We're Sunsetting the Collab

Emily Blum
August 14, 2023

In November 2021, Disability Lead launched the Collab, a community of practice to learn with—and from—one another and support a collective vision toward racial equity and disability justice.

Our goal with the Collab was to provide a virtual space for both Disability Lead Members and allies to connect, collaborate, share resources and best practices, coordinate efforts and events, and benefit from the difficult-to-measure benefits of “casual collisions” in a trusted space, all in order to advance the movements of racial equity and disability justice.

We worked hard to attract and support Collab members, and our deepest hope was that practitioners of racial equity and disability justice would find ways to partner together and find fellowship as we fight for our collective liberation. We hoped that the Collab, ultimately, would be self-sustaining, as its members would drive these conversations, connections and events.  

At the time, we felt an online space was best, and we worked hard to make sure that space was accessible and met the needs of Collab members. Part of the decision was focused on safety—COVID made it very dangerous convene in person—the other part was that so much of our collective lives were happening in virtual spaces.

What we found is that maintaining and sustaining a virtual community is difficult. With so many of us working remotely, asking folks to commit additional personal time online was difficult. As the months continued, we saw participation dwindle. This was also coupled with internal Disability Lead staff transitions, family leaves and other organizational and strategic priorities taking staff time and focus.

Now, nearly a year and half later, we have made the tough decision to sunset the Collab. Effective immediately we are closing the Teams Channel, on which our community of practice was built, and it will no longer be available to Collab members. We are also removing the sign-up form as we will not be actively seeking new members.

Though the Collab in its virtual form is no longer being supported, we remain strongly committed to centering intersectional ideas and issues rooted in social justice, and more specifically, racial equity and disability justice. This is what drives our values, and it is rooted in our beliefs. It’s in our DNA. And we will continue to host events and conversations uplifting these issues we care so deeply about.

We are so grateful for those who joined us, and we share your commitment to this work. Our promise and commitment is that we will continue to engage with you, and we are excited to share what’s next as our plans evolve to center more programs and events and the intersection of race and disability.  

Please stay tuned; we need you in this work.