Guest Speaker

Morénike Onaiwu

Morénike is a woman of color with disability, an educator, a writer, public speaker, parent, and global advocate. A proactive, resourceful individual in a multicultural, neurodiverse, serodifferent family, Morénike, is American-born to immigrant parents. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Relations and Education and is passionate about human rights, justice, and inclusion.

Morénike is involved in various social justice activism endeavors including HIV-related advocacy, disability rights, learning via technology, research, and gender and racial equality. A prolific writer, Morénike has written for and/or been featured in numerous blogs, abstracts, magazines, books, and other platforms that draw from her experience as a late-diagnosed Autistic adult woman, a person of color, a parent of Autistic and non-Autistic children, and a survivor of intimate partner violence. She is one of the editors (along with Lydia X.Z. Brown and E. Ashkenazy) of a groundbreaking anthology on autism and race, All the Weight of our Dreams. Morénike also works with Lydia X.Z. Brown as the co-coordinator of the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival and Empowerment.

Day 1 – Thursday

9:15 – 10:45a.m.

The Intersection of Race, Disability, and Gender

Purpose & Objectives

Existing at the intersection of multiple marginalization dramatically shapes the way an individual perceives the world and is perceived by the world. Utilizing facts as well as personal experience, this presentation will highlight some of the unique ways that gender and race impact individuals with disabilities (with particular focus on the autism spectrum). Participants will:

  • Examine concepts of intersectionality and relevant past and present context
  • Analyze statistics and issues that impact individuals and groups of marginalized gender, race, and disability status
  • Discover resources as well as mechanisms for advocating for impacted populations in their own communities
Day 1 – Thursday

11:00 – 12:30p.m.

Born This Way: My Life as an Autistic Parent

Purpose & Objectives

Led by an Autistic parent of Autistic and non-Autistic children, this informative and interactive session will provide participants with an in-depth view of Autistic parenting and opportunities to build meaningful connections with Autistic and neurodiverse families. Participants will:

  • Compare characteristics of neurotypical parents of autism and Autistic parents
  • Become aware of strengths and challenges Autistic parents face
  • Identify resources of relevance to Autistic and neurodiverse parents

Keynote Speaker

Location and Venue

Savannah Convention Center
Savannah, GA

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