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This symposium builds from our discussions about communities, academia, activism, and access as four faculty members with different positionalities and perspectives to advocate for the protection of relations in the face of universities’ demands for access to peoples, communities, and lands. In each of four individually authored reflections, we recount our experiences working with and being in community as part of our academic practice. We extend from work in disability studies to explain that while access is generally understood to be good, and often is, access can also be the precursor to exploitation. We argue that to mitigate that risk, we can take on a positive gatekeeping function as part of being in community with care.


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