Why Advocacy Matters

In a perfect world, people do the right thing, simply because it is the right thing to do.

However, we do not live in a perfect world.

We live in a world where we need to remind people to do the right thing.

Advocacy for individuals who have Down Syndrome exists because of the need to remind the world to do the right thing.

Do the right thing by including all people in the classroom.

Do the right thing by including all people in churches.

Do the right thing by including all people in activities.

Do the right thing by including all people in the work force.

Historically, it has taken the voices of parents and self advocates to remind people to do the right thing.

In the photo above, you will see the Executive Director of Down Syndrome Association of Memphis, Martine Hobson, holding her incredible daughter, Laurie,  and another dear friend of mine, Geri Clark, and her amazing son, Jimmy. They are standing beside their governor, as he signs a bill, nearly 30 years ago. He is doing the right thing, because parents and self advocates encouraged him, and other law makers, to do the right thing.

Martine, Laurie, Jimmy and Geri continue to work tirelessly. Not because they want to. They work tirelessly because people need to be reminded to do the right thing for individuals with Down syndrome in the classroom, in the churches, in the work force, and at play.

These two moms, and two adults, have paved the way. They are pioneers who have taught those of us going behind them about advocacy, why it matters, and how to do it effectively to create a change in the world. Doors have been opened for ME that would not be open with out their hard work.

I would love to tell you that advocacy is no longer needed because of the work they have already done. However, I cannot, in good conscience, make that statement.

Ensuring the rights of individuals with an intellectual/developmental disability is still a work in progress.

That is why I am grateful for, and I will continue to support organizations like the Down syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid South. 

This weekend they are hosting the "Get Down and Derby" event here in Memphis. This event will help support their efforts to continue the good work they have been doing for so many years.

We would love for you to join us, as we view the horses who are racing at the Kentucky Derby, while at the same time we raise money for the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid South. It is a fun event, that will make you want to come back yearly! Women donning hats, and men in their  finest suits! Or if you are like John and me, you will be a little shy to do that, but you will still fit in!

President of the DSAM Ray Jansco and his beautiful wife Cari

Thank you to those of you who are joining us this weekend. Your support of MaryEllen and this event means the world to us!

If you have not bought a ticket, but are still interested in going, please contact me, or you can buy one on line on the Down Syndrome Association of Memphis and the Mid South website.

Advocacy matters. I wish it did not. But it does.

In a perfect world, it would all just happen. We live in a perfectly, imperfect, world...

and so it goes....

PS We will be selling Steamers Jam there as well! Along with our new baskets for sale! Want to know a little secret? The self advocates will be selling more of these baskets if you are interested in buying one for a gift for your friends or family! Contact me for more information!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 and is filed under ,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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