Virtual Book Event: Just Care by Akemi Nishida

Date / Time

November 16, 2022

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Join Access Living and Women & Children First for a virtual event celebrating “Just Care: Messy Entanglements of Disability, Dependency, and Desire” by Akemi Nishida. For this event, Akemi will be joined in conversation by Ashley Volion.

This event will be held via Zoom Webinar by Access Living. ASL and live-captioning will be provided. If you need additional accommodations, please contact Beth Bendtsen at

This event will include a giveaway of five copies of “Just Care!”

“Just Care” is Akemi Nishida’s thoughtful examination of care injustice and social justice enabled through care. The current neoliberal political economy has turned care into a business opportunity for the health care industrial complex and a mechanism of social oppression and control. Nishida analyzes the challenges people negotiate whether they are situated as caregivers, receivers, or both. Also illuminated is how people with disabilities come together to assemble community care collectives and bed activism (resistance and visions emerging from the space of bed) to reimagine care as a key element for social change.

The structure of care, Nishida writes, is deeply embedded in and embodies the cruel social order — based on disability, race, gender, migration status and wealth — that determines who survives or deteriorates. Simultaneously, many marginalized communities treat care as the foundation of activism. Using interviews, focus groups, and participant observation with care workers and people with disabilities, Just Care looks into lives unfolding in the assemblage of Medicaid long-term care programs, community-based care collectives, and bed activism. “Just Care” identifies what care does, and asks: How can we activate care justice or just care where people feel cared affirmatively and care being used for the well-being of community and for just world making?”

Akemi Nishida uses research, education, and activism to investigate the ways in which ableism are exercised in relation to racism, cis-heteropatriarchy, xenophobia, and other forms of social injustices. She also uses such methods to work toward cross-community solidarity for the liberation and celebration of community power. She is the author of “Just Care: Messy Entanglements of Disability, Dependency, and Desire” (Temple University Press, 2022) in which she examines public health care programs as well as grassroots interdependent care collectives and bed-space activism. She teaches at University of Illinois Chicago, while also advocates for disability justice locally and nationally.

Ashley Volion is a native of Louisiana and currently resides in New Orleans. Ashley has a PhD in disability studies from the University of Illinois Chicago, and a bachelor’s and a master’s in sociology from the University of New Orleans. Her research interests are: disability and access intimacy as well as home and community-based services. She also has poetry published in the Queer Disability Anthology. Currently, she is employed as a policy assistant at the Advocacy Center in New Orleans. She is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are fully integrated members of society.

RSVP to get the Zoom link.

This event is brought to you by the Arts and Culture Project at Access Living, an independent living center for people with disabilities, Bodies of Work: Network of Disability Art and Culture, and the Disability Culture Activism Lab (DCAL), a teaching lab housed under the department of art therapy and counseling at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a platform for creative disability art and advocacy projects, DCAL uses a peer support and collective care model in which disability community members and art therapy graduate students collaborate as disability culture makers for social change. Bodies of Work is a part of the Department of Disability and Human Development within the College of Applied Health Sciences at University of Illinois Chicago.

The contents of this event were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RTCP0005). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this book event do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A tan colored banner with a faint pattern of open books. The banner features the cover image for Just Care by Akemi Nishida. A circular photograph of Akemi is super imposed on the left corner of the cover. The text reads: “Access Living and Women & Children First present a virtual celebration of Just Care: Messy Entanglements of Disability, Dependency, and Desire by Akemi Nishida. Wednesday, November 16 at 7 p.m. CT. ASL and CART provided.”

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