Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment
We are proud and excited to announce the official launch of a fund for direct support, mutual aid, and reparations by/for autistic people of color!
We first created the Fund in June 2018 with support from the American Association of People with Disabilities Hearne Leadership Award, along with a portion of all royalties from sales of All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism.
Since we launched the Fund, we have given nearly $20,000 to individual autistic people of color. We rely mostly on small donations from community members to survive. Sometimes donations as small as $5 can make a huge difference in what we can offer to people in need.
(This page last updated February 2020.)
If you are in a crisis right now, and need a shorter application, you can send us an emergency request.
Please send questions or requests for alternative formats to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please add the note “APOC” to your donation to make sure we receive it. We welcome donations as small as a couple dollars and as large as thousands.
What is this for?
The Autistic People of Color Fund provides direct financial support to autistic people of color through individual microgrants between $100 to $500.
Am I eligible?
- Any person who is autistic and a person of color (negatively racialized as non-white / Black, Asian, ethnic minority) is eligible to apply for funds.
- You are allowed to apply if you are autistic and have another disability.
- You are allowed to apply whether you have a professional diagnosis or not.
- If you were diagnosed with Kanner’s autism, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified, Asperger disorder, childhood disintegrative syndrome, nonverbal learning disorder, or Rhett’s syndrome, you count within the autistic community.
- You are a person of color if you are not white.
- Some examples: If you are Aboriginal, African or African diaspora, Black, Brown, East Asian, First Nations, Indigenous, Mestizx, Mixed-race or Multiracial, Mizrahi, Native, South Asian, or Southeast Asian, you count. (This is not an exhaustive list.) If you consider yourself white, Caucasian, or white-identified, you wouldn’t count.
- You can be any age to apply.
- You can live in any country to apply.
- We do not require people who apply to show proof that they are autistic or people of color. Because of that, we consider applications on an honor system, although if we have specific reasons to believe that a person is white or non-autistic, we may ask you more questions. If we have reason to believe you might not be eligible, we may deny an application or request more information, such as a reference.
How does it work?
We ask for demographic information about yourself on your application, including your current income, whether you have received other sources of financial support or expect to do so, and how important a microgrant would be to achieving your goal. We consider a person’s comparative need, access to resources, and other marginalized identities and experiences, in awarding microgrants.
We try to review general applications four times each year – in March, June, September, and December. We try to review emergency applications once each month. Sometimes we can review applications faster, but we can’t promise a specific time frame since we are all volunteers.
Here are some of the things we might do when you apply:
- We might give you the exact amount you ask for.
- We might give you more than what you ask for.
- We might give you less than what you ask for.
- We can’t give anyone more than $500.
- We might decline your application now. You can apply again later if you are an autistic person of color.
We will always tell you what we decide.
If we choose to give you funds, we can send your money through PayPal or a paper check. We try our best to send money within 6 weeks of making a decision. Sometimes we can send money faster but we can’t always promise a quicker timeline.
If you live outside the U.S., we might have to make different arrangements to send your funds, since it can take longer to send money abroad.
What can I use money for?
Any purpose that benefits the person applying and does not harm others is allowed.
Some possible examples of fund uses include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Buying food and groceries
- Paying a utilities bill that’s overdue
- Getting books for a semester of college
- Seeing a therapist
- Paying lab or language fees in college
- Getting an athletic uniform or equipment
- Traveling to a job interview
- Covering the cost of a medication
- Buying a job interview suit
- Covering a week’s stay in a motel while leaving an abuser
- Paying to travel to exhibit art or zines
- Getting food for a political action event
- Having picket signs professionally printed for a demonstration
- Going on a weekend vacation
Unfortunately, you can’t apply for funds to use in activities that directly support or directly oppose a candidate in a political campaign or election.
Your application must explain the reason you are requesting funds, and the amount (between $100 and $500) you are requesting.
We also ask you whether we can have your consent to share information about your grant publicly or privately if accepted, and if so, whether we have consent to share your name or initials, and any details about your need.
Where do I apply?!
If you’re not in a crisis right now, please use the general application.
Most people can finish this application in about 45 minutes. You will answer 24 total questions.
Please email us at email@example.com if…
- You prefer a document in Microsoft Word or PDF
- You prefer a paper application
- You prefer to submit a video
- You prefer to answer questions by phone
If you send a video, please upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, or another video-sharing site, and email us the link to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I apply for my child, my sibling, my partner, or someone I support?
We ask the person who the will actually get the funds to try to apply on their own first. If they are too young to apply on their own, or they need help to apply, then you can send the application for them.
Who’s behind this?
Lydia X. Z. Brown is the founder and volunteer director of the Fund.
Morénike Giwa Onaiwu is Grants Selection Chair for the Fund, representing the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network. They also lead the Committee on Autism, Race, and Ethnicity at AWN and co-edited the anthology All the Weight of Our Dreams: On Living Racialized Autism.
Sharon daVanport is Founder and Executive Director of the Autistic Women and Nonbinary Network. They provide general administrative and financial support for the Fund, since AWN is the fiscal sponsor and partner organization of the Fund.
Sara María Acevedo is a disability justice activist who was formerly Disability Organizing and Research Fellow, and provided critical support to the Fund in Spring 2019. She is now Assistant Professor of Disability Studies in the Department of Educational Psychology at the Miami University in Ohio. She also serves on the board of directors for the Society for Disability Studies and the editorial board of Ought: The Journal of Autistic Culture.
I don’t need funds/I’m not eligible, but I would like to help!
We accept donations to this fund — to have money sent to this fund, please donate to AWN and send a note indicating that the donation is for the Autistic People of Color Fund. You can send your note in an email to email@example.com to make sure that your donation goes to the right place.
If you are part of a corporate donation-matching program, a grant-making foundation, or other group that is interested in making a larger gift to the fund, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you would like to help.
Thank you for your support!