I Want to Start a Movement:  Social Justice and Freedom for all

When my daughter was in high school, she wanted to be a doctor until she went to a summer camp.  The camp was focused on being who you are and finding a job which fits your passion.  She came home from camp and told me she was going into a career in social justice. “You should be happy, that’s what you do, Mom,” she said.  Some days, I didn’t think that was my job, but in reality, it was, and still is.  Not only is it my job, it is the job of every one in education, health and human services.

She asked me recently about my generation and the social justice themes in our music.  We talked about how music has evolved today and how there seems to be less singing about creating a better, more just society.

Last week, I talked about liberty.  Liberty is often in the same sentence as freedom.

As I drove into work today, I heard this old song by Garth Brooks:

This ain’t comin’ from no prophet
Just an ordinary man
When I close my eyes I see
The way this world shall be
When we all walk hand in hand

When the last child cries for a crust of bread
When the last man dies for just words that he said
When there’s shelter over the poorest head
We shall be free

When the last thing we notice is the color of skin
And the first thing we look for is the beauty within
When the skies and the oceans are clean again
Then we shall be free

We shall be free
We shall be free
Stand straight, walk proud
‘Cause we shall be free


When we’re free to love anyone we choose
When this world’s big enough for all different views
When we all can worship from our own kind of pew
Then we shall be free
We shall be free

We shall be free
Have a little faith
Hold out
‘Cause we shall be free

And when money talks for the very last time
And nobody walks a step behind
When there’s only one race and that’s mankind
Then we shall be free

We shall be free
We shall be free
Stand straight, walk proud, have a little faith, hold out
We shall be free

We shall be free
We shall be free
Stand straight, have a little faith

We shall be free

Over the last ten years, the intellectual disabilities field has gotten muddled. While many of us remain caring and optimistic, we have not always remembered why we do this work.  It is about social justice- everyone has what they need to have a meaningful life: work, place, worship, friendship, opportunity.   We reflected those words in our strategic plan. Here is an excerpt about our vision:

Vision – The “WHY” of KenCrest  

What do we believe? What drives us to do more, to push past limits? Why do people feel good about working with us? The essence or the “WHY” of KenCrest is embodied in these elements:

  • We are committed to equal opportunity, which starts the moment we meet the family of a child who is not developing in a typical fashion; we believe in the child and in the family, and we believe in our ability to provide services that help them see and learn to push past their fears and thrive.
  • People with disabilities are important members of society and all people are gifted.
  • We are inspired by the dreams of families to realize the potential of their children.
  • We remain optimistic. We believe that creating opportunities is required, and we delight in the achievements of the families and individuals we support.
  • We see advances in the IDD field and we bring those resources to everyday life.
  • When no one is sure what actions to take and the path to help is unclear, we are still willing to try.
  • We believe in community. We help neighbors and families help each other.




Look for some old questions and some new answers.