Lydia X. Z. Brown
Lydia X. Z. Brown is a Senior Advisor for AWN. In this role, they provide technical assistance and subject matter expertise on a range of topics, including organizational development and strategic planning; intersections of disability, race, gender, and sexuality; community-engaged research and advocacy; and cross-community/cross-movement solidarity and relationship building. They have previously served as AWN’s Director of Policy, Advocacy, & External Affairs and before that, served as a member of AWN’s board of directors.
They are a disability justice advocate, organizer, educator, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work has largely focused on interpersonal and state violence against multiply-marginalized disabled people living at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, nation, and language. Lydia is founder and volunteer director of the Autistic People of Color Fund, and co-editor with E. Ashkenazy and Morénike Giwa Onaiwu of the first edition of All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism. Lydia is also Adjunct Lecturer in Disability Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Georgetown University and Adjunct Professorial Lecturer in American Studies in the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies at American University.
Previously, Lydia worked on disability rights and algorithmic fairness at the Center for Democracy and Technology and at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Tech Law and Policy, served as Justice Catalyst Legal Fellow for the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and worked at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network as a member of the national policy team. They are former Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University, Holley Law Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force, and Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership.
In 2015, Lydia was named to Pacific Standard’s 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 list, and to Mic’s list of 50 impactful leaders, cultural influencers, and breakthrough innovators. In 2018, NBC featured them as one of 26 Asian Pacific American breakthrough leaders for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Amplifier featured them as part of the We The Future campaign for youth activism. Most recently, Lydia was named to Gold House Foundation’s A100 list of the most impactful Asians in America for 2020. Their work appears in numerous scholarly and community publications, and they have received many awards for their work, including from the Obama White House, the Society for Disability Studies, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Washington Peace Center, the Disability Policy Consortium, and the National Council on Independent Living.