Our America: Accomplices - The Story of Ady Barkan | Full Episode

ByNzinga Blake WABC logo
Friday, December 3, 2021
Our America: Accomplices - The Story of Ady Barkan | Full Episode
Through his fight for healthcare justice, Ady Barkan's journey with ALS is shifting the national conversation of what it means to be an accomplice to historically underrepresented, marginalized and excluded communities.

LOS ANGELES -- 2020 was a year that shed light on disparities and inequities that affect the most vulnerable communities in our nation. Movements across the country sparked conversations about the importance of allyship, but some activists claim that we have moved beyond the need for allyship in the quest for social justice. Many advocates and activists are now calling for accomplices.

Ady Barkan is a true example of what this new view of "accomplice" means.

"'Accomplice ship' requires working hand-in-hand with the most marginalized, underrepresented and excluded voices towards a world where everyone can live with dignity and has the basic resources they need to thrive," according to Barkan.

Barkan, an American lawyer, activist and one of Time Magazine's Most Influential People of 2020, has been fighting for social justice for historically underrepresented and marginalized communities since his youth. After being diagnosed with ALS in 2016, he took on a new battle to shed light on the inequities in the American healthcare system.

Be A Hero, the organization Barkan co-founded, has been advocating for affordable and accessible home care, which Barkan claims has kept him alive. He believes that all individuals who are sick, aging or have a disability should be afforded the same access.

"My team at Be A Hero is fighting to secure a historic investment into home- and community-based services as proposed in the Build Back Better Act so that seniors and disabled people can get the care they need to lead independent lives," Barkan said.

The historic investment Barkan is referring to includes $150 billion towards home and community-based services.

Watch the trailer for "Our America: Accomplices - The Story of Ady Barkan"

Watch the trailer for "Our America: Accomplices - The Story of Ady Barkan."

"Our America: Accomplices - The Story of Ady Barkan" focuses on a day in the life of a person with a disability in need of home care as Barkan and his team prepare to head to Los Angeles for the premiere of the critically acclaimed film about Barkan's advocacy, "Not Going Quietly," directed by Nicholas Bruckman.

Barkan candidly shares his story about his journey with ALS and his battle with the healthcare system in an effort to exemplify how home-based services and caretakers can transform the lives of people with a disability, allowing them to live a more dignified life at home with loved ones in addition to being contributing members of society.

"I think my story has helped illustrate what's so broken with our healthcare system," Barkan said. "I've seen people decide to get involved, decide to vote, and decide to volunteer because of what they've heard about me and my work through Be A Hero. My story, all human stories, have the ability to unite people and bring new people into the movement."

Watch "Our America: Accomplices - The Story of Ady Barkan" in the player above, wherever you stream: Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV or Roku and on Hulu.