Recognized by Public Knowledge’s 20/20 Visionary Awards as a future leader who will drive tech policy in the public interest for the next 20 years

Named to them.’s Now List of LGBTQ+ Visionaries working to better our community during a uniquely challenging era

Honored by NowThis Next as a change-maker of the world for Disability Rights

Named to Gold House Foundation’s A100 List of the Most Impactful Asians and Asian Pacific Islanders in Culture

Listed in NBC Asian America Presents: A to Z, celebrating the emerging voices and breakout stars of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, who are “writing new definitions every day”

Recognized as a Top 30 Thinker Under 30 in the Social Sciences by Pacific Standard

Named to the Mic 50 list of the next generation of impactful leaders, cultural influencers and breakthrough innovators, recognizing “bold trailblazers who are unafraid to push boundaries and rethink the world” and “who represent the very best of our generation”

Honored by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change for embodying the next generation of leadership within the disability community

Featured in NBC, Rewire News, Huffington Post, Everyday Feminism, Washington Post, Soledad O’Brien’s Matter of Fact TV, Al Jazeera, Mic News, Autostraddle, BBC, POOR Magazine, The Guardian, Supermajority News, CNN, Wear Your Voice Mag, NPR, Gay Star News, NOS Magazine, Boston Globe, Black Girl Dangerous, Vanity Fair, Marie Claire, Wall Street Journal, and more


I am a writer, public speaker, educator, trainer, consultant, advocate, community organizer, community builder, activist, scholar, and attorney.

For over fifteen years, I have worked to address and end interpersonal and state violence targeting disabled people, especially disabled people at the margins of the margins, in our own homes and communities, in movement spaces, in schools, in disability-specific institutions, and in jails and prisons. My work begins at and centers intersections of disability, queerness, race, gender, class, and nation and migration. I have provided trainings and consultations to hundreds of individuals, educational institutions, agencies, companies, and organizations across numerous professional and academic fields on a range of issues impacting disabled, queer, trans, and negatively racialized people.

I founded and lead The Autistic People of Color Fund in partnership with the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network. I created and curate Bearing Witness, Demanding Freedom, the Living Archive and Repository of the Judge Rotenberg Center’s Abuses. Along with Morénike Giwa Onaiwu and E. Ashkenazy, I co-edited the first edition of the anthology All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism. I am one of ten young activist icons featured in Amplifier’s We The Future Campaign. I am also featured in People of Color Productions’ docuseries-in-progress I Identify As Me, directed and produced by Tina Colleen and Monick Monell, and HBO Max’s documentary Persona: The Dark Truth Behind Personality Tests. I’m a past Gender+ Justice Initiative Fellow at Georgetown University and a Justice Catalyst Fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

In 2022, I ran for the Maryland General Assembly’s House of Delegates with the core campaign message that We Deserve Better.

As an educator, I teach as an adjunct lecturer and core faculty in the Disability Studies Program and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Georgetown University, and as an adjunct professorial lecturer in the American Studies Program at American University’s Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies. I’m also a faculty member and Self-Advocacy Discipline Coordinator for the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) Training Program at Georgetown’s University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities at the Center for Child and Human Development. Previously, I taught in the Honors College at the University of Delaware and in the Experimental College at Tufts University, and as a volunteer instructor in programs for high school and middle school students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Educational Studies Program.

Professionally, I work as Director of Public Policy at the National Disability Institute, where I focus on advancing financial freedom and economic opportunity for people with disabilities through strategic policy research, development, and implementation. Previously, I worked as Policy Counsel with the Privacy and Consumer Data Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology, where I focused on algorithmic injustice, bias, and discrimination affecting disabled people, and as Director of Policy, Advocacy, and External Affairs at the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network, where I led policy work with an intersectional approach to disability and neurodiversity.

I provide regular consultations, workshops, and trainings for many other organizations on radical access, care, and justice.

Like all of us, I live at the intersection of many forms of marginality and oppression, and many forms of privilege and power. Some identities and experiences that are important to me are that I am a multiply disabled, queer, and nonbinary Chinese American, East Asian transracial and transnational adoptee of color, working precariously both within and at the margins of academia and the nonprofit industrial complex.

As a survivor of transnational/transracial adoption, I am a settler-of-color arrivant to Turtle Island, living and working on the unceded and occupied traditional homelands of the Piscataway-Conoy, Nacotchtank, Pamunkey, Manahoac, and Susquehannock Nations whose people have inhabited and stewarded these lands since time immemorial. If you are a white settler or settler-of-color living on Native land, you can learn more about the land where you liveIndigenous land acknowledgement, and solidarity action plans.


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Here are some of my core political and ethical beliefs:

  • I believe in honoring the humanity and dignity of every person.
  • I believe that there is no such thing as a person who is useless, worthless, or pointless.
  • I believe that we have to take accountability for the harm we cause.
  • I believe that we all have the capacity to harm, and that we have a responsibility to try to reduce our capacity for harm. 
  • I believe that we are not defined by our worst mistakes or moments. 
  • I believe that everyone deserves safety, nutrition, housing, health care, self-determination, autonomy, community, support, access, and wellness. 
  • I believe that we do not get free until we all get free.
  • I believe that justice is not “just us.”
  • I believe in using whatever resources we each may have to challenge oppression, injustice, and violence in all their forms.
  • I believe that community and collective action will save us – not the state, not charities or nonprofits or NGO’s, not academic institutions, not lawyers or professionals.
  • I believe in accountability that isn’t rooted in punishment, police, or prisons.
  • I believe that movements for justice and liberation require multiple tactics as part of short-term and long-haul strategies.
  • I believe that dreaming and building the future we want are just as essential to social justice as calling out and fighting against harms.
  • I believe that it is not possible to address the problem of ableism without addressing the problems of white supremacy, capitalism, gender-based oppression, settler-colonialism, and other forms of systemic and structural violence, oppression, and domination.

If our visions seem aligned and you’d like to get in contact to invite me to speak, request consultation, ask for help, or just say hello, you can reach me by email. Please do not send advocacy-related questions, professional requests, or any other requests for my labor to me via social media as it is rarely checked and will not guarantee any response.

If this is a work-related question (and not about my individual advocacy, speaking, or consulting offerings), please reach out to me via the relevant organization instead.

And if this is a message to tell me how wrong or awful you think I am, please consider whether your message truly needs to be sent to me. I am a person. Sometimes I am wrong as are we all. Sometimes I have changed my mind about an issue, as we all should at some point in our lives. I am doing the best that I can in an imperfect, hurtful world, with my limited time on this earth.

Note: Since at least as far back as July 2022 February April June August October 2023, the contact form was malfunctioning and did not send messages to me. If you sent a message during that timeframe and did not receive an acknowledgement, you may resend it.

Update: As of February 2024, this form is still malfunctioning. Responses are sent but they are not being forwarded to my inbox, which is very fun (sarcasm) for a very neurospicy autistic person with ADHD. I am working on a solution and responding to the accidentally accumulated backlog. Thank you for your patience!

If you have a time-sensitive request, you may email hello (at) Please note that Lydia X. Z. Brown is not an organization and is unable to provide immediate crisis support or response, counseling, legal advice or representation, or individual care or support services. Thank you for your patience and care as I move on crip time


In solidarity lies our hope and our future.

“Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer relentlessness – and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different from the ones we’re being brainwashed to believe. The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

— Arundhati Roy

I have learned and continue to grow because of the offerings of so many other organizers, scholars, philosophers, activists, leaders, and community members. It would not be possible to name every person whose work and life has taught me, but here are a few of the many:

Ablra Abdelhadi • Aimi Hamraie • AJ Withers • Akemi Nishida • Alex Toliver • Allegra Heath-Stout • Amy Sequenzia • Angel Love Miles • Angela Carter • Angela Y. Davis • Annie Segarra • Arundhati Roy • Assata Shakur • Audre Lorde • Aurora Levins Morales • Azza A. Altiraifi • Benro Ogunyipe • Cal Montgomery • Carolyn Lazard • Chanda Prescod-Weinstein • Conchita Hernandez Legorreta • Cyrée Jarelle Johnson • Damien Patrick Williams • De’lasha Singleton • Deepa Iyer • Dior Vargas • Dolores Tejada • Dustin P. Gibson • Eddie Ndopu • Eli Clare • Emily Nusbaum • Gabriel Arkles • Heron Greenesmith • Imani Barbarin • India Harville • Jamelia N. Morgan • Jen Deerinwater • Jennifer Scuro • Jess L. Cowing • Jessica Horvath Williams • Jina B. Kim • Joe Kadi • Johanna Hedva • Julia Watts Belser • Karen Nakamura • Kat Tanaka Okopnik • Kay Ulanday Barrett • Keri Gray • Kerima Çevik • Khairani Barokka • Ki’tay D. Davidson • Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha • Leroy F. Moore Jr. • Lilla Watson • Mahlet Meshesha • Mariam Banahi • Mel Baggs • Mia Mingus • Mimi Khúc • Morénike Giwa Onaiwu • Nai Damato • Najma Johnson • Natalia M. Rivera Morales • Nechama Moring • Ngọc Loan Trần • Nina de Jesus • Nirmala Erevelles • Patty Berne • Paul/Leena/Paulina Abustan • Purvi Shah • Saili S. Kulkarni • Sami D. Schalk • Sara M. Acevedo Espinal • Sarmistha Talukdar • s. e. smith • Seema Bahl • Shain A. M. Neumeier • Shana Bulhan Haydock • Shayda Kafai • Stacey Milbern Park • Subini Ancy Annamma • Susan Schweik • Talila A. Lewis (TL) • Taylar Nuevelle • Therí Alyce Pickens • Tracey Hickey • Vanessa Rochelle Lewis • Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán • Vilissa K. Thompson