Lauren Proby (she/her) is passionate about examining the ways that disability intersects with other communities and advocating against these multiple oppressions. Lauren currently represents students with disabilities on the Illinois State Advisory Council on the Education of Children with Disabilities, where she also serves as Chair of the Council’s Nominating Committee. Additionally, Lauren is a member of the Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice Alternatives to Guardianship Advisory Board, promoting independent living for youth and young adults with disabilities. Lauren previously served as a Black Girlhood Studies Fellow with Justice for Black Girls, where she contributed perspective on the brilliance and magic of Black disabled girls and Black Disabled Girlhood. Her writing will appear in the fellowship’s Anthology of Black Girlhood Studies. Lauren also worked as the Disability Justice Lead for Youth Activism Project, where she co-led the organization’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities policy group. Lauren is a proud alum of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s 2022 Autism Campus Inclusion Leadership Academy.
From testifying to her high school’s Board of Education about the ableism she experienced in their institution to advocating against natural hair discrimination to members of Congress, Lauren is a strong advocate for herself and others. Her advocacy has earned her recognition as a White House HBCU Scholar and a Heumann-Armstrong scholar, a national award for students with disabilities advocating against ableism in the education system.
Lauren is a current student at Spelman College studying English on the pre-law track with a minor in Sociology. In her free time, she enjoys writing, dancing, listening to music, and crocheting.