Ben-Oni (also known as X, Alexis, Sexi Lexi, Cynsei, Bensei, Cynthia, Marie, Cíntia, Cyn, cutie) is the great great grandaughter/grandson of Helen P. Carter of Barbados and Reverend Richard Henry Boyd of Tennessee, and John O'Rear of Ireland, and Edward Cordle of Barbados.
They are a Trans-Pangender Black Neurodistinct Academic Activist, Comedic Orator, Vibe Curator, and Performance Artist with a background in children's curriculum development, playspace business operations, and classroom teaching...among other things...like go-go dancing at Stonewall, or DJing at their favorite bookstore Bluestockings in the Lower East Side.
As a dance teacher at KIPP Infinity Elementary School in Harlem, New York he fell in love working with students who were like him - sensitive with unique thought processing and an eagerness to be actively and meaningfully included. Oh, and a love of play!
She sought opportunities to serve more children like them... volunteering at an indoor playspace for children with extreme disabilities, providing private social and play skill development for autistic children ages birth to 22, and then managing a playspace in DUMBO Brooklyn for predominantly typically developing children. They had found her calling. But he wanted to bring all of their worlds together. So she decided to head back to school to develop a curriculum that provided neurotypical children with the skills and strategies to confidently engage with children who may play, speak (or not), or behave differently than them.
In 2020, they graduated with a Masters in Autism Spectrum Disorders and received both the Delores S. Brehm Endowed Scholarship AND Fellowship in Special Education. They will be starting her doctoral program in Clinical Psychology in Fall of 2021 at Saybrook University. Ben-Oni graduated with a AB in History from Princeton University in 2010 and looks forward to swapping stories with Michelle one day.