We take responsibility and apologize for the hurtful and damaging actions that have taken place under ADAPT’s name. There is no excuse. It is wholly unacceptable for ADAPT leaders to pit other groups fighting for freedom against one another – no one is free until we all are free. The ADAPT Chapters cosigning this statement are dedicated to changing the way ADAPT is currently operating on a National level, how we address racist, ableist, nationalist, homophobic, transphobic, sexist, classist, and all hate speech within our ADAPT community, and get back on the path of direct action grassroots community organizing to Free All People.
The undersigned ADAPT chapters know words don’t excuse actions that have already taken place; words and apologies do not fix the damage that has been done; only the next right actions forward will lead us to a path of redemption with the disability community and with our community’s allies as a whole. We are not attempting to hide from the actions of the past week and as such have not removed social media posts of our activities. We decry the statements from these videos; the representations from these videos do not reflect our values or our ideologies and we will work hard to demonstrate the values of freedom, equality and justice for ALL people as we move forward. The undersigned ADAPT chapters condemn the statements and actions made by individuals in our community that bypassed our tradition of leadership, consensus-building and values.
We are unified in our first course of action, which is to address our movement away from our grass roots and establish diverse leadership, vivid and supportive in each chapter. Over the past few years, ADAPT has drifted away from its collective roots. We do not cede power to the hands of a few; the leadership of ADAPT are the people of ADAPT. The Contact People are the governors of ADAPT, period. We will exercise our duty to oversee ADAPT, its activities and priorities and public face. This is our responsibility.
This is why we are frequently called the community of ADAPT.
Our efforts at the upcoming strategy sessions and immediate and ongoing efforts will focus on the details that will be needed to return ADAPT to a true collective of local, grassroots activist chapters effecting change in local communities as a priority and coming together to work on issues that affect all communities as a national effort. This is our true ADAPT identity – a collection of local leaders from local chapters that come together to address our priorities together, strategize, help each other and find joy in doing so.
We encourage our family across the disability community to heal with us, help us do the next right thing, and continue to hold us accountable. Please know there are many of us focused on keeping ADAPT alive and not letting this divisive situation destroy 36 powerful years of freeing our people. We need the community to help us along the way, help us to be better, continue to work with us and be our allies so that we can stay united against this administration, this corrupt governmental system, and ultimately so that we can END the institutional bias and FREE ALL OUR PEOPLE.
Our next steps include weaving intersectional justice into the fabric of our movement by proposing specific efforts dedicated in our national actions and priorities to elevate the voices and issues of multiply-marginalized communities within our group. The undersigned chapters propose, as part of our upcoming strategy session topics, hosting a community listening session at the Fall 2019 Action to center the voices of marginalized communities in the work of ADAPT. The undersigned chapters commit to hosting local community listening sessions as part of our local organizing efforts, to take place before the next National action. We will develop leadership training, including fundraising efforts to establish scholarships, and offer opportunities and resources to marginalized members of our community for direct mentorship with other ADAPT organizers.
Next: “All politics are local.” Our strength as a grassroots organization rests in our connection to our communities. Training and building local chapters to respond to the issues of local communities will be a priority for our activities going forward. As a group, we will commit to developing the resources and support necessary to help local groups organize, respond to the need of their communities, and elevate the leadership of marginalized members of their communities.
We are actively working to be the best ADAPT we can be, and we hope our community continues to support us and work with us as we begin to heal, change, and do better than we have been.
ADAPT of Texas
Central Pennsylvania ADAPT
DC Metro ADAPT
North Central Pennsylvania ADAPT
SW Pennsylvania ADAPT