A scene of a Black family celebrating from the “Old Towne Road Part II episode of “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.” (Disney) On the left is an autistic boy with an afro, with his sister in a pink dress next to him, his father in a cowboy hat, and his mother in a yellow suit

February Newsletter

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AWN February Newsletter

Dear Friend,

I’m Lauren Proby, and I am serving as the Spring and Summer Policy Fellow at the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN). 

As a Black multiply-disabled woman and HBCU (Historically Black College/University) student, I am deeply proud of my Blackness and ongoing journey through Black disabled womanhood. To me, Black History Month reinforces and re-energizes my love, appreciation, and admiration for the diversity and richness of the Black community and all it has brought to this world. February, and all months throughout the year, is a time for us to celebrate the work, lives, depth, intellect, and existence of all Black folks. 

AWN Boosting Visibility for Black Autistics with Disney

Earlier this month, AWN leadership helped to consult on the highly acclaimed autism-focused episode of The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder reboot that recently aired on Disney+. The episode, which was intentionally released in February, has been praised broadly for its thoughtful portrayal of a Black family with affirming parents of a newly diagnosed autistic child. 

Illustration and text against a pale grey background. Text reads: “BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2023 BLACK TRANS RESISTANCE” At center is a drawing of a Black fist raised with bracelets in the trans flag colors: pink, white and blue. At center bottom dark text reads: “an AWN Network Infographic Series” In the lower right hand corner is the awn logo: a large pink “a” with a teal spoonie dragonfly and our website awnnetwork.org.

Celebrating Black Trans Resistance

AWN also commemorated Black History Month by releasing an infographic series on the experiences of Black trans people with discrimination, acceptance, and joy. Join us in uplifting Black trans voices by sharing these graphics from our blog. 

Keith Haring art of two people arm-in-arm with text

Supporting Black People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Additionally, AWN is working to support capacity building efforts of organizations that serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) within the Black community. This month AWN’s leadership including Morénike Giwa Onaiwu helped provide critical training to over 100 service providers, family members, and educators from different regions of the country serving Black people with IDD through a partnership with the Accessibility and Allyship initiative by Best Buddies International and the Institute for Corporate Productivity.

In Community,

Lauren Proby, Spring and Summer Policy Fellow

Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network

Lauren, an African-American woman with pressed and curled black hair, wears a pink blazer with a white top and a heart necklace. She is smiling at the camera and standing outside in front of greenery.

P.S. I would appreciated it if you could donate today to support AWN’s work advocating for Black communities and everything we do:

Donate to AWN

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