AWN has been quite busy recently, and thank you for your patience while we worked to get our latest newsletter to you. Here at AWN we run on Crip Time, so sometimes that means that our workflow will unfold in a non-traditional way. This newsletter will combine updates looking back at August, and looking forward to September and October.
We began August by welcoming our new Fall & Winter Policy Fellow, Nina Stoller. Nina is a pioneering voice in disability justice policy. Their work has included pushing for non-police responses to mental health crises, supporting formerly incarcerated people, supporting low-income students, and fighting against eugenics in COVID policies. We’re so thrilled to have them as part of our growing policy team!
As we say hello to Nina, we’re saying farewell to our longtime board member Victoria Rodríguez-Roldán, who has been appointed by Maryland’s Governor as the New State Coordinator for Autism Strategy! We’re certain Victoria will continue her proud legacy of advocating for disability justice-informed policy in her new role, but unfortunately, it would be a conflict of interest for her to remain on our board, so we wish her the best of luck.
AWN & APOC Joint Statement
Also in the realm of policy, we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss AWN’s recent joint statement “Protect Our Trans Siblings,” issued with the Autistic People of Color Fund. It denounces the recent wave of anti-trans legislation, legislation that has often weaponized ableism and spread harmful misinformation about autistic trans and nonbinary people. If you live in a state currently considering such legislation, we hope you’ll contact your lawmakers and take action to stop these bills, which you can do through the State Action Center by the National Center for Transgender Equality. And regardless of where you’re from, we hope you’ll share our joint statement to help counter this misinformation.
New Blog Post
We have a new post on our blog by Amy Sequenzia which I hope you’ll check out. As Amy shares,
I want to write about [parents and caregivers] who not only love us, but who stand with us, being the amplifier of our voices when needed, being by our side at all times, carrying us through some harder moments, keeping us alive.”
New Webinar October 8
Do you want some disabled joy in your life? Well, on October 8, AWN will be hosting a new webinar, Disabled Joy Through Dance and Laughter, featuring the talented Natalia Armancanqui and Houa Moua. Here’s more about them:
- Natalia Armancanqui creates her own original dance aesthetics by weaving the multiple global dance styles she has loved and learned, including Kathak, Peruvian, and Middle Eastern, into one tapestry that connects her and others to spirit, culture, and ancestral wisdom. Guided by her Indigenous Andean roots, Natalia now shares her art with audiences internationally.
- Houa Moua is a comedian and actress based in St. Paul Minnesota. She’s been making waves in the Twin Cities in productions such as Face to Face: Hmong Women’s Experience and Stories Exploring Disability and Theater, as well as her stand-up comedy with the Funny Asian Women Kollective.
As part of our commitment to accessibility and language justice, the webinar will have ASL interpretation, English CART captioning, Spanish interpretation, and Spanish CART captioning.
Finally, we want to congratulate and thank the National Alliance of Melanin Disabled Advocates (NAMED Advocates) for their successful Our Presence is Our Power BIPOC Disability Justice Summit. AWN was again a partner organization for this annual summit, which featured a disability justice virtual workshop on August 30, and a disability leadership brunch on September 6. We’re excited to see all of the exciting and imaginative initiatives that will come from this year’s cohort of BIPOC disability justice leaders!
Thanks for letting me share all these new updates from AWN with you. While I’m AWN’s executive director, you may have noticed that I’m rarely the sender of our monthly newsletters. There’s a very intentional reason behind that decision. AWN practices an internal framework that is structured around horizontal organizing.
This means that we strive to create a mutual exchange of trust and collective capacity by uplifting and empowering everyone who works for AWN to take leadership of their own work. In keeping with this value, AWN features a different team member each month to share our current newsletter. We hope this also provides you with an opportunity to get to know everyone working within AWN. That said, I am excited to be reaching out this month and saying hello! And stay on the lookout for our next newsletter celebrating Latine Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15.
Thanks so much for being an important part of the AWN family. I’m always happy to be sharing in community with you!
Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network