Stacey Park Milbern
Stacey Park Milbern was a visionary activist, community builder, and writer who championed disability justice and intersectional advocacy. She was born in California in 1987 and grew up in a multicultural and multilingual family. Her life and work were characterized by a deep commitment to social justice, community building, and disability rights. In this article, we will explore Stacey Park Milbern’s life and legacy, highlighting her contributions to disability justice and her impact on the disability community.
Early Life and Diagnosis
Stacey Park Milbern was born with a rare neuromuscular disorder called spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) type 2, which is a genetic condition that affects the muscles responsible for movement. As a result, Stacey relied on a power wheelchair to move around and perform daily activities. Despite the challenges she faced due to her disability, Stacey was a determined and resilient individual who never let her condition define her. She grew up in a loving and supportive family, and her parents instilled in her a strong sense of self-worth and confidence.
Growing up, Stacey was acutely aware of the ableist attitudes and barriers that people with disabilities faced in society. She was motivated to challenge these oppressive systems and advocate for a more equitable and inclusive world. Stacey Park Milbern was an exceptional student and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Social and Cultural Analysis from New York University.
Activism and Advocacy
Stacey Park Milbern was a tireless advocate for disability justice, intersectionality, and community building. She believed in the power of grassroots organizing and community mobilization to effect meaningful change. Stacey was a co-founder of the Disability Justice Culture Club (DJCC), a Bay Area-based collective that aimed to create spaces for disabled people to connect, collaborate, and resist ableism. The DJCC was instrumental in building a vibrant disability justice movement in the Bay Area, and Stacey played a key role in its growth and development.
Stacey Park Milbern was also involved in numerous other disability justice organizations, including the Disability Visibility Project, the National Council on Independent Living, and the Asian and Pacific Islander Disability Network. She was a sought-after speaker and presenter, sharing her insights and experiences with audiences across the country. Stacey was known for her incisive analysis of ableism and her commitment to intersectional advocacy. She understood that disability justice was inextricably linked to other forms of oppression, such as racism, sexism, and homophobia. Stacey Park Milbern believed that a truly equitable and just society could only be achieved through the dismantling of all oppressive systems.
Impact and Legacy
Stacey Park Milbern’s impact on the disability justice movement was immeasurable. She was a visionary leader who inspired countless individuals to join the fight for disability rights and social justice. Stacey Park Milbern work centered on the importance of community building, and she was passionate about creating spaces where disabled people could come together, share their experiences, and organize for change. She believed that the disability community had the power to transform society and advocated for a world where disabled people were not just included, but celebrated for their contributions and diversity.
Writing and Speaking
Stacey’s writing and speaking were particularly influential in the disability justice movement. She was a prolific writer who contributed to numerous publications, including the anthology “Resistance and Hope: Essays by Disabled People,” which she co-edited with Alice Wong. Stacey’s writing focused on the intersectionality of disability and other forms of oppression, and she explored how disability justice could be advanced through collective action and solidarity.
Stacey Park Milbern’s passing was a significant loss to the disability justice community, but her legacy continues to inspire and motivate others to fight for a more just and equitable society. Her vision of disability justice and intersectionality lives on in the work of countless individuals and organizations who are dedicated to advancing the rights and wellbeing of disabled people.
Stacey Park Milbern legacy is also evident in the many initiatives and programs that she helped to establish. For example, she was involved in the creation of the Disability Visibility Project, a digital archive that collects and preserves the stories of disabled people. The project has become an invaluable resource for disabled people who are often left out of mainstream narratives and media representations.
Stacey’s impact on the disability community was also recognized posthumously. In 2021, she was awarded the Judith E. Heumann Emerging Leader Award, which is given annually to an individual who has demonstrated significant leadership and potential in the disability rights movement. The award highlighted Stacey’s exceptional contributions to the disability justice movement and the lasting impact of her work.
Stacey Park Milbern was a visionary leader, community builder, and advocate for disability justice. Her life and legacy were marked by a deep commitment to social justice and a belief in the power of collective action. Stacey’s impact on the disability community was immeasurable, and her legacy continues to inspire and motivate others to fight for a more just and equitable society. As we continue to work towards a more inclusive and accessible world, we can draw inspiration from Stacey’s vision of disability justice and intersectionality, and honor her memory by continuing to build communities that uplift and empower disabled people.