#LetHerStay

juliana is at the beach, facing the ocean, blue sky. the track of her wheels is etched in the sand.

#LetHerStay

Juliana is right now facing deportation from New Zealand. After having the residency denied twice because of her condition (she has Lupus and is paraplegic), she took a stand for all people with disabilities and their right of movement and nationality - well stablished in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, article 18.

She created the #LetHerStay campaing to bring awareness towards systemic discrimination and a petition to change the Immigration Policy that discriminates on disability and health grounds. Her goal is to gather 1,1000,000 signatures - the number of people wth disabilities in New Zealand.

How can you help?

Sign and share the petition with your family and friends to help change the immigration policy that discriminates against disability

#LetHerStay in the media

The campaing got traction through social media drawing the attention of traditional media vehicles. Juliana's resistance story has been featuread on TV 1 news and NZ Herald, Marie Claire Brazil, G1 and Jornal do Almoco.

scoop independent news logo
nz herald logo
1 news logo
gaucha ZH logo
marie claire logo
g1 logo
storyo logo

How can you help?

Sign and share the petition with your family and friends to help change the immigration policy that discriminates against disability

#LetHerStay self-acceptance experiment

This stunt with general public interaction took place in Auckland at Aotea Square. The performance was inspired on Jae West's work.

As I rolled into Aotea Square at 5 pm on a Monday, surrounded by seagulls and passers-by, I couldn't help but feel nervous of what was about to unfold. Lots of people from different ages, backgrounds and nationalities, were at the iconic Auckland spot, observing what I was about to do. Although I had spent some time predicting all the things that could go wrong with the experiment as soon as I parked the wheelchairs a warm sense of trust washed over me. I had 3 friends, Elina, Steven (who run Storyo.co) and Leandro (from Gaea Podcast) plus my mom looking over me. Being a catalyst for change was a risk I was willing to take to start the conversation about our societal definition of disability and self-worth and address the shame that is often attached to the ableism we try to uphold. This story may sound familiar. I got inspired by the experiment on Self-Acceptance by Jae West. If you haven’t come across her video, please google “Woman lets the public cut her hair for powerful message”. We both explore the damaging role of shame in our society. In her words “Shame isolates us whereas vulnerability reminds us of our shared humanity.” Through reflecting on my own experience as a person with a disability dealing with New Zealand’s immigration systemic discrimination, I at some point doubted of my worth as a human being. Once I got back on my wheels, I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone in my conviction: we all have value and can contribute to society. As I knew the experiment was provocative and I was emotionally prepared to have not a single person sitting in the chair and the experiment to fail. I could see curiosity in some faces but I had to wait for the first interaction to be made. As I open about my vulnerability as a migrant woman with a disability and the historical facts that have a lasting impact on the self-acceptance of people with disabilities I was able to connect and deeply interact. Slowly but surely people started coming up and read the signs I was using to educate and bring awareness towards the reality of people with disabilities. The spontaneous messages of support and assurance that we are all the same brought me a deep sense of belonging. I know I am doing the right thing by persisting my dream to live permanently in New Zealand despite not meeting the acceptable standard of health criteria. I’m worthy of living in New Zealand.

Juliana Carvalho

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