor of the different amount of time and energy that individuals can give to the library at any given time. Contact us at hjlloberlin@gmail.com for more information on how you can get involved.