|Lydia X. Z. Brown|
Lydia X. Z. Brown is a disability justice advocate, organizer, attorney, educator, and writer whose work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, especially institutionalization, incarceration, and policing. Lydia is 2018-2019 Justice Catalyst Legal Fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, defending and advancing the educational civil rights of Maryland students with psychosocial, intellectual, and developmental disabilities facing disproportionate discipline, restraint and seclusion, and school pushout.
Lydia is also Founder and Co-Director of the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment, which provides direct support and mutual aid to individual autistic people of color. Previously, Lydia designed and taught a course on disability theory, policy, and social movements as a Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University. They were also Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, becoming the youngest appointee ever to chair any state developmental disabilities council.
Lydia is co-editor and visionary behind All the Weight of Our Dreams, the first-ever anthology of writings and artwork by autistic people of color and otherwise negatively racialized autistic people, published by the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network. They have received numerous awards for their work, including from the White House, American Association of People with Disabilities, and Society for Disability Studies, and written for several community and academic publications.
Lydia’s IDRAC presentation will be at 1:30 pm SLT (Pacific time) on Saturday, Nov. 2. The title of her talk is “The Autistic People of Color Fund: Building Networks of Mutual Aid by/for Negatively Racialized Autistic People.” In 2019, Lydia worked with the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network to launch the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color's Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment, which has given out over $15,000 already in microgrants to negatively racialized autistic people globally as a form of mutual aid and community care.
This work follows in a long tradition of informal collective care and support networks among hyper-marginalized sick, mad, neurodivergent, and disabled communities. Lydia will talk about how and why this fund came into existence, how we've worked on the process of developing it, and what we can all do to expand and sustain this work.
This event will be live-streamed via Virtual Ability Inc.'s YouTube channel:
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