The Launch of Patient No More Exhibit

>> Hello everybody and welcome. This is great And this is what inspiration looks like. This is fabulous. I’m so glad you’re here. This is three years of work, scores of people, hundreds of conversations, thousands and thousands of decisions. And here we are at last to celebrate a key overlooked moment in U.S. history that paved the way for the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA, that was signed into law 25 years ago exactly [ Applause ] Now, while everyone else across the country honors the ADA today, our exhibit focuses on a key moment that made it possible, what is known as the Section 504 occupation of San Francisco’s federal building in April 1977 [ Applause ] This is the heart and soul of disability rights, of pushing back, of saying, “We won’t put up with being second-class citizens another day.” Think about it. More than 100 people with disabilities and their allies sacrificed everything — health, jobs, relationships — to camp out in a government building for 26 days until they got what they wanted, enforcement of a law that said any entity that received government money — a school, a university, a hospital, a post office — could not discriminate against someone with a disability. 13 years later, the ADA expanded on this with a national law that prohibits discrimination solely on the basis of disability in employment, public services, and accommodations. I’m Catherine Kudlick, and I’m director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State >> Woo hoo >> Yea [ Applause ] “Patient No More” is part of our mission to bring together scholarship, activism, and the arts; to upend old thinking about people with disabilities. We approach disability as a creative challenge, as a beginning rather than as an end. Named for disability activist and historian Paul K. Longmore, the Longmore Institute seeks to fight the stigma and prejudice against people with disabilities that led to as- — that lead to astronomical unemployment rates, housing discrimination, repeated cuts in services, lack of opportunity. We do this by planting new ideas, new stories into the heads of disabled and nondisabled people alike “Patient No More” is the best example I can think of for replacing dreary stories of low expectations, limited capacity, and disabled people as needy takers who offer nothing with a tale of grit, determination, ingenuity, and making real contributions that lead to deep, far-reaching change for everyone. Once teachers, service providers, politicians, potential employers, colleagues, neighbors, and, of course, kids have better images of people with disabilities, there’s no telling what we can make happen [ Applause ] We come from a proud tradition of people with — who dreamed big and took action. Today, we gather in a building named for one of them, Ed Roberts. And today, we honor more: Organizers Kitty Cone, who sadly died back in March; and Judy Heumann, who is in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the ADA; plus dozens of 504 protestors and allies who are here in person, in videos, in photos, and in recordings. Shortly, Ron Washington, Jeff Moyer, Dennis Billups, and others will join me up here to — for the celebration. Now, each participant is wearing a name tag that says “Emergency 504 Coalition Member.” If you can’t read name tags, just ask anybody to introduce you to one. They’re out and about and here. And — but right now — so the room can honor you 504 folks, please let everyone know who you are. Stand up, call out, wave, pound, or whatever way works [ Applause ] This is what inspiration looks like. The kiosks here in the atrium and over in the rotunda

look deceptively simple. But as you’ll soon discover or may have discovered already, fasci- — there’s a fascinating story full of passion and surprises. Be sure to check out the access features that we built in from the beginning: an audio tour, Braille rail, American Sign Language, captioning, text size, heights of objects, and more. I think of our exhibit as continuing the spirit of resourcefulness, collaboration, and playfulness at the heart of the 504 protest. Our goal was to share this remarkable story with as many people as possible, to promote innovative forms of access, and to celebrate people who made a real difference. As you wander around the kiosks, you’ll notice that we tried to create an exhibit that offers a rich experience for all visitors, an approach that’s still all too rare. We’re especially proud of the captivating videos of stories told by 504 participants, many who have never been heard from before It was a great experience to watch SF State students, who are roughly the same age as the protestors back in 1977, interview an earlier generation of social justice activists We’re also proud that the various stations of the exhibit are models of ingenuity that fit in tight spaces like elevators and go places not necessarily designed for them And who would have known there could be so many ways to contribute to history through an exhibit. In honor of the 504 struggle, we invite you to broadcast your own disability message. There are stations in the rotunda and — with a bullhorn and a camera where you can share with the world what makes you “Patient No More.” And just as sometimes being subversive was the only way for 504 occupiers to get through the day, we’ve left some unexpected, quirky details to spice up your visit. In the spirit of 504, I invite you to meet others at the kiosks and experience a new form of camaraderie. You might befriend a Braille reader or an eye user. So together, you may discover unexpected. This is what inspiration looks like. As we gather to celebrate what happened back in 1977 and the ADA, we must remember that much work remains. People back then engaged in a breed of activism that wouldn’t be possible today. Despite these remarkable accomplishments, many people don’t enjoy disability rights, and too many aren’t even aware that such rights exist. Yet activism lives on in new forms, as this exhibit shows. Really, this is what inspiration looks like. Thinking ahead to the future, I hope that teachers, students, and the public will leave with new tools for approaching disability as opportunity and disabled people as agents of change. And I hope that through this exhibit you, too, will be inspired to spread the message embodied in the 504 protest. We’d be delighted to partner with anyone to bring the exhibit to communities and groups. Thanks to funding from Cal Humanities, we have a traveling version of the exhibit At the Longmore Institute, we’re excited to already be planning future projects and expand ongoing ones like Superfest: international Disability Film Festival, which will be in mid-November [ Applause ] But as all of you know, these things take a lot of money, more than our budget allows If you believe in the importance and uniqueness of an exhibit like this one, I ask that you consider donating to the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability to give us a chance to continue work in this spirit. There’s information in your program and online about how to support the institute. And if you aren’t on our mailing list already, be sure to sign up and follow us on social media to get the latest news After three years of work, how can I even begin to thank everyone who needs this — who made this experience amazing and gave so much of their time, energy, creative spirit. Many more are printed in your program, so let me just pull out a few here. Thanks to everyone at the Ed Roberts Campus who welcomed us into your space. Thanks to Pino Trogu; Silvan Linn; Sachi Cunningham; Robert Eap; Tim Kerbavaz; Gizmo Art Production; and Digital Fusion Media, who worked on the mural and exhibit itself Thanks to Anthony Tusler and HolLynn D’Lil, who generously donated their photographs which

you’ll appreciate throughout the exhibit Anthony has been helping behind the scenes on many things, and HolLynn has a book with many of her 504 photographs for sale back near the cafe to the left of where — the other left — toward the right — toward the screen — the big screen near the cafe to the left of the fountain, and you can get copies there. Thanks to all of our donors But, in particular, there’s San Francisco State University that has been behind this project in many ways, large and small, for the past three years. Thanks also to funding from the East Bay Community Foundation and Cal Humanities. We also benefited from generous in-kind donations from LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired — Talon Entertainment hired them for your AV needs — James LaBrecht at Berkeley Sound Artists, and SF State’s Disability Programs and Resource Center. And a big thank to all — big thanks to all our volunteers for today. And — [ Applause ] And how to thank my core team and our amazing significant others. There’s curator and graphic designer Fran Osborne, who I’m sure you’ll agree came up with an incredible exhibit [ Applause ] And there’s content developer and project manager associate director Emily Beitiks, who made everything happen [ Applause ] Yeah. She made everything happen, and she does it with — making, almost, it seem effortless It’s incredible. There aren’t words for this kind of thanks. Just know there wasn’t a day when I didn’t pinch myself about how lucky I was to work with the two of you. Nor are there adequate words for expressing thanks to the participants of 504 then and now, here and gone. It boils down to something quite simply real — simple, really. You made the world a better place, and we all owe you the gift of carrying your work forward. Thanks to you, I can say with all my heart that I know what inspiration looks like, a feeling I know that everyone in this room shares Thank you [ Cheering and applause ] Now, it’s my great pleasure to give you a taste of the exhibit by showing the intro video called “This is 504.” San Francisco State journalism professor Sachi Cunningham created this overview with us, which lasts about 12 minutes. And it has captioning and audio description. It’s over on the — people on this side of the room where the video is, make a big, loud noise over there. It’s over — I guess those of you that can see, I’m pointing that way. And — anyway, enjoy >> How about it? Yeah

[ Applause ]

>> For people that are still looking for seating, we have some over by the rotunda over by the main entrance. Okay. Since 1977, many occupiers have passed away. And I’d like to introduce protest participant Ron Washington, who you just saw in the video. We worked especially hard to track him down, and we’re super glad we did. And he will offer a commemoration Ron [ Applause ] >> Good afternoon, everyone. It’s a pleasure to see so many faces that I have not seen in — since the demonstration. I learned, since being here today, that Kitty Cone has

passed on and many, many more has passed on And if we could just have a moment of silence in memory of all of those who participated And without them, it would not have been as successful as it is today. Thank you. Thank you and enjoy your day >> Thanks, Ron [ Applause ] >> Ron [ Applause ] >> Our next guest perhaps needs no introduction, at least to the 504 participants. He serenaded them for 26 days and probably more with the victory and all that. And he drove out from Colorado. Jeff Moyer is a songwriter and 504 participant, and he will sing “Hold On.” That was kind of the anthem for 504. For those who want to sing along — I’m talking slowly so he can get set up here. For those who want to sing along, the lyrics start on Page 5 in your program. And the song he’s singing, again, is called “Hold On.” And some of you from 504 will know the words already. All right? [ Inaudible ] >> Okay >> When we were planning the demonstration — actually, there were — the four key planners: Kitty Cone; Dick Santos, who also has passed; Mary Jane Owen; and Judy Heumann. And then there was a teach-in. And during the teach-in, I said, “Well, has anyone thought about a bullhorn?” And they hadn’t, so I needed to go get a bullhorn. And I said, “Well, how about some music?” They thought that would be a good idea. So I went home and went through my Pete Seeger albums. And “Hold On” was just such a wonderful, stirring song. So as we ended the protest, there was a program. And Ed Roberts spoke, and then I played “Hold On,” and then we went into the building. And I was not one of the 26-day heroes at all I had a young family, an infant son, and I was commuting, but I was fortunate enough to have a little part in it. So are we ready — >> Yeah >> — Sound guys? All right [ Music ] Civil Rights were knocking at our door, but Carter wouldn’t stand on 504. Keep your eye on the prize and hold on. Hold on. You’ve got to hold on. Keep your eye on the prize Hold on. After four years of delay, we’ve come to claim the ground we’d gained. We had our eye on the prize and held on. Hold on You’ve got to hold on. Keep your eye on the prize and hold on. Well, a movement standing strong and tight with one dream to win our civil rights. Keep your eye on the prize and hold on. Now, you carry it [ Music ] Hold on. Well, for 26 days, unafraid, 125 people with and without disabilities stayed They had their eye on the prize. They held on. Hold on

[ Music ] 38 years have rolled on past the door, but we still must fight for 504 >> Yeah >> Keep your eye on the prize and hold on Hold on. You’ve got to hold on. Keep your eye on the prize and hold on. We won’t stop until the battle is won and enforcement of the law has begun. Keep your eye on the prize and hold on [ Music ] Keep your eye on the prize. Hold on. Well, civil rights knocking at our door, but Carter wouldn’t stand on 504. We had our eye on the prize, and we held on. Hold on. You’ve got to hold on. Keep your eye on the prize and hold on. Hold on. You’ve got to hold on. Keep your eye on the prize. Keep your eye on the prize. Keep your eye on the prize. Hold on >> Yea. [Applause] >> Thank you, Jeff. Thank you so, so much >> Thank you, Cathy >> Thank you. Thank you. It gives me now great pleasure to introduce Dennis Billups, 504’s chief morale officer, who will introduce some 504 “Patient No More” chants. Once we connected with Dennis, we knew we were dealing with a kind of force of nature, and it became immediately clear that his title as chief morale officer is very well deserved. Dennis. Oops. Sorry >> Okay >> Is this all right? >> All right. Good afternoon, everyone [ Multiple speakers ] It’s a honor and a pleasure to hear the voices, the faces, the memories after so long being in 504. It’s been almost 38 years, almost 40 years. Many have gone before us to make sure this happened, and I just would like to say thank you because, without your participation and your help and your divine love, we would not be here today. So I would like to just say, my story begins with 504 when I decided that the schools and the institutions were not helping us enough and we needed to do more things. So when I entered the 504 building, I decided either it was going to be make or break, and we broke. I want to say thank you to the people at San Francisco State as well And I’d ask one favor of you. I was evicted out of my home two months ago, so I would like to ask you if you could call Wells Fargo and MOHAD [phonetic] and just say, “I support Dennis Billups.” All right? Besides that, let’s get on with the function, and let’s do a 504. Are we ready? Okay. All right. All right. This is a old 504 one. I think I remember this one. I think I wrote this one. I’m not sure. [laughter] Okay. It goes, 1, 2, 504 >> 1, 2, 504 >> Kicking in the bathroom door >> Kicking in the bathroom door >> Open up those stations that >> Open up those stations that >> We’re number one citizens. That’s a fact >> We’re number one citizens. That’s a fact

>> Sound off >> Sound off >> 1, 2 >> 1, 2 >> Sound off 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4 >> Sound off >> — Off, 1, 2. Sound off >> Sound off >> 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. We’re rolling in victory now. We’re coming to the victory now We’re open the door. We don’t [inaudible] now. Sound off >> Sound off >> 1, 2 >> 1, 2 >> 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. Thank you [ Applause ] >> Wonderful >> Was that two minutes? >> No. You’re good >> So we’ve — in the spirit of having — thank you, Dennis that was wonderful. In the spirit of kind of keeping the activism alive, we have the interactive stations in the rotunda area. We’ve invited a couple of people up to give us inspiration about these — the right kind of inspiration about these sort of things that make us patient no more. And our first presenter will be Justin Steinberg, who’s part of a new generation of disability activists. Justin >> Thank you. Thank you [ Applause ] All right. I am patient no more because we need more accessible playgrounds for future children with disabilities [ Applause ] >> Next, we have Bruce Oka — >> Yeah >> — who’s a 504 participant, and he will tell us what makes him patient no more >> Hey >> Hey, buddy >> Bruce >> It’s good to see everybody >> Yea [ Applause ] >> I am patient no more because I’m tired of being excluded. We need to be included more by our city and state government officials Our lives need to matter more to them than they do. They certainly matter a lot to us So we need to make them understand that if they don’t include us, we’re going to kick in the door >> All right [ Cheering and applause ] >> Thank you, Bruce. Our next presenter will be Mahalia LeClerc [phonetic], who was an intern at the Longmore Institute, and she’s going to tell us what makes her patient no more >> I am patient no more because, in grade school, they told me to put my problems in a paper bag and leave them outside the door instead of giving me accommodation. I’m patient no more because, in high school, they told me accommodations would be a crutch that held me back and to not use them. I am patient no more because, in high — in college, it cost me over $900 that my insurance company would not cover to prove that I had a disability so that I could access accommodations in school I am patient no more because accommodations are a crutch. And like a crutch, they help me to walk, to be successful, and they definitely do not hold me back [ Applause ] >> Our next presenter is Corbett O’Toole, who was in the 504 inside the building. Corbett [ Applause ] >> I am patient no more that even though families were part of the 504 sit-in, families that have disabled people in them are still treated with incredible disrespect. And families that have parents and grandparents who have disabilities lose our children at alarming rates. And that’s going on. There’s only two lawyers in the United States that are available to families who are losing custody of their kids, and so most of us are losing custody of our kids when it’s challenged >> Thank you. Thanks, Corbett [ Applause ] And our final presenter is Catherine Murphy, who was a student assistant at the Longmore Institute. And, Catie . . >> I’m patient no more because the Judge Rotenberg Center, a residential facility in Canton, Massachusetts, uses aversive electric shocks, that is, jolts, as punishment and behavioral conditioning for its disabled students, the majority of whom are black and Latino >> Thanks, Catie [ Applause ] So, again, be sure to record or otherwise register what makes you patient no more in

the rotunda. I want to thank everyone for coming to help us celebrate this amazing moment, and we hope to hear from you if you’re interested in partnering and/or supporting our work Without further ado, go forth and go out and explore the exhibit and the world. Thank you very, very much for coming [ Applause ]