There is a lot of stigma that’s been surrounding autism for a very long time now. And even today, in 2023, many people still lack compassion and understanding towards autistic people. On top of that, things get even trickier if you come from the black community.

Being a part of the minority in America is already hard enough, but being part of the black community while dealing with the stigma that people have on autism just unlocks a whole new level of struggle. I know, for I, myself, am a father of two beautiful children who has autism, and I had to face its challenges when our first daughter was diagnosed at a very early age.

This, exactly, is what inspired my wife, Maria Davis-Pierre, to start Autism in Black

Since its launch three years ago, she has dedicated herself to helping parents from the black community who have kids with autism by means of providing education and advocacy services. Part of this is the Autism in Black Conference, an annual event where we invite various experts and resource speakers who are also part of the black, neurodivergent community to educate and empower attendees by speaking about their personal and professional experiences on dealing with autism.

Join us today as we talk you through our advocacy at Autism in Black, and how Autism in Black Conference might just be that one big support that you have been longing to have all this time.

Why you need to check out this episode:

  • Discover the backstory of Autism in Black and why they do what they do;
  • Learn what Autism in Black Conference is all about, and get answers to the most frequently asked questions about it; and
  • Find out who can attend the conference, what topics will be discussed, where and when the conference will be, and what the different available ticket options/packages are

“[When] we started Autism in Black, we wanted to support parents raising black autistic children through education and empowerment, and we wanted to flip the game and go into organizations and train them on how to be less harmful to the black disability community.” –Maria Davis-Pierre

Topics Covered:

00:00 – Introducing today’s guest, Autism in Black founder and CEO Maria Davis-Pierre, as well as the focus of the episode, Autism in Black Conference

01:50 – Maria Davis-Pierre and Autism in Black: The backstory, what inspired her to start Autism in Black, and what she aims to accomplish with Autism in Black Conference

03:37 – “It’s a lot bigger than what I have ever pictured”: Maria talks about the progress and growth that Autism in Black has gone through, three years since its launch

04:47 – “We are a conference that is talking about our lived experiences, in addition to our professional experiences”: What makes Autism in Black different and one of the few, if not the only one of its kind

06:11 – “It has evolved over time”: Maria speaks on the idea of having Autism in Black Conference speakers that are part of the black autistic and neurodivergent community themselves, and how different it was inviting speakers on year 1 compared to this year

09:05 – Maria describes the Autism in Black Conference experience from the attendees’ standpoint: “Like having a safe space to be vulnerable, having the opportunity to build a community, and being completely comfortable in who you are”

10:22 – “I try to make it as accessible as possible”: Why Maria decided to make Autism in Black Conference completely virtual

12:39 – Details that you need to know: When is the conference going to happen? What topics will be covered?

When: April 28-30

April 28: VIP day (VIP attendees’ private panel session with various professionals)

April 29-30: The actual conference (8:30 AM – 6:00 PM)

Register here:

17:00 – Answering the most asked question since year 1: Who can come to the Autism in Black Conference?

18:29 – Ticket options for Autism in Black Conference: Maria discusses the inclusions of General Admission, VIP, and Platinum VIP packages, as well as the other bonuses that attendees will get

23:54 – Connect with Maria Davis-Pierre


Autism in Black Conference 2023:

Notable Quotes:

“More than half of our speakers are either autistic or they fall under the neurodivergent umbrella… We are actually a conference that is talking about our lived experiences, in addition to our professional experiences. And I think that’s what makes us different.” – Maria Davis-Pierre

“Anyone can come to our conference… However, understand that our content centers only on the black experience. We center our experiences at our conference because our experiences are oftentimes not valued and diminished in other environments and under other circumstances.” – Maria Davis-Pierre

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