So, let’s talk about the Autism in Black Conference for the year 2024…
The Autism in Black Conference is rooted in our own family's journey. It all began when our daughter was diagnosed with autism at 18 months, and not long after that, we discovered that my wife shares the same journey. Seeking proper healthcare for our daughter, we encountered numerous hurdles, made a lot more difficult by the unique challenge of being Black. And that is the gap that my wife, Maria Davis-Pierre, really wanted to bridge.
Maria Davis-Pierre is a licensed mental health counselor and is the founder and CEO of Autism in Black, an organization that aims to provide support to parents who raise autistic children through educational and advocacy services. Every year, they do an Autism in Black Conference, aiming to provide a safe space for those within the spectrum.
The conference, born from our experiences, is more than just an event; it is a beacon of understanding and compassion, connecting those facing similar struggles, and ensuring no one walks their journey alone.
In this episode, Maria sheds light on everything you need to know about this annual advocacy-driven event scheduled to happen on the 19th to 21st of April of this year 2024.
Why you need to check this episode:
- Get to know Maria Davis-Pierre, CEO and Founder of Autism in Black Inc.;
- Understand the driving force behind the Autism in Black advocacy, and how it serves as a safe space for people within the spectrum; and
- Discover the anticipated highlights of this year’s Autism in Black Conference, to happen on the 19th to 21st of April
“Even if you are not on the East Coast, this conference is for you, wherever you are [in the world].” – Dr. Berry Pierre
00:00 – Welcoming today’s guest, Maria Davis-Pierre | CEO and Founder of Autism in Black Inc.
01:00 – Maria introduces herself while sharing her work and journey in autism advocacy, especially for Black people
02:50 – A quick recap on Tony Snell's story and emphasizing its commonality in the experience of Black people in the autism community
04:55 – Bridging the gap: The Autism in Black Conference’s purpose and motivation, as well as the anticipated highlights for this year
08:51 – Autism in Black Conference, now with a fathers’ panel: A conference for us, by us, and allows us to feel safe
12:09 – What does Maria Davis-Pierre get out of a conference like this?
14:41 – The driving force: Talking about the story behind the creation of the Autism in Black community
17:19 – What that all entailed to get her here: Dr. Berry recalls going to their daughter’s honor ceremony and how important it is for them to experience that
21:14 – If this is the type of story that resonates with you, your families, friends, or colleagues…
23:40 – Connect with Maria Davis-Pierre
“No matter the amount of privilege, those biases get in the way all the time.” – Maria Davis-Pierre
“We’re back to a fully virtual conference, and we do that, definitely, in consideration of families. Because we know that it takes a lot to find child care, to set up being able to leave your home for three days and attend a conference, and we want you guys to be able to get the content, lean in, listen, feel that community, and not have to worry about those things.” – Maria Davis-Pierre
“Especially in this community, that feeling of being safe is so important. Being Black is difficult; being Black is tough. So, imagine being Black, being autistic, and then having to navigate the world through those lenses.” – Dr. Berry Pierre
“For me, it’s knowing that we’re providing that safe space for our attendees and our speakers. Our speakers have said the same thing, and our attendees have said this—it’s a safe space, and they haven’t been in a space that is so Black and neuro-affirming at the same time, where they don’t have to have their defenses out, where they can let that guard down and say whatever’s on their mind in a judgment-free zone.” – Maria Davis-Pierre
Connect with Maria Davis-Pierre and the Autism in Black Inc.:
For Autism in Black Conference 2024 tickets, go to www.autisminblack.org/conference2024
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