Our Team

Board of Directors

Oswin Latimer
President

A Native American person with teal glasses, a red shirt and short brown hair

Oswin Latimer, formerly Melody Latimer, is a lifelong advocate for practices and policies of issues of importance to autistic people. As a recognized expert and leader in his field, he works to empower people to have a voice in the direction and quality of their lives. His experience in leadership, educating, research, and public advocacy for issues surrounding autistic people have made him a highly respected consultant, public speaker, and presenter both nationally and locally.

Oswin is the founder and President of Foundations for Divergent Minds (FDM) and former Director of Community Engagement for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). He has served as a consultant on policy discussion to the US Department of Labor, Department of Education, and Department of Personnel Management. He is also a valued consultant to many parents, offering useful and practical advice on how to organize their homes and create individualized education plans that best meet the needs of their child.

Oswin Latimer was featured in the 2013 documentary, Citizen Autistic, a film directed by William Davenport exploring the advocacy work of autism rights activists. He is regularly called upon for media interviews and to speak at local and national conferences on a variety of topics, including language and perception, executive functioning, and autistic parenting. Oswin also compiled and edited Navigating College: A Handbook on Self Advocacy Written for Autistic Students from Autistic Adults.

Shalia Martin
Vice President

A white woman in a maroon top smiling in front of a white backgroundShalia Martin is an active Autistic advocate with three neurodivergent children.  She currently serves as the Vice President of the board and is active in writing grants proposals, fundraising, and other organizational tasks.

She is a co-founder of the Tone it Down Taupe (TiDT)  movement. Tone it Down Taupe provides comedic relief for autistic people by turning pathologizing on its head and focusing on the behaviors of allistic people. TiDT also redistributes assistive technology donations to Autistic people who cannot afford to purchase equipment for themselves. In her spare time she enjoys sewing, singing, and reading.

Morénike Giwa Onaiwu
Secretary

A close up picture of a black woman smiling with straight black hairMorénike Giwa Onaiwu is an educator, writer, public speaker, parent, and global advocate. A proactive, resourceful professional and disabled woman of color in a multicultural, neurodiverse, serodifferent family, Morénike, who is American-born to immigrant parents, possesses undergraduate and graduate degrees in International Relations and Education. She is passionate about human rights, justice, and inclusion.

She is involved in various social justice advocacy endeavors including HIV awareness, learning via technology, research, gender, disability, and racial equity and other issues. A prolific writer, Morénike has written for and/or been featured in numerous blogs, abstracts, magazines, books, and other platforms, often drawing from her personal experiences as a late-diagnosed Autistic adult woman, a person of color, an Autistic parent of Autistic and non-Autistic children, and a survivor of intimate partner violence. She is also involved in several projects in addition to her advocacy and writing; notably, she is one of the editors (along with Lydia X.Z. Brown and E. Ashkenazy) of a groundbreaking anthology on autism and race as well as a co-coordinator of the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment.

Morénike has been an invited speaker in the White House, at the United Nations Headquarters, and a keynote speaker and/or presenter at numerous peer-reviewed advocacy, education, disability, and research conferences. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the “Advocating for Another: Health Activist of the Year” 2014 WEGO Health Award and the “Service to the Self-Advocacy Movement” 2015 Autistic Self Advocacy Network Award.

Her executive experience includes board membership of a number of national research, disability, advocacy, and family service organizations, chairperson of both a large HRSA-funded local planning body and an international NIH-funded community research network, and leadership roles within various entities in addition to her work as Co-Executive Director of the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network and chairing its Committee on Autism and Ethnicity.

Currently balancing her roles as a faculty member at a state college and as a doctoral student in an educational leadership program, Morénike considers herself a “lifelong learner” who is constantly growing and changing, hopefully for the better! She considers her wonderful children (biological and adopted and all of whom have various disabilities) to be her greatest accomplishment.

Staff

Carly Nelson
Online Content Developer

Picture of a female-presenting person with red hair, wearing glasses in front of vertical blinds.Carly Nelson is a neurodivergent graduate student who is in the process of becoming a speech-language pathologist. She is passionate about supporting the growth and self-advocacy of other neurodivergent people by building a world that honors diverse needs.