The world lost a vital voice in the field of disability justice when Stacey Park Milbern, a devoted activist and leader, passed away on her 33rd birthday, May 19, 2020. Her demise resulted from complications during a surgical procedure. Throughout her life, Stacey fought tirelessly for the rights of the disabled community, especially those from marginalized backgrounds. She will forever be remembered for her significant contributions to the disability justice movement.
Today, we will talk about how did Stacey Park Milbern die.
Early Life and Activism
Born on May 19, 1987, in Seoul, South Korea, Stacey was diagnosed with congenital muscular dystrophy. She was proud of her mixed-race heritage, her father being a white American and her mother, Korean. Identifying as queer, Stacey challenged societal norms from a young age.
Stacey’s journey into activism began in her teenage years in North Carolina, where she held leadership roles in various disability rights organizations. At the tender age of 16, she served as the Community Outreach Director for the National Youth Leadership Network. She also played a crucial role in the establishment of the North Carolina Youth Leadership Forum and the Disabled Young People’s Collective.
Advocacy and Leadership
Stacey Milbern moved to the San Francisco Bay Area at the age of 24, a region recognized as a historical center of the disability rights movement. She continued to fight for disability rights, promoting inclusivity and equality. Her advocacy work was not limited to the disability community; she actively supported multiple movements, acknowledging the intersectionality of issues faced by marginalized communities.
Stacey’s dedication to the cause led her to establish the Disability Justice Culture Club, an organization focused on making the disability justice movement more inclusive. She was also appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities, where she advised the administration for two years.
Stacey’s work extended beyond activism and leadership; she took practical steps to aid those in need. During the voluntary power shut down by Pacific Gas & Electric in 2019, she organized a mutual aid project called Power to Live to ensure those affected by wildfires continued to receive necessary medical supplies and access to essential utilities. Later, she and her team from the Disability Justice Culture Club distributed homemade disease-prevention kits to vulnerable members of the community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crip Camp and Beyond
Stacey’s unyielding dedication to disability justice was evident in her contributions to the Oscar-nominated Netflix documentary, “Crip Camp.” As a co-producer of the impact campaign for the documentary, Stacey organized a series of online presentations, creating a platform for activists, storytellers, and cultural influencers to share their experiences.
A Lasting Legacy
Stacey Park Milbern’s life and work have left an indelible mark on the disability justice movement. Her efforts transcended boundaries, inspiring countless individuals to fight for their rights and dignity. She embodied the essence of intersectional activism, acknowledging and addressing the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender.
In her own words, “I want to leave a legacy of disabled people knowing we are powerful and beautiful because of who we are, not despite of it.” Stacey’s legacy lives on, reminding us of the importance of compassion, understanding, and inclusivity in the fight for justice.
A Warrior Remembered
Stacey’s passing left a gaping hole in the disability justice movement, yet her influence remains palpable. Tributes poured in from around the world, with friends, admirers, and fellow activists using the hashtag #StaceyTaughtUs to share their memories and lessons learned from her.
A Tribute to Stacey
Stacey’s life and work serve as a testament to her unwavering commitment to justice and equality. Her contributions to the disability justice movement have been profound and far-reaching, inspiring others to continue the fight for a more inclusive and equitable society.
A Life of Activism
Stacey’s activism was not restricted to her work within the disability community. She was a vocal advocate for marginalized communities, constantly challenging societal norms and biases. Her work has had a significant impact on the lives of many, and her legacy continues to inspire current and future activists.
A Legacy Honored
Two years after her Stacey Park Milbern death, the famous disabled person was posthumously honored with a Google Doodle as part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. This recognition served as a testament to her immense contributions to the disability justice movement and her unwavering commitment to advocating for marginalized communities.
The Power of Remembering
Remembering Stacey Park Milbern is not just about honoring her life and legacy as a disabled person; it’s also about carrying forward her mission of promoting social justice. As we remember Stacey, let’s strive to continue her work, creating a more inclusive and equitable society for all.
Stacey’s Vision Lives On
Although Stacey is no longer with us, her vision and mission live on through the countless lives she touched and the significant changes she brought about within the disability justice movement. Her legacy serves as a reminder of the power of advocacy and the importance of fighting for fair treatment, social justice and equality for all, including disabled individuals.