In a talk titled “Amplifying Access and Abolishing Ableism: Designing to Embolden Black Disability Visual Culture,” Jen White-Johnson will speak about their own experiences with disability justice and access culture as an artist, designer, and educator. They will highlight initiatives and curatorial projects they have been a part of, especially examples of colleges collaborating with disabled artists. They hope to share the possibilities of disability justice in the context of museum and university spaces.
The program will run from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; there will be time for Q&A.
This event is part of Claiming Williams, which occurs on the first Thursday of the spring semester and encourages the campus to engage in events and discussions about building and sustaining a more inclusive community.
Jen White-Johnson (she/they) is a distinguished Afro-Latina artist, activist, designer, and educator, whose creative expressions delve into the intersection of content and caregiving. With a profound focus on reshaping ableist visual culture, Jen, an artist-educator grappling with Graves disease and ADHD, brings a heart-centered and electric approach to disability advocacy.
Her invaluable contributions to these movements manifest through powerful and dynamic art and media that simultaneously educate, bridge divergent worlds, and envision a future reflective of her Autistic son’s experiences. Jen’s activism extends to collaborations with notable brands and art spaces, including Coachella, Target, and Adobe, both in print and digital realms.
Her photography and design work have gained recognition in esteemed publications such as Art in America, Juxtapoz Magazine, AfroPunk, and she has contributed insightful essays to publications like “After Universal Design: The Disability Design Revolution” and “An Anthology of Blackness.” Notably, Jen’s work is permanently archived at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, DC.
Holding an MFA in Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she also imparts her knowledge as a current instructor, Jen resides in Baltimore, Maryland, with her husband and 11-year-old son. Most recently, they published an essay in An Anthology of Blackness: The State of Black Design.