Lydia X. Z. Brown
Image: Lydia Brown, a young East Asian person wearing navy blue suit and retro-patterned necktie, smiling. Photo by Rachel Mondragon, February 2017, Denver, Colorado.
Contact Lydia: lydia at autistichoya.com
Lydia X. Z. Brown is an activist, writer, and speaker whose work has largely focused on violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people, especially institutionalization, incarceration, and policing. They have worked to advance transformative change through organizing in the streets, writing legislation, conducting anti-ableism workshops, testifying at regulatory and policy hearings, and disrupting institutional complacency everywhere from the academy to state agencies and the nonprofit-industrial complex. At present, Lydia serves as Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, founding board member of the Alliance for Citizen-Directed Services, stakeholder representative to the Massachusetts One Care Implementation Council overseeing health care for Medicaid/Medicare dually-eligible individuals, and board member of the Autism Women's Network. In collaboration with E. Ashkenazy and Morénike Giwa-Onaiwu, Lydia is the lead editor and visionary behind All the Weight of Our Dreams, the first-ever anthology of writings and artwork by autistic people of color, published in June 2017.
Most recently, Lydia designed and taught a course on critical disability theory, public policy, and intersectional social movements as a Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University’s Experimental College, where they will be returning in Fall 2017. Lydia is a past Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership, where they focused on employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities, and past Holley Law Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force, where they focused on reproductive justice and disability rights policy issues. Additionally, Lydia worked for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network for several years as part of the national public policy team, where Lydia worked on various issues relating to criminal justice and disability, healthcare disparities and service delivery models, and research and employment disparities.
Lydia has been honored by the White House, the Washington Peace Center, the National Council on Independent Living, and the Disability Policy Consortium of Massachusetts. In 2015, Pacific Standard named Lydia a Top 30 Thinker under 30, and Mic named Lydia to its inaugural list of 50 impactful leaders, cultural influencers, and breakthrough innovators. Their work has been featured in various places, including Religion, Disability, and Interpersonal Violence, Barriers & Belonging: Personal Narratives of Disability, The Asian American Literary Review, Feminist Perspectives on Orange is the New Black, Criptiques, Torture in Healthcare Settings, QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, Films for the Feminist Classroom, Tikkun, Disability Intersections, Black Girl Dangerous, hardboiled magazine, POOR Magazine, The Washington Post, Sojourners, The Establishment, Al Jazeera America, NBC News Asian America, HerCampus, AfterEllen, and Vice Broadly. Lydia is now a Public Interest Law Scholar at Northeastern University School of Law, where they co-founded the Disability Justice Caucus.
Lydia is available as an expert source (not for human interest or inspirational narratives) and for personal essays, opinion editorial, reported features, and investigative journalism
Communication availability: Text, chat, videoconference
Languages: English (Fluent), Modern Standard Arabic (Intermediate/Advanced), Spanish (Intermediate/Advanced), Jordanian/Levantine Arabic (Beginner/Intermediate)