Lydia X. Z. Brown is an advocate, organizer, attorney, strategist, and writer whose work focuses on interpersonal and state violence against disabled people at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, faith, language, and nation. They are Policy Counsel for Privacy & Data at the Center for Democracy & Technology, focused on algorithmic discrimination and disability, as well as Director of Policy, Advocacy, & External Affairs at the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network. Lydia is also adjunct lecturer and core faculty in Georgetown University’s Disability Studies Program, and adjunct professorial lecturer in the American Studies program at American University’s Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies. They serve as a commissioner on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights, chairperson of the ABA Civil Rights & Social Justice Section’s Disability Rights Committee, board co-president of the Disability Rights Bar Association, and representative for the Disability Justice Committee to the National Lawyers Guild’s National Executive Committee. Lydia founded the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment, and they are creating Disability Justice Wisdom Tarot.
Previously, Lydia worked on disability rights and algorithmic fairness at Georgetown Law’s Institute for Tech Law and Policy, served as Justice Catalyst Legal Fellow for the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, and worked at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network as a member of the national policy team. They are former Chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council, Visiting Lecturer at Tufts University, Holley Law Fellow at the National LGBTQ Task Force, and Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership. In 2015, Lydia was named to Pacific Standard’s 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 list, and to Mic’s list of 50 impactful leaders, cultural influencers, and breakthrough innovators. In 2018, NBC featured them as one of 26 Asian Pacific American breakthrough leaders for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Amplifier featured them as part of the We The Future campaign for youth activism. Most recently, Lydia was named to Gold House Foundation’s A100 list of the most impactful Asians in America for 2020 and them’s Now List 2021 honoring LGBTQ+ visionaries. Their work appears in numerous scholarly and community publications, and they have received many awards for their work, including from the Obama White House, the Society for Disability Studies, the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Washington Peace Center, the Disability Policy Consortium, and the National Council on Independent Living. Often, their most important work has no title, job description, or funding, and probably never will.