FDM’s Leadership & Executive Board

Oswin Latimer, Principal Executive Officer (they/them)

A Native American person with teal glasses, a red shirt and short brown hairOswin Latimer, formerly Melody Latimer, is a lifelong advocate for practices and policies of issues of importance to disabled people. As a recognized expert and leader in their field, they work to empower people to have a voice in the direction and quality of their lives. Their experience in leadership, educating, research, and public advocacy for issues surrounding autistic people have made them 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). They have served as a consultant on policy discussion to the US Department of Labor, Department of Education, and Department of Personnel Management. They are also a valued consultant to many parents, offering useful strategies on how to organize their homes and create individualized education plans that best meet the needs of their child. Oswin is of indigenous heritage and is a parent of three.

Oswin Latimer was featured in the documentary, Citizen Autistic, a film directed by William Davenport exploring the advocacy work of autism rights activists. They are 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. Contact: Oswin.Latimer@DivergentMinds.org

Kassiane Asasumasu, Content & Coordination Director (she/her)

A hapa woman looking away wearing a purple flower crown, purple wings and a green dress standing against a treeKassiane Asasumasu is a multiply neurodivergent Hapa (biracial Asian) longtime autistic activist. You may know her work from the acclaimed Radical Neurodivergence Speaking, Parenting Autistic Children with Love and Acceptance, or any one of several anthologies. Kassiane is also the reluctant mastermind of the project We Are Like Your Child.

When not causing a social media crisis, Kassiane practices aikido, studies neuroscience, makes sure kids are included in neighborhood recreation programs, and cuddles her three cats (but not all at once). She seeks to drag the rest of the world to autism acceptance & disability justice, even if the rest of the world kicks & screams the whole way. Contact: Kassiane@DivergentMinds.org

Morénike Giwa Onaiwu, Advocacy & Research Director (she/they)

A close up picture of a black woman smiling with straight black hairMorénike Giwa Onaiwu, MA is a global self-advocate, educator and neurodivergent Autistic nonbinary woman of color in a neurodiverse, serodifferent family. A prolific writer, public speaker, social scientist, and activist, their work focuses on meaningful community leadership and involvement, HIV, race, gender, disability, justice, and inclusion.

Morénike, a Black (Yoruba/Caboverdiano/American) Xennial and parent of six, is a Humanities Scholar in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Rice University as well as a full-time faculty member at a state college. An avid collaborator and leader, Morénike’s executive experience includes board membership of a number of organizations focused on addressing disparities plus consecutive terms co-chairing NIH-funded international cross-network clinical trials community advisory groups as well as a large HRSA-funded municipal planning body. Contact: Morenike@DivergentMinds.org

Shalia Martin, Outreach & Development Director (she/her)

A white woman in a maroon top smiling in front of a white backgroundShalia Martin is an Autistic disability advocate with three neurodivergent children.  She is active in writing grants proposals, fundraising, and other critical organizational tasks for FDM.

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. Shalia also facilitates TiDT’s assistive technology redistribution program to provide donations to Autistic people who cannot afford to purchase such equipment for themselves. Contact: Shalia.Martin@DivergentMinds.org 

FDM Interns, Writers, & Collaborators

FDM is grateful for the supportive work of various current and past interns, volunteers, and community partnerships – our work would not be possible without you! We are always open to connecting with like-minded individuals and/or organizations that would like to work with us in our quest to utilize neurodiversity as a tool for equity, access, and fulfilled lives for our community. If you are interested in working with FDM, please Contact Us!

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