Overcoming Labels Is Topic of Disability Forum Talk

by UW-Eau Claire News

Deborah Jiang-Stein
Deborah Jiang-Stein

National speaker and author Deborah Jiang-Stein will present “Beyond Labels: Disordered, Special Needs, and At-Risk” at UW-Eau Claire’s eighth annual Schneider Disability Issues Forum at 4pm, Thursday, Oct. 20, in Room 1415 of Centennial Hall. Jiang-Stein is the author of Prison Baby: A Memoir, a personal recounting of her nearly 20-year emotional lockdown and struggle after discovering she was born and spent her first year of life in prison with her heroin-addicted mother. Childhood labels like “special needs,” “at-risk,” and “disabled” led her to a life of rage, addiction, and crime before pulling herself back from the brink of self-destruction. “My whole book is about not wanting to be labeled,” said Jiang-Stein during a 2014 NBC News interview with Maria Shriver. Jiang-Stein is the founder of the unPrison Project, a nonprofit that provides life skills and mentoring to incarcerated women and girls in preparation for life after prison. In addition to Prison Baby, Jiang-Stein has written Women Behind Bars: Stories from prison, as told to a woman born inside and Even Tough Girls Wear Tutus: Inside the World of a Woman Born in Prison. She grew up in Seattle and lives in Minneapolis. The Schneider Disability Issues Forum is free and open to the public; an interpreter for the deaf and captioning will be provided. Jiang-Stein’s book Prison Baby will available for purchase and signing after the presentation. The Schneider Disability Issues Forum is co-sponsored by the Chippewa Valley Book Festival; UWEC’s Services for Students with Disabilities, Education Studies 385 course, and College of Education and Human Sciences; and the UWEC Foundation. To make arrangements for accessible parking, contact Debra Lang at (715) 836-5607 or langda@uwec.edu. 

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