Virtual Event: Shayda Kafai


Crip Kinship:
The Disability Justice and Art Activism of Sins Invalid



November 12, 2021
7:00 PM ET


Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.


Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes SHAYDA KAFAI—assistant professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona—for a discussion of her book Crip Kinship: The Disability Justice and Art Activism of Sins Invalid. She will be joined in conversation by community organizer and culture worker LILAC VYLETTE MALDONADO and artist and writer VANESSA DURAND.

Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store

While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Crip Kinship on, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.

Click here to join!

About Crip Kinship

In recent years, disability activism has come into its own as a vital and necessary means to acknowledge the power and resilience of the disabled community, and to call out ableist culture wherever it appears.

Crip Kinship explores the art-activism of Sins Invalid, a San Francisco Bay Area-based performance project, and its radical imaginings of what disabled, queer, trans, and gender nonconforming bodyminds of color can do: how they can rewrite oppression, and how they can gift us with transformational lessons for our collective survival.

Grounded in their Disability Justice framework, Crip Kinship investigates the revolutionary survival teachings that disabled, queer of color community offers to all our bodyminds. From their focus on crip beauty and sexuality to manifesting digital kinship networks and crip-centric liberated zones, Sins Invalid empowers and moves us toward generating our collective liberation from our bodyminds outward.

Praise for Crip Kinship

"As a longtime admirer of Sins Invalid, I am grateful for Shayda Kafai's Crip Kinship: The Disability Art Activism of Sins Invalid. Crip wisdom and disability justice is what we need right now. Dreams, creativity, care . . . all of these things are activism. The world can be better if we honor our bodyminds and move forward together. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the difference between disability justice and disability rights." —Alice Wong, editor, Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century

"As a scholar of belonging, it has taken me so long to let my own disabled bodymind belong—to feel the holy connective power in my pain, the ways I need help, my healing story—and to let myself belong in community as I truly am. Sins Invalid opened a portal that so many of the people who have taught me to live fully into the wholeness of my present have both held wide and come thru. This book invites a new generation through that portal of disability justice, to feel the powerful nature of us in our miraculous biodiversity and symbiosis, the love ethic in practice, the creative reclamation of our dignity, and the future that will unfold from our orgasmic yes. Shayda Kafai, in weaving this story, takes a place in the lineage of crip doulas who help us understand we are whole, and different, and perfect." —adrienne maree brown, author of Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good

Lilac Vylette Maldonado
Lilac Vylette Maldonado

Lilac Vylette Maldonado

Lilac Vylette Maldonado (she/they) is a community organizer and culture worker who identifies as sick & disabled, neurodivergent, Two-Spirit, Chicanx femme. Since 2009, she has been actively organizing around many intersectional social justice issues such as racial justice, gender justice, disability justice, LGBTQIA+ issues, and body autonomy and acceptance. They are an avid zinester who has written and created artwork for various academic and social justice-themed DIY booklets. She is a co-founding member of the Los Angeles Spoonie Collective, a grassroots Disability Justice group connecting disabled activists and artists to community organizing and education opportunities. They are a part of the education team at Fireweed Collective, offering mental health education and mutual aid through a Healing Justice lens. She is also a core member of Mirror Memoirs, an oral history project centering on the narratives, healing, and leadership of LGBTQ survivors of color in the movement to end child sexual abuse. Lastly, they are the social media and communications manager for Reclaim UGLY, the intergenerational, multi-racial, LGBTQIA+, and Black-led organization that serves social justice-minded communities and centers the voices and needs of marginalized people. You can follow Lilac on Instagram at @chronically.femme, or at @boldly.femme for her artwork.

Image Description: The black and white photograph depicts a bespectacled Two Spirit trans woman of Purepécha & Spanish heritage smirking playfully, and peering out inquisitively toward the right. She is coiffed neatly in a parted cascade of waves, adorned with lipstick, wears a gingham shirtdress with rolled-up sleeves under a pin- and button-laden vest, and a heather grey scarf. The background is stark black, and the overhead light casts shadows across her face and body.

Shayda Kafai
Shayda Kafai

Shayda Kafai

Shayda Kafai is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. As a queer, Mad, femme of colour, she commits to enacting the many ways we can reclaim our bodyminds from intersecting systems of oppression. She lives in Pomona, California with her wife, Amy.

Vanessa Durand
Vanessa Durand

Vanessa Durand

Vanessa Durand, better known as V, is a thirty-something, non-binary Queer Fat Femme born and raised in Los Angeles. She has been documenting and sharing her love of make-up through mixed media art and on social media platforms for over 15 years. Their work navigates the complexities of being an autistic, mixed-race, disabled & chronically ill glitter goddess who was sent by their ancestors to break generational curses. V is particularly passionate about combining their love for makeup artistry and photography with writing. In 2012, V earned a B.A. in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from CSULB and in 2018 became the self-published author of two books titled, “I Am Still Blooming: a Live Flower Make-up Series on Healing and Becoming” and “Make-up + Creative Advice, Tips, and Affirmations: How to Trust Yourself and Your Unique Process and Purpose.” While in quarantine, they recently created a YouTube series titled "Make-up and Messages from the Universe," where the inseparable healing energies of spirituality, divine purpose, and human connection come together to be honored, celebrated, and shared with the global community. Follow them on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok @glitteryfemme.

Image description: A light skinned person with dramatic eye makeup and glossy mauve lipstick looks at the camera with their head tilted and a subtle smile. Their golden brown wavy hair sits on either side of their shoulders, where a deep v-neck green dress is peeking through underneath. 

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

General Info
(617) 661-1515

Media Inquiries

Accessibility Inquiries

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »

Shipping & Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »