Natalia M. Rivera-Morales
Master of Arts in Latin American Studies, 2013
“I support the creation of a Disability Cultural Center because disabled students and scholars constitute a significant and legitimate part of diversity. Despite our undeniable presence in Georgetown, we are invariably underrepresented in all facets of university culture. Ableism—discrimination against disabled people—is a quotidian reality for disabled members of the Georgetown community. I believe it is our duty as disabled students, faculty, and alumni to belie the pervasive notion of disability as a misfortune. A Disability Cultural Center would generate an inclusive university culture that promotes effective self-advocacy and fosters empowered disabled identities.”
Natalia M. Rivera-Morales is originally from Bayamón, Puerto Rico and has resided in the U.S. mainland since the age of seven. She is a proud self-advocate who is committed to ameliorating the representation of women and minorities within the cross-disability community. Her interests comprise feminist philosophy, critical disability theory, Latin American intellectual thought and literature, and Cuban gastronomy. Natalia is the Leadership Programs Coordinator for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
Image: Natalia, a young Latina woman with shoulder-length wavy dark brown hair, wearing a horizontally thin striped shirt, is sitting in a large white woven porch chair while holding a printed sign that says, “Disability Justice for Georgetown! DISABLED AND PROUD!” with the word “proud” underlined. Above this is the old logo for the American Association of People with Disabilities, which has four tiles in a square, clockwise from top left, a person in a wheelchair, a head with the brain colored in, a person walking with a cane for the blind, and two hands giving the sign for ASL.