Our Team

Board of Directors

Oswin Latimer
President

Native American woman with brown hair and glasses in a teal shirt and black necklace standing in front of a building and potted plants.

Oswin Latimer, formerly Melody Latimer, is an indigenous, non-binary, Autistic adult, parent to 3 neurodivergent children and a disability advocate with over a decade of experience. They combine these to educate people in alternative methods to support and instruct autistic and neurodivergent people. This education lead them to create the FDM framework to give an easy to understand approach with concrete steps for parents and professionals to follow.

Prior to founding Foundations for Divergent Minds, Oswin was with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) where they started out as the leader for the Dallas-Ft. Worth chapter. They then joined the national office in Washington, DC as the Director of Community Engagement. There, they oversaw the communications committee, ASAN’s network of chapters, and the organization’s pilot employment program with Freddie Mac, placing well qualified autistic employees. Additionally, they planned and organized the Autism Campus Inclusion training, giving autistic college students the skills they needed to promote positive change for autistic students on their campuses. In addition Oswin represented the Autistic community in policy discussions with many government offices, including the Department of Labor, the Department of Education, and the Department of Personnel Management.

After leaving ASAN, Oswin spent several years as a disability consultant, advising parents on ways to set up their homes and create individualized education plans that better met their child’s needs. They continued speaking at local and national conferences speaking on a variety of topics including language and perception, executive functioning and autistic parenting. They have been featured in a documentary, interviewed and written for newspaper and magazine online articles, and compiled and edited Navigating College: A Handbook on Self Advocacy Written for Autistic Students from Autistic Adults.

During their free time, Oswin likes to spend time with their wife and 3 children playing games, going to the zoo or relaxing at home. They also enjoy a number of hobbies that provide a calming retreat from our inaccessible society.

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.