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    Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Autism Self-Advocacy Panel

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    Event description

    Join us for an empowering online panel featuring autistic Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) self-advocates as they share their inspiring journeys and self-advocacy experiences. Discover how these incredible individuals have navigated the intersections of their cultural heritage and autism, and how they use their voices to drive change and foster understanding. This conversation offers an intimate glimpse into their challenges, triumphs, and the strength of their resilience. Whether you are part of the AANHPI community or simply passionate about advocacy and inclusion, this is a must-attend event that promises to educate, inspire, and unite us all.

    Panelists

    Ben VanHook is an autistic master's student pursuing a degree in public policy at George Mason University with an emphasis in education policy. He has extensive disability advocacy experience, having spoken at the United Nations, the Global ADHD Summit, and at several colleges around the United States from Stanford University to John Hopkins University, and having worked on several research projects involving the autistic community at UCLA - Riverside, the University of Massachusetts - Boston, and George Mason University. His areas of expertise lie in autism, disability, neurodiversity, education, and employment.

    Celina Tupou-Fulivai is a neurodivergent Tongan American activist, designer, and social entrepreneur, balancing her professional ventures with her role as a mother to a little lady with autism. Celina's personal experiences fuel her advocacy for normalizing neurodiversity within the AANHPI community. She is particularly passionate about promoting awareness about early intervention and accurate diagnosis for children with autism, inspired by her journey with her daughter, Zola, who was diagnosed at age 3. Her work is deeply informed by her direct lineage to Polynesian Navigators and her commitment to creating supportive environments for all families.
    LinkedIn / Instagram @celinadelasoul

    Hari Srinivasan is a PhD Neuroscience student at Vanderbilt with a research focus on autism sensory issues. He is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a PD Soros Fellow and a NISE Fellow (Neurodiversity Inspired Science & Engineering) at the First Center for Autism & Innovation. Srinivasan graduated UC Berkeley, where he was a University Medal Finalist and Phi Beta Kappa, amongst other honors. Srinivasan has autism, ADHD, limited spoken communication, sensory processing issues, and other challenges that do present significant challenges in his everyday life. He is significantly vested in seeing real solutions and progress, is an IACC committee member and on the boards/advisory boards of numerous organizations (ASAN, ASA, DREDF, Brain Foundation, Autism Europe). His journalism includes high impact articles in Time, Newsweek and Fortune. His advocacy has been featured on President Obama’s Instagram on the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. His talks include speaking at the UN, TedX and multiple keynotes.
    LinkedIn

    Dennis Tran is the Co-Founder of AMBIV Collective, a social impact agency that empowers disability and neurodivergent communities to live a meaningful and fulfilling life with research-powered support. He concurrently serves as the Director of Partnerships of the Asian Americans with Disabilities Initiative (AADI), an organization that uplifts the voices of disabled Asian Americans. In addition to his role with AMBIV and AADI, Dennis is also a DEIA Speaker and Consultant, a Marketing Specialist for the Autism Society of America, a Certified Peer Supporter on Peers.net, and a Co-Host of Dear Disabled Asians, formerly Asian Lifing Podcast. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health Policy from the University of California, Irvine. As a queer partially blind late identified ADHD-autistic neurodiverse Vietnamese American living with glaucoma and C-PTSD, Dennis is using the profound knowledge, wisdom, and mindset shifts he has gained through his late diagnoses, life coaching, and introspections towards neurodiversity inclusion. He advocates for others in the disability space and those in marginalized communities across various sectors, to ensure authentic representation, inclusiveness, and accessibility for all.
    LinkedIn / Instagram @denvtran

    Moderators

    Dr. Jenny Mai Phan is a distinguished researcher and data scientist specializing in behavioral endocrinology, psychology, and human development, with a specific focus on autism. A late-diagnosed autistic adult herself, Dr. Phan brings a unique and personal perspective to her work. Her research is driven by a deep understanding of the intersections between stress, puberty, mental health, and autism, especially within the context of diverse populations. Dr. Phan is widely recognized for her advocacy in autism, particularly in highlighting the challenges and experiences of marginalized groups, including Asian Americans and women with autism. She is passionate about promoting comprehensive sexual health education and self-advocacy tools for autistic youth, aiming to bridge the gap in accessible and inclusive resources.
    LinkedIn / Instagram @drjmphan

    Kim Chua is a dedicated advocate for disability and neurodivergence, with a strong focus on empowering marginalized voices within the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community. As a social impact designer, Co-Founder of the AMBIV Collective, and Creative Director at the Asian Americans with Disabilities Initiative (AADI), Kim works tirelessly to reshape perceptions and enhance access to culturally informed resources for individuals with disabilities and neurodivergence. Kim's journey through her own experiences as a late-identified ADHD individual with depression has fueled her passion for advocating for others. Her academic background in Public Health Policy from the University of California, Irvine, equips her with the knowledge and tools to address systemic disparities and create meaningful change.
    LinkedIn / Instagram @kimchva


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