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Empowered Fe Fes

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Changing the conventional wisdom about womanhood and disability is the purview of Susan Nussbaum. The founder of the Empowered Fe Fes is profiled in the latest issue of the Utne Reader as one of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.”

When Eight Forty-Eight first spoke with Nussbaum in 2004, she explained that the mission of the Empowered Fe Fes is to provide a safe space where young women with disabilities can talk about things that they can't talk about anywhere else. Stuff like issues with parents, abuse, and sex.

That's one reason why, last year, the group collaborated on a documentary called Doin’ It: Sex, Disability, and Videotape. Chicago Public Radio's Steve Edwards spoke with Nussbaum and group member Veronica Martinez, just as the Empowered Fe Fes released their documentary in 2007. Both women use wheelchairs. We should caution you that the conversation includes frank discussions of sexuality. Nussbaum says the initial impetus for the project was personal:

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