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Rene Joy (she/her)

Rene Joy joined Momma on September 13, 2021 for a live Q&A via Twitch to talk about Poverty, Disability, Advocacy & Game Development

About Rene

Rene is a writer, peer specialist and game developer who transforms lived experiences into actionable learning opportunities that respond directly to the systems that support or suppress vulnerable people and their communities. A Florida-born-and-raised mom of teens and too many cats, Rene's work evolved from personal advocacy efforts that then led into consultancy for organizational development in support of neurodivergency, disability and anti-poverty issues at-large. She describes her own mental health recovery as a multi-faceted, fluid process that she loves sharing with others 1-on-1 and in group settings. She believes strongly in self-determined recovery models and that new paths to a recovery-oriented life are discovered every day -- and that we discover them better together! 

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Episode Summary

Explore how gaming and advocacy collide in this eye-opening discussion with Rene Joy, perfect for anyone passionate about mental health, disability rights, and social change.

Key Takeaways:

This episode of Even Tacos Fall Apart is all about "Poverty, Disability, Advocacy & Game Development." MommaFoxFire engages in a candid and insightful conversation with Rene Joy. Rene, a passionate advocate and game developer, shares deeply personal insights into how her experiences with poverty and disability have shaped her journey and fueled her advocacy work.

Throughout the conversation, Rene emphasizes the significance of self-determined recovery models and peer support in navigating mental health challenges. She highlights the importance of systemic change to address the gaps and limitations within welfare programs, aiming to provide more equitable support for vulnerable populations. Rene's approach to advocacy is rooted in storytelling, recognizing its power to dismantle stigma and foster understanding, particularly in the realm of true crime narratives.

The discussion includes an overview of Rene's innovative project, "Budgets and Benefits," a game designed to help individuals with disabilities navigate the complex system of care and advocate for their needs effectively. She describes the game as a fun yet educational tool aimed at empowering players with the knowledge and skills to navigate bureaucratic challenges.

Throughout the conversation, Rene challenges misconceptions surrounding disability and poverty, particularly debunking the belief that the Social Security Administration determines one's disability based on benefit approvals. She advocates for a more nuanced understanding that acknowledges disability as self-identified and highlights the shortcomings of traditional welfare systems in meeting diverse needs.

The interview also looks into the practical challenges Rene faces in developing and funding projects like "Budgets and Benefits." She discusses the frustrations of navigating traditional funding pathways and the importance of finding innovative ways to support and sustain her advocacy efforts.

On a personal level, Rene shares her views on the importance of rest and self-care for individuals with disabilities, advocating for rest as a form of reparations and a means to reclaim personal agency in a fast-paced society.

Overall, the interview with Rene Joy on Even Tacos Fall Apart is a compelling exploration of the intersections between poverty, disability, advocacy and game development. It serves as a testament to Rene's resilience, creativity and unwavering commitment to creating systemic change and fostering inclusivity through her innovative projects and passionate advocacy work.