Published May 27th, 2013
Oakland activist Mia Mingus is named a Champion of Change by the White House. Oakland Local interviews Mia Mingus about disability rights, ending child sexual abuse, and transformative justice.
Mia Mingus describes herself as a queer physically disabled woman of color transracial/transnational adoptee — an identity that only begins to explain the personal background that informs Mingus’ cross-sectional social change work.
Mingus was adopted from Korea at the age of six months and grew up on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where she was raised by a “strong feminist community” that taught her the foundations of the critical analysis she would carry into her life’s work. She then lived in Atlanta for 13 years, serving as co-Executive Director of SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, among many other movement-building roles. She moved to the Bay Area two and a half years ago to live out a dream: to create a household with another queer disabled woman of color activist, thereby putting disability justice into practice, building interdependent and loving community, and both expanding and learning the limits of what disability advocacy might look like.
Now, at 32, Mingus is an Oakland-based, nationally-recognized organizer and writer who has traveled the country speaking about myriad frameworks for dismantling oppression, from racial justice to reproductive justice to queer liberation. Her current work centers around disability justice and child sexual abuse, which she addresses as a member of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective (BATJC).