Micah Peace is a Queer, multiply Disabled organizer and advocate from Louisville, KY. Their work focuses on creating spaces and building relationships that empower people of all abilities to work together to dismantle the oppressive, interconnected systems of Racism & Ableism, and to support one another as we heal from our experiences with these oppressive systems. Grounded in an intersectional, interdisciplinary approach, Micah strives to promote access for all through creativity, empathy, and collaboration. They are passionate about the connections between mental health, systemic oppression, and social relationships, and building power through storytelling and the arts.
Micah currently works as an assistant educator at Friends School of Louisville, and as a Disability Access Coordinator at Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). Micah is also a founding member of the Kentuckiana Autistic Spectrum Alliance (KASA) and a member of the Independence Seekers Project. They hold a B.A. in Integrative Studies with concentrations in Psychology, Social Justice, and Organizational Leadership from Northern Kentucky University, and plan to pursue graduate study in Occupational Therapy. When they can find free time, Micah enjoys time with friends, reading, board games, and hanging out with their cat, who has a mustache.
Destiny Watkins is 26 years old and lives independently in Post Falls Idaho. She graduated with honors at Lake City High School Class of 2012. She has a diploma in photography, loves music and being outdoors, playing sports like wheelchair basketball and sled hockey, enjoys traveling to many places around the state independently, and loves learning new things every day. After she became fully wheelchair-bound, she got the strength to be fully independent and to advocate to help others. Destiny is one of the authors of “Improving Research and Practice: Priorities for Young Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health Needs”, published in the Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities.
Destiny is an advocate any many ways, as a self-advocate, in DoTerra Wellness, in her local city evaluating ADA compliance, and working as a consultant where she collaborates in the development and design of new things. She’s been featured on podcasts and interviews sharing her story, and has participated in expert panels and advisory boards. Destiny has collaborated in a peer to peer mentoring program at Boston University with Ariel Schwartz, PhD; has been involved with IDD-MH Research Partnership; has being a member of the SAMHSA expert panel Leadership Team, representing the panel at a meeting in Washington DC, and was a co-respondent on Why Don’t We Practice What We Preach? The Crisis of Polypharmacy. She consulted with Jeff Sheen, PhD, MSW with Utah State University to provide feedback on a series of short surveys intended to collect information about the travel patterns and social networks that inform computer models, which are designed to study community inclusion factors for people with disabilities; and works as a research consultant on the research project Reconciling the Past & Changing the Future. Destiny advocated in the Patient Center Outcome Research Institute in the annual rectification 2019, done multiple presentations about IDD-MH and mental health advocacy, and about natural approaches for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) and the START National Training Institute. Destiny had also worked with SABE and The Arc of the United States, advocating on wheelchair accessibility and training groups across the country.
- Andy Persch, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, Assistant Professor, College of Health and Human Sciences, Colorado State University.
- Beth Pfeiffer, PhD, OTR/L, Associate Professor, College of Public Health, Temple University
- Joan Beasley, PhD, Institute on Disability/UCED, University of New Hampshire
- Tawara Goode, PhD, Director, National Center for Cultural Competence, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Assistant Professor, Georgetown University
- Ariel Schwartz, PhD, Post Doctoral Fellow, Boston University
- Pengsheng Ni, MD, MPH, Research Associate, Boston University
- Greg Valcante, MD, Director of the Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, Research Assistant Professor, University of Florida