May 21, 2022

Memoirist, Disability Rights Activist Kenny Fries Delivers Keynote

Author and disability rights activist Kenny Fries delivered the keynote address for JFMC’s Disability Awareness Month and Gender & Sexual Minorities & Allies cultural celebration at UMW. Photo credit: Michael R. Dekker.

Author and disability rights activist Kenny Fries delivered the keynote address for JFMC’s Disability Awareness Month and Gender & Sexual Minorities & Allies cultural celebration at UMW. Photo credit: Michael R. Dekker.

Acclaimed writer Kenny Fries had a message to impart last week when he spoke to University of Mary Washington students: “Disability is just a different way of moving through the world.”

Fries, an author and activist whose work focuses on his experiences of being disabled and gay, came to UMW to deliver the keynote address for James Farmer Multicultural Center’s duo of commemorations: Disability Awareness Month and Gender & Sexual Minorities & Allies cultural celebration. The event was held in the University Center’s Chandler Ballroom and livestreamed via Zoom.

A prolific writer, Fries earned a master’s degree in playwriting from Columbia University. He has published the award-winning In the Province of the GodsThe History of My Shoes and The Evolution of Darwin’s Theory and Body, Remember: A Memoir as well as several books of poetry, and he edited the literary anthology Staring Back: The Disability Experience from the Inside Out. Fries is also the recipient of numerous awards, grants and fellowships and is a two-time Fulbright Scholar. Read more.