There is a great greeting I heard at a conference,” I see you” the origin is the Zulu people in Africa. It is such a short sentence that carries an enormous meaning. “I see you” means I recognize you as a human being, a person deserving of notice, of respect, of inclusion. Recently, a group of individuals we support were seen in an amazing way.
Eleven people we support were interviewed about their lives for a documentary. They were asked questions about where they lived, their families, and what matters to them. In many ways it’s a documentary on human rights: choices taken away, choices taken back. Some of the stories will sound familiar, some maybe not. But every story is important as we reflect on how we support independence. Some folks talk about being separated, living in, and leaving an institution. Woven in, I am happy to say, are the everyday joys they gained as they were able to live and work in our neighborhood, joys we have helped to make possible.
When one person says,” I see you”, the other responds,” I am here to be seen”. We all have life stories which shape how we see and experience the world. Thank you for “seeing” and helping these individuals to find their joy. As I write these blogs I am happy that some of you send me back some of your stories. I am happy to know that you are “here to be seen”. This exchange is the essence of what makes our services great.
Consider checking out the event which makes these stories known. Here is the promotional description:
Fierce Kind of Love is a collage of stories—large and intimate—of Pennsylvania’s Intellectual Disability Rights Movement. A Fierce Kind of Love uses word, movement and song to examine this remarkable (and largely untold) history and celebrate the struggle, activism and fierce love that fuels the desire for dignity. For anyone who has ever wanted to be accepted, be heard, or be loved for who they are.
A Fierce Kind of Love performance dates:
April 7, 8, 9, 10, and
April 14, 15, 16, 17
Thursday – Saturday performances: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m., including a post-performance discussion.
Sunday performances are 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., including a post-performance discussion.
For group reservations (10 or more), please call 215-204-9542.
For tickets click: http://www.temple.edu/instituteondisabilities/voices/afkol/tickets.html
You can also visit the accompanying art exhibit at City Hall March 4- May 6: http://www.temple.edu/instituteondisabilities/voices/afkol/stories.html