Kendra J. Muller
Model: Kendra J. Muller
Spinal cord injury
Civil rights attorney
I am a disabled, queer, civil rights attorney. This image captures me as I am. As someone with multiple disabilities, both “visible” and “invisible,” this is my statement of owning space and power. With this photograph, I want to celebrate my own identities and celebrate breaking down systems of oppression.
In my path to becoming an attorney, I quickly realized that the legal profession had little diversity. As of 2022, only 1.4% of lawyers nationwide identify as disabled. Additionally, the legal profession has long upheld a legal framework that subordinates Black, Brown, LGBTQIA+, indigenous, disabled, and immigrant individuals, as well as those who hold multiple identities.
This photograph was taken outside a building that, to me, symbolizes the laws and policies of exclusion. Using my body as a political statement was a symbol of my actions as an attorney, to work against the traditional legal framework and fight for better legislation, law, and policy. Others like me were also taking up space and power with a protest to protect workers’ rights, happening while this photo was being taken. When we come together as a community, we can be a powerful force for good to tear down the oppressive systems deeply ingrained in our nation.
Photographer: Fabiola Lopez