Celebrating the Legacy of Ki’tay D. Davidson

Photo of a black youth pensively looking into the camera, wearing a black shirt and knitted chevron scarf. standing in front of a small body of water with pine trees, houses and the sky as the backdrop. The above quote is written in dark letters in the sky on the right hand side of the photo. Quote included in the caption.
“I take risks by acting out of love & a framework of intersectionality. I listen, I speak up, I show up, I am vulnerable & I dream. I practice living by the quote: speak truth, even if your voice shakes.”

Ki’tay D. Davidson’s legacy continues reverberate through the Disability community and all communities he connected with. Ki’tay passed away in 2014. Some five years have passed and we still feel his presence, remember his love lessons, and are deeply honored to share parts of his legacy this Pride month. 

Ki’tay was the co-creator of the hashtag #DisabilitySolidarity, and called a ‘Champion of Change for embodying the next generation of leadership within the disability community and his commitment to the promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act.’

His partner, Talila “TL” Lewis, called him a ‘Revolutionary Champion of Love’ writing that he was:

  • The voice of affirmation when you weren’t quite sure of your self worth, dignity or beauty.
  • The voice of love & justice within institutions & organizations rife with oppression & violence.
  • The voice of his unique brand of Black Trans Disabled innovation when all others were frozen with fear or frozen in traditions, religion or ritual.
Series of 3 photos in a vertical row: black youth wearing an pink button-up collar shirt with an pink-purple tie and a dark colored blazer in each photo. One not smiling, one smiling, one laughing with eyes closed. Text in caption.
“I challenge the extent to which we place the responsibility for advocacy on those designated as leaders or ‘champions.’ Advocacy is not just for charismatic individuals or high profile community organizers. Advocacy is for all of us; advocacy is a way of life. It is a natural response to the injustices and inequality in the world. While you and I may not have sole responsibility for these inequities that does not alter its reality.”
From ‘Championing Our Communities: An Open Letter’

Kitay was committed to racial justice, gender justice, disability justice, and trans liberation, among others. He worked tirelessly to create a wold that was more just for everyone. He intentionally centered people and communities who are most marginalized by and in our society. 

Black youth is smiling with an open mouth and snapping in celebration of a great comment by an audience member while facilitating a Disability History, Culture, and Pride workshop for youth with disabilities during the summer of 2014. Ki'tay is holding a microphone in his left hand and snapping with his right. He is wearing a black shirt, orange pants and a faux leather black hat turned backwards.
“I want to believe in peace. I want to believe we can unlearn violence & affirm our interdependency. I dream of a community of lovers, who navigate pain, joy, laughter and grief together, collectively & with care; experiencing endless beauty. I think I am dreaming of a modern day heaven, or perhaps I am dreaming of the good we were meant to be.”
from ‘Why I Quit Philanthropy’

Learn more about Ki’tay through his writing:

Black/white photo of a black youth wearing a dark baseball cap and striped shirt. He is holding a pen looking at the camera over his shoulder as he types on his laptop.
The misrepresentation of our community hurts everyone — not just the vulnerable. Certainly, policies that fail to represent the needs of all or advocacy that ignores intersectionality facilitates exclusion, poverty, and oppression–to name a few. However, it also hurts those with institutional power by re-entrenching the system we are trying to fight against. It hurts our legitimacy and demolishes our ability to fight the bigger cause and the larger issue– the injustice experienced by all people.
From: Reframing History and Reimagining Our Future

“The world will remember his name and ever feel his love, light and laughter.”

From Ki’tay’s Memorial Page

These photos and quotes, created by Talila “TL” Lewis, have been repurposed from the 2016 #Justice2050 Twitter Storm- Honoring Ki’tay’s legacy through collective dreaming about what our world can look like by by 2050. As with all YO! Disabled & Proud images online, the photos are described in alt text, however more detailed and personal image descriptions can be found at the #Justice2050: Ki’tay Truths Facebook album.

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