My guest this week is Ashia Ray, a neurodiversity rights activist and the founder of the Raising Luminaries movement and Books for Littles website. Through these combined endeavors, Ashia curates lists of engaging children’s picture books for parents, teachers, and caregivers to discuss hard topics with kids and aims to empower the next generation of kind and courageous leaders.
In our conversation, we tackle many hard topics themselves—including the importance of questioning our own biases and assumptions, what it truly means to lift up and support marginalized and targeted members of our communities, and what is the kyriarchy and why it needs to be smashed. And as an autistic, multiracial person, Ashia’s perspective is invaluable and powerful. I believe open, vulnerable, and frank discussions can change the conversation around neurodivergence, and challenge the cultural power structures that exist — I hope you enjoy this powerful chat and that it leaves you with as much to think about as it did for me.
About Ashia: Ashia Ray (they/them) is the Head Custodian of Raising Luminaries, a community of families and educators raising the next generation of kind & courageous leaders. Ashia is an Autistic parent raising both neurodivergent & neurotypical kids.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Why Ashia founded Raising Luminaries and Books for Littles, and what she hopes to accomplish through these endeavors
- How and why books can help parents and care givers have difficult and important conversations with kids
- What is meant by the term “kyriarchy”
- How to be an effective and compassionate ally to marginalized populations
- The importance of being kind and courageous
- Become a Benevolent Incendiary for updates
- Pass the Mic – Autistic BIPOC to follow
- Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Lending Library on Facebook – run by Lei Wiley Mydske, founder of the Neurodiversity Library Movement
- Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network – Resource for multiply-targeted Autistics, created & run by multiply-targeted Autistics
- How learning disability evaluation forms stigmatize neurodivergent kids (video, closed captions available)
- Why we must prioritize people with lived experience in media #OwnVoices, coined by Autistic author Corinne Duyvis,
- Kerima Cevik, Disabled Writer, Activist, & Redefining the Rules – founder of #AutisticWhileBlack on Twitter
- The Neurotypical Wife talks about Neurotypical people the way our neurotypical family members talk about us