Queer activist Stacy Park Milbern was a champion for people with disabilities. She said that the disability community needed to pay more attention to the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals and people of color. Milbern criticized the mainstream disability rights movement for failing to include people of color and others who do not identify as male or female.
Milbern was a dynamic leader who had a gift for organizing people. She passed away two years ago, on her 33rd birthday.
In May of this year, Google celebrated Asian Pacific American Heritage Month with a Doodle honoring the Korean American activist on the occasion of her 35th birthday and the second anniversary of her death. It was also the annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which works to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to and participation in the digital realm.
So, how did Stacy Park Milbern die? This post will talk about that and more.
Stacey Park Milbern Cause Of Death
Milbern was born with congenital muscular dystrophy on May 19, 1987, at the U.S. Army Hospital in Seoul. Her condition deteriorated in the later stages of her life. Surgery to remove her rapidly progressing kidney cancer had been postponed due to shelter-in-place instructions. On her 33rd birthday, May 19th, 2020, Stacey Park Milbern passed away at a Stanford hospital from complications following surgery.
All You Need To Know About Disability Rights Activist Stacey Park Milbern
Milbern was born with congenital muscular dystrophy. She was raised in an evangelical Christian family in North Carolina, but she accepted and welcomed the parts of herself—especially her sexuality—that made her stand apart.
She shared her poetry and thoughts on disability rights on a personal blog, where she introduced herself as “just your everyday queer disabled corean girl living in the south.” She was able to walk when she was young, but her transition to a wheelchair sparked a lifelong commitment to empowering those with physical impairments.
While still in her teens, Milbern began acting on disability rights committees, and in 2007, she was key in getting a law passed in North Carolina that mandated the teaching of disability history in public schools.
She made the decision at age 24 to go to the San Francisco Bay Area, a hub for the disabled rights movement. She kept working for the cause, focusing on getting disabled people access to medical care. Because of Medicaid, a federally sponsored program that supplied her with in-home caregivers and allowed her to live independently, she fought against budget cuts in 2017.
After the 2019 California wildfires caused Pacific Gas & Electric to cut power to thousands of homes, Milbern helped start a grass-roots campaign to help those with disabilities who were impacted by the blackouts, including providing them with crowdsourced survival information and connecting them with rides and housing. In early 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic peaked, she worked out of her Oakland house with the Disability Justice Culture Club, a group she helped found, to deliver homemade disease-prevention kits to the homeless.