Stacey Park Milbern was a Korean-American disability rights activist who dedicated her life to advocating for the rights of disabled people. She was a powerful voice in the disability rights movement, and her legacy continues to inspire those who fight for justice. Milbern worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the struggles faced by disabled people and to create a more inclusive and accessible world. She was a fierce advocate for the rights of disabled people, and her advocacy made a lasting impact on the disability rights movement. Milbern was a passionate advocate for the rights of disabled people, and she worked to ensure that disabled people had access to the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. She fought for greater inclusion and acceptance of disabled people in society, and she was a powerful voice in the fight for disability rights. Milbern’s legacy lives on through her work and her words, and her memory will continue to inspire future generations of disability rights activists.
Stacey Park Milbern (May 19, 1987 – May 19, 2020) was a korean-american disability rights activist. She helped create the justice for the disabled movement and advocated fair treatment of disabled people.
Milbern was born at US Army Hospital in Seoul on May 19, 1987, with congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD). She was mestizo, her father being white american and your mother being Korean. she grew up in Fort Bragg, North Carolinein a military family, because his father was United States Army. As a child, she relied on her family as caregiversbut when she started identifying herself as queershe feared her parents’ judgment and planned to move out, a choice made difficult by her need for help with daily activities such as eating, sleeping, and using the bathroom.
Milbern began serving in disability rights leadership roles at age 16, including as Director of Community Outreach for the National Youth Leadership Network. She later co-founded the North Carolina Youth Leadership Forum and Youth with Disabilities Collective to empower youth with disabilities to be involved in advocacy and leadership. She was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to the North Carolina Commission for the Blind from 2006 to 2008 and to the State Council Independent Living Council from 2004 to 2010. She was instrumental in the writing and passage of North Carolina’s 2007 law, establishing October as “Disability History and Awareness Month” and requiring that the history of disability curriculum be taught in all schools. In 2005, Milbern helped establish the justice for the disabled movement through conversations with other disabled queer women from activists of color.
Milbern moved to the San Francisco Bay Area at age 24, for being the area “one of the most accessible places for people with physical disabilities”. The Bay Area was the historic center of the disability rights movement, and there she continued to organize, write, and speak for the movement, becoming a program director at the Independent Living Center, Berkeley. California is among the highest spenders on home care benefits, and it has managed to get Medicaid support for a home caregiver, allowing her to live independently in oakland and hold a human resources position at a financial banking company. She credited nursing care with her ability to remain active in the community and avoid institutionalization in a rest home. She compared her independence and the care she was able to receive in California with her experiences in North Carolina and defended the need for Medicaid programs to fund home care and nursing services against cuts proposed during efforts to revoke and replace The Affordable Care Act. Milbern defended a joust medical care for people with disabilities, including access and biases in the system, speaking out against unnecessary surgeries.
In 2014, Milbern was nominated by the president obama for the President’s Committee on People with Intellectual Disabilities. She advised the Obama administration for two years.
In early March 2020, as the covid-19 pandemic spread to the Bay Area, Milbern and four friends who make up the Disability Justice Culture Club distributed homemade disease prevention kits, including hand sanitizer, sanitizer, and respirators, to residents of Oakland’s homeless camps. It raised concerns for the welfare of the community and its most vulnerable members. milbern noticed her do it yourself solution as an example of “crip-or cripple-wisdom”. She warned that the pandemic’s demands on health services threaten her community’s access to dialysis and other lifesaving treatments necessary for some to survive. His group also organized a Mutual help campaign, providing food support and assistance to people with disabilities in need. Milbern continued the work of pandemic relief despite his own growing health problems.
Towards the end of her life, she had health problems. Surgery to remove her fast-growing kidney cancer was delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic due to shelter-in-place orders. Milbern died in a Stanford hospital on his 33rd birthday, May 19, 2020, due to surgical complications.
Milbern was featured in the Google Doodle on May 19, 2022, which would have been his 35th birthday.
- Stacey Milbern Park in pushing limits (June 5, 2020)
- Justice Culture Club for the Disabled in Facebook
- National Youth Leadership Network
- North Carolina Youth Leadership Forum
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