Win-win: Exchanging the Law of Two Feet for Personal Mobility

Last month I attended the G.R.A.C.E. Summit — Growing Racial and Cultural Equity — and found it full of engaged and engaging people, hopeful energy, and creativity that will sustain the struggle.  I was introduced to the concept of the Law of Two Feet.

photo taken at GRACE Summit
photo taken at GRACE Summit

The Law of Two Feet means you take responsibility for what you care about — standing up for that and using your own two feet to move to whatever place you can best contribute and/or learn.

What a great concept!

Part of the Open Space movement, the concept is smart, if the language is disabilist.  It struck me as problematic then, but I wasn’t quite sure how to address it.

I have listened to a beloved colleague regularly express her righteous anger at language and attitudes that exclude her and others for whom agency and freedom and liberation does not take the form of standing.  I have learned from her and other disability activists.  I still have a long way to go but I am joining that path..

So I was rather pleased when, while attending my nephew’s not-a-wedding this weekend when they used a different, more inclusive version:

personal mobilitySame great concept, more inclusive.  I’m not sure where the shift originated, but thank you to whomever.  Blessings upon you.

image by inspirexpressmiami
image by inspirexpressmiami

image by inspirexpressmiami
image by inspirexpressmiami

4 thoughts on “Win-win: Exchanging the Law of Two Feet for Personal Mobility

  1. I was at the GRACE Summit, too (small UU world in New England, I guess), but while I’d noted that the Open Space model wasn’t particularly introvert-friendly, I hadn’t thought of the disablist language of the Law of Two Feet. I like your win-win revision.

    1. Charity, I would like to think that introverts could choose to opt in or out as they are inspired in Open Space. And for clarity, the revision is not of my making. I am just amplifying it. Peace – Karen

      1. Ah, I didn’t catch that it wasn’t your revision. Thank you for the clarification, Karen.

        Opting out is always an option, but I think some minor changes would make Open Space more accessible to introverts, like allowing more time between explaining Open Space and putting up topics/choosing rooms, or allowing people to contribute topics for discussion without walking up in front of the group. And even opting out can be a challenge if doing so calls attention to the person opting out (like if they have to leave a crowded room).

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