Self advocacy – where to start? I guess I find it had to separate from activism, because every act of self-advocacy is an act of activism, as it paves the way to systemic change – hopefully.
Perhaps it’s because I live in a country of only 4.5 million (New Zealand) and I’ve had a high profile as an entertainer, but these days I expect to be treated with equality and respect – and mostly I do. Rules, policies and laws are arbitrary – they are true only in as much as we hold them to be so.
Hi everyone. My name is Barbara and, officially, I’m Philip’s new Personal Assistant. What that translates to, is that I work part time at Diversity NZ supporting projects like DPSN. I am also studying towards a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at the University of Auckland with the intent to gain entry to the training programme to become a Clinical Psychologist (therapist). I have a vested interest in mental health issues, legislation, terminology, issues of discrimination, therapies, medication and anything else you can think of related to staying sane.
Why do I care about these issues? Why should anyone listen to what I have to say? What makes my commentary valid?
In our family we have a No shushing rule. Many people wonder how we manage this and why I would set myself up in this situation. I would like to share the reasons for this in the interests of promoting the value of every child’s contribution, no matter how unique.
I have three sons. They are each unique individuals who I hope will grow up with self confidence, a positive self image, a sense of belonging and feel valued within their family, community and other roles. I intend to provide my parenting support with these goals in mind.
I’ve been going like the clappers for the last week, trying to complete an application to Creative New Zealand to record some music to add to my creative repertoire. Getting quotes and references, writing philosophies and budgets, creating plans and rationales. I have been writing and rewriting, questioning my motives for wanting to do this, feeling anxious that my 890 Facebook friends and 325 Twitter followers won’t like my stuff and wondering if what I do is good enough to be funded anyway.
Then I got an email from an arts advisor:
The Creator gathered all of Creation and said, “I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realisation that they create their own reality.”
The eagle said, “Give it to me, I will take it to the moon.”
Written for 3news.co.nz | 23 March 2010
Catholic priests have been at it again, this time in Ireland, which of course begs for a joke:
(This post is adapted from email correspondence.)
A Facebook friend contacted me recently about an essay he was writing at University about intercultural competence. He figured I was the local expert on diversity issues, so was wondering if he could get some help.
In his essay he was trying to show that, when a person finds themselves to be in a minority, (be it through race, sexual orientation, or ability level), they are better equipped to handle intercultural situations because they are more likely to understand the nature of diversity.
Written for 3news.co.nz | 16 March 2010
A Victoria University academic believes teaching primary school children about the world's main religions will promote understanding and tolerance, and prepare kids for an increasingly diverse 21st century.
"Creative Practitioners Darina Garland and Claudia Barwell met with Ken and his wife Maritherese in New York in December 2009 and recorded this interview especially for ICP. This is a rare opportunity to see Ken and Maritherese interviewed together, talking about creativity, schools, The Element ( Ken’s latest book) and life in general…"
The slogan, "Nothing about us without us" has been bandied around the international "disability" community for years and it has just been heralded, at the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament and the European Disability Forum (EDF) in Brussels, as "the motto ... calling for a full participation of disabled people in all policies." It was described by the President of the EDF as "an historic day for the 65 million persons with disabilities" where inclusion "is becoming a reality."
Really? I think the only reality this motto is creating is exclusion. In terms of genuine participation in political change, disabled people still get "nothing" about us, and that nothing happens "without" us.
When are disabled people going to get it? Why do we keep putting negative ideas into the quantum field by using negative language? When we think "disabled", we get disabled. When we think, "nothing" and "without", bingo! We get it.