Stacey Milbern

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Stacey Park Milbern, a renowned Disability Justice and Civil Rights activist, died unexpectedly at age 33 on May 19, 2020 from surgical complications in Stanford, California.

Stacey, a resident of Oakland, California had a long history as a leader and activist. At the age of 16, she was an influential leader within the North Carolina Youth Leadership Network. Thanks to her work (in partnership with other NC advocates) the state began including disability history as part of its high school curriculum. She was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to the Statewide Independent Living Council from 2004 to 2010 and to the North Carolina Commission for the Blind from 2006 to 2008 Since then, her leadership and advocacy continued to grow into national prominence and national movements. She served as a leader in many organizations including the National Youth Leadership Network, National Council for Independent Living, Sins Invalid, and a multitude of others. She also served on the board of the WITH Foundation. In 2014, she was appointed by President Obama to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. Stacey was also a co-author of Bernie Sander's Disability Rights platform and an Impact Producer for NETFLIX's acclaimed documentary "Crip Camp".

Her writings, poetry, speeches, and community organizing served as a catalyst for some of the progressive work happening within the Disability Justice and Disability Rights movements. Most recently, she founded the Disability Justice Culture Club, an activist collective based East Oakland that centers the needs of disabled BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). The DJCC serves as a hub for disabled BIPOC community via events, meetings, meals, and thought leadership. Stacey demonstrated love and faith throughout her life and fought tirelessly for the communities she loved.

Stacey was raised in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and received her BA from Methodist University in 2009, and her MBA from Mills College in 2015. After moving to the Bay Area, she joined the program management team at the landmark Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, where she helped advance the mission of full social and political equality for all people with disabilities.

In addition to her many community impact projects, Stacey also worked as an Accommodations Management Consultant at Wells Fargo.

Stacey is survived by her parents, her brother David, sister Jessica, grandmothers Beulah Milbern and Kim Kwee Rae, and a legion of loving friends and supporters. Her passing is deeply felt by all that knew her. Her work will live on through the movements she helped shape and the organizations she led.

"I want to leave a legacy of disabled people knowing we are powerful and beautiful because of who we are, not despite of it" - Stacey Park Milbern

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