Umbrella US

You can Open Doors for ND Belonging with us in a variety of ways.

About

Who are we?

a line drawn in rainbow colored chalk

A neurodivergent (ND) person is someone who has one or more co-occurring neurological conditions that may cause disability when interacting with or moving through their environment or in relationship to other people.

 

Umbrella US will focus specifically on local initiatives that are identified by US NDs for US NDs.

 

Working alongside our allies in creating meaningful change, we take an intersectional approach to identifying and addressing the barriers faced by neurodivergent individuals.

"In fighting for the rights of our most marginalized community members, we fight for the rights of all of us."
AJ Locashio
Founder & Executive Director

Vision

Inclusion, equity, and the opportunity to thrive for all neurodivergent people.

Mission

Building a neurodivergent-led intersectional community to develop resources, education, and self-advocacy support for ND folks and their allies.

Our Pledge

Community-led

We will empower NDs to be part of every conversation and decision affecting them and our community from beginning to end.

Partnership-focused

We will consider the opinions of every person, respecting and valuing that opinion as their own, even when it is not in alignment with ours.

Equity & Inclusion

We will provide a safe space where all members of our community can be their authentic selves exploring and advocating for their individual needs and those of the community as a whole.

Sustainability & Growth

We will focus on Transgender, Queer, and Global Majority members of the ND community first and foremost and, in doing so, serve all members of the ND community.

Founders & Board

AJ Locashio (she/they)

Founder & Executive Director

AJ Locashio, M.Ed., affectionately known as The Octopus, is proud to be an ÂûDHD, Queer, Nerd, Military Spouse and Mom. She is a credentialed educator, board certified clinical sexologist and coach, sensory environment strategist, and passionate advocate for the ND Community. When not working, AJ can be found playing D&D with her family or virtual zombie bashing.

Jessica Jahns (she/her)

Co-founder & Communications Chair

Jessica Jahns is just a small town squirrel refusing to live in a lonely world. This human systems sorceress values connection with her community, loves to ponder politics, economics and social systems, and plays sweet tunes on her Yanagisawa T880 tenor sax. She’s a multitasking data processing analyst by day, listening to more podcasts than you ever knew existed (at 2x speed, of course).

Sarah Phelps is a white woman with short, curly hair. She is smiling gently at the camera and wearing a black top

Sarah Phelps (she/her)

Founding Board Member, National Board Chair

Sarah Phelps is the Director of Operations and Programs at OutNebraska – a statewide education and advocacy organization that is working to celebrate and empower thriving LGBTQIA+ communities. With degrees in history and international relations and over 20 years of non-profit and corporate experience, Sarah brings a strategic, inclusive, and innovative approach to programming, strategy, and thought leadership. Sarah is a co-founder of Leaders for Equity, Allyship and Diversity, facilitator for Inclusive Communities, content strategist for multiple entrepreneur and DEI groups, and a member of FlowLAB startup community, and Anti-Racist Leaders Association. She specializes in founding boards and is currently an executive on the boards of MomPower Inc (BIPOC working moms) and Rainbow Rest Stop (Safe spaces for trans youth), as well as the Umbrella Alliance US. 

A Black business woman with long hair and glasses, wearing a pink top, looking at the camera.

Precious Lesley (she/her)

Founding Board Member, Development Generator

Precious, an AuDHD (Autistic/ADHD) adult, is dedicated to providing education and establishing authentic relationships with job seekers and employers. She is the Founder & Principal Consultant at Loud Nerd. Loud Nerd helps neurodivergent individuals navigate the complex job search process, while also assisting employers in building diverse & inclusive teams and workplace cultures that promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA). As a Black, autistic woman, Precious has personal experience with the compounded effects of racism, sexism, and ableism and incorporates an intersectional perspective in her work, encouraging other disability advocates and DEI practitioners to do the same.

Kato Lujan Camacho is a multiracial diasporic CHamoru transman

Kato Lujan Camacho (he/him)

Founding Board Member, Development Generator

Kato Lujan Camacho is a nonprofit development expert, exploring the ways in which we center QTBIPOC experiences in the philanthropic landscape. He brings nearly a decade of industry experience to the table, supporting emerging and established organizations worldwide as they expand, evolve, and adapt their fundraising practices.

Sheldon Gay, a middle aged black man in a red, zippered hoodie, smiles at the camera

Sheldon Gay (he/him)

Founding Board Member, External Generator

Sheldon Gay is a late-identified gifted man. He is the host of “I Must Be BUG’N”, a podcast focused on humanizing the Black gifted and otherwise neurodivergent experience. His goal is to create a safe and empowering space for all neurodivergent people, especially those who may not officially be identified and those from underrepresented communities. He believes a world can exist where labels don’t have to be limited by pathology. He looks forward to growing community along his journey of self-discovery and advocacy.

Red-haired woman in glasses cuddling her cat.

Becca Lory Hector (she/her)

Founding Board Member, Internal Generator

Becca Lory Hector is an openly Autistic Professional on a mission to close the disability gap in leadership by working with companies to attract and retain disabled talent via their DEIB initiatives. Becca was diagnosed autistic as an adult and has since become a dedicated autism and neurodiversity advocate, researcher, consultant, speaker, and author. She is also an animal lover, with a special affinity for cats, who spends most of her “free” time with her many animals, her husband Antonio, and her Emotional Support Animal (ESA), Sir Walter Underfoot.

Projects

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The ND23 Project recognizes the diversity of our human experience and engages the ND community in present-centered and future-focused change. By creating community defined action plans, representative of the challenges we face, we are able to move toward sustainable systemic change that supports us individually and as a community.