Morénike Giwa Onaiwu is affiliate editor and contributing writer for the I∩tersected project. American-born to immigrant parents, Morénike Giwa Onaiwu is an Autistic woman in a multicultural, multinational, neurodiverse, HIV affected family of color. She has several years of program management and social justice activism with a variety of groups, including people living with HIV, women, at-risk teens, the I/DD community, and refugee families. Morénike's executive experience includes the Board of Directors for the Autism Women's Network, Co-Chair of the Global Community Advisory Board for the NIH Division of AIDS (DAIDS) funded AIDS Clinical Trials Group (which is the world's oldest and largest international community HIV clinical trials program), and several similar leadership roles with HRSA and CDC funded entities as well as external programs.Michael Scott Monje, Jr. is a Michigan writer whose work focuses on identity, specifically on the relationship between an individual and society. As an autistic adult, Mike tries to connect with parents and other self-advocates, to spread the stories of adults who could not be diagnosed as children due to the restrictive definition of autism that existed until the middle 1990s. He also blogs about his own experiences as an adult who went undiagnosed for most of his twenties.
Morénike, who has a Master's degree in Education with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Delays), is the founder of a national project for HIV affected families (www.SaveRyanWhitePartD.org) and Advocacy Without Borders, a grassroots education, community advocacy and self-empowerment initiative (www.AdvocacyWithoutBorders.blogspot.com).
Mike currently teaches composition at a couple of local colleges. He credits his experience with expository writing for developing his ability to focus his narrative and to structure longer projects. He would also like to urge beginning writers to study the essay, as well as technical and practical writing, as a way of building the skills necessary to deliver rich and complex narratives.
Lydia Brown is an Autistic and multiply-disabled disability rights activist, scholar, and writer. She is a Project Assistant for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Lydia currently serves as Undersecretary for Disability Affairs at Georgetown University’s student government executive branch, where she is also working to establish, develop, and sustain a Disability Cultural Center on campus. Most recently, she was honored as a Champion of Change by the White House for the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Lydia is an alumna of the 2013 American Association of People with Disabilities summer internship program, and was previously the 2012 Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership. Lydia blogs at Autistic Hoya (www.autistichoya.com).
Zach Richter is a poet, a graduate student and an activist who is currently pursuing his MS in Disability Studies and Human Development at UIC. Previously, Zach Richter received his BA in English from Western Connecticut State University while spending 4 of his 5 years actively involved in WCSU’s Roger Sherman Debate Society. Zach has been an activist for progressive causes since his participation in the anti-war movement as a younger person to his current work as an activist-blogger on issues of disability and sexuality. Zach is also part of the We Are Like Your Children autistic blogging collective.