Looking forward to Springtime…
As we welcome Springtime in Savannah, let’s revisit the purpose we share under the banner of Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy.
Our shared purpose is to provide protection to and advocacy for people who are marginalized because of prejudice toward disability. We bring people who would not ordinarily meet into meaningful relationship with one another. We have done this for more than 30 years using a model called Citizen Advocacy.
We do this so that people who live isolated lives, lives that are only witnessed by paid staff persons, or sometimes by no person, will have someone who is voluntarily and intentionally in their corner.
We do this so that people who live big busy lives can be in solidarity with someone whose life looks different on the outside, with the hope that they will discover that they share many of the same hopes, dreams and needs on the inside, inside their souls. We call this “identification” – when the advocate identifies with the life and the soul of the other person.
We do this as a way to encourage both people to be the most they can be as human beings.
This is an idea that can have great strength and fragility. It is an idea that becomes real as people find ways to be together, working on practical matters as well as finding ways to share pleasure and enjoyment.
As an organization, we have to try and be curious about ourselves. It is easy to fall into unconscious busyness, missing the chance to refresh, reframe and reestablish our passion.
As we enjoy the renewal of Springtime, let’s all work together to ask important questions, create useful ideas, celebrate good news and make meaning out of all that comes our way.