"The Story of WILD" Global Video Launch

Collage featuring portrait of WILD woman from Mongolia; Claire and Reginald performing instruments on stage. Text: "The Story of WILD" with MIUSA and MacArthur logos
MIUSA hosted a virtual watch party for the world premiere of “The Story of WILD” video! This free event was a celebration of disabled women activists everywhere and in dedication to everyone fighting injustice globally, including the United States.
June 4, 2020

Watch Now on MIUSA's YouTube Channel

The videos are now publicly viewable on MIUSA's YouTube channel in English, Spanish, American Sign Language, and International Sign with additional access options available. As you watch, share your comments on social media using the hashtag #StoryOfWILD and tag Mobility International USA. Transcripts in English and Spanish are available for download under the "Documents" section of this page.

About "The Story of WILD"

"The Story of WILD," a multimedia performance layering live and recorded elements, was a creative collaboration between three MacArthur Fellows to celebrate the power, leadership and dreams of disabled women activists around the world.

For this collaboration, disability activist Susan Sygall delivers an emotive monologue punctuated by lively musical performances from world-class musicians Claire Chase (flute) and Reginald R. Robinson (piano). Sygall, Chase, and Robinson are MacArthur Fellows - talented individuals recognized by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits.

Throughout the performance, alumni of MIUSA’s Women’s Institute on Leadership and Disability (WILD) program – express in their own powerful voices and signs what it means to be a leader in the global community of disabled women.

The live performance of the event - which premiered in Eugene, Oregon in December 2019 - and video production were possible with sponsorship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

On June 4, 2020 MIUSA supporters around the world were invited to attend an online watch party of the video recording!

The Reviews Are In: What People are Saying About "The Story of WILD"

"I watched 'The Story of WILD: A MacArthur Fellows Collaboration of Disability Activism and Artistry', with the high expectations I always assign to the work of WILD and it’s inspirational leadership.  And of course, Susan Sygall and the fabulous MacArthur fellows delivered – blending art, creativity and activism in a joyful, inspiring and powerful creation.  In just one hour, I had the opportunity to meet WILD leaders around the world, hearing stories of social justice activists who are making positive social change happen every day, working to re-set social norms and understand more about the lives of people living with disabilities, for a better world.  Listening to the music of two extraordinary musicians combining piano and flute, they helped remind of the power of collaboration, and that a better, more just world is not only possible but it is within our reach.  Reminded by one WILD leader 'Don’t try to live up to societies expectations, they are way too low.'  This is a piece to watch – to be inspired and to inspire – of people who are ‘outrageously and joyously’ fighting for justice, with the grace, determination and passion that are the seeds of hope for our future.  Having spent more than 30 years of my career working in the global fight against inequality and discrimination, I came away humbled, more informed, and energized. In this video, one WILD representative reminds that 'It takes each and every one of us to create a better and more just world' – watching this rendition of the Story of WILD reminds us how we can all be a part of that every day."

Abby Maxman, President & CEO of Oxfam America

"From the forests of Eugene, Oregon, women with disabilities from over 80 countries have gathered, advocated, and changed the world. MIUSA's WILD programme has created a "Loud, Proud and Passionate" army of disabled women leaders. Set between the beautiful music of Reginald Robinson and Claire Chase, the voices and signing of WILD women alumni not only describe the simultaneously intimate and universal experiences of women with disabilities from around the world, but also how unique empowerment programs like WILD are fundamental to creating an inclusive feminist future. Susan Sygall's spoken word powerfully recollects the continual fight women with disabilities wage on a daily basis against discrimination and human rights abuses, and how MIUSA and the WILD programme have consistently provided the space, tools and community for a generation of "Loud, Proud and Passionate" disabled women leaders."

Megan Smith, disability rights advocate and researcher in Disability Studies at the University of Iceland

"Susan is a highly accomplished disability and women’s rights activist, and an inspiring and effective leader. She could own any stage with her presence, her powerful life story and her righteous, thoughtful vision for a more just world. But in this performance, as in her life, it’s her other superpower – the persuasive force of her generosity, and her joy, that is so moving and so compelling. She shares the stage with all of her WILD sisters and as they tell us their transformative stories with loud, proud passion, they become all of our sisters in the struggle for a better world. They provoke us to answer the question Susan poses: “Who built the world that denies us?” As these WILD women sisters of ours from all over the world speak about their journeys – from hideous discrimination to outrageous, joyous demands for justice – watching from the audience you can’t help but realize that you have been a part of building that world, that incomplete and disappointing world that denies.
 
"But now that you have now heard it, and realized it, what are you going to do about it? You have just met leaders who like Susan have fought and won battles and built Solidarity and passion together, and they have all the reason and every right in the world to just leave you behind to figure it out on your own as they soar… But their generosity and joy is compelling. And the accompanying musical performance is a celebration of their struggle and accomplishments. And so the performance ends and Susan has done it again – she challenges you to be an ally, and offers to lead you on your own journey, too."

Shawna Bader-Blau, Executive Director at Solidarity Center

A Call to Action

Are you moved by "The Story of WILD"? Donate to MIUSA in support of funding a WILD program in 2021 - we can't do it without you!

MIUSA is working with WILD women to ensure they have the information and strategies so that disabled women and girls can be safe and survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Our 2021 WILD exchange program will continue to build a pipeline of disabled women leaders as well as bring international development organizations together with the WILD women so we can all work for a more just world.

  • For $250 or more you will receive a copy of the photobook Brilliant and Resilient: Celebrating the Power of Disabled Women Activists
  • For $500 or more you will receive two Brilliant and Resilient photobooks
  • For $1000 or more you will receive four copies of the Brilliant and Resilient photobooks signed by Susan Sygall

 We will happily send to you or to someone you think is also loud and proud and passionate.® Every donation, no matter what amount, will be recognized during our WILD 2021 program as it will take a global village to enable us to reach our goal. Learn more about WILD here.