Stacey Park Milbern, a beloved figure in the disability justice movement, has died at the age of 33 of complications from surgery. She started the Disability Justice Culture Club in her home in Oakland, California, as a place where queer, disabled Black, Indigenous and people of color could gather and organize. After the coronavirus pandemic hit, members of the group mobilized to make and distribute hand sanitizer and provide mutual aid to the community. Earlier this month, Stacey Park Milbern spoke out against an effort by hospital and assisted living lobbying groups in California to receive immunity from any kind of liability during the pandemic.
Stacey Park Milbern: “There has to be checks and balances on hospitals and nursing homes. Otherwise, disabled people, especially people of color, are left alone in a system that already doesn’t care about us. Everything that we have right now in terms of community living and appropriate medical care didn’t happen by itself. Disability rights advocates and racial justice advocates fought long and hard for it.”
That was Stacey Park Milbern speaking earlier this month. She died last week on her 33rd birthday.