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Welcome! July’s 101Friends newsletter

June 26, 2013
by
Andrew Weaver, Green Party; David Carter; Aaron Johannes; Rob Fleming, NDP; Mary Emm.  The morning started with a video welcome from new Minister Don McCrae - exciting times - to be sending out invitations and getting such interested responses!

Andrew Weaver, Green Party; David Carter; Aaron Johannes; Rob Fleming, NDP; Mary Emmon. The morning started with a video welcome from new Minister Don McCrae – exciting times – to be sending out invitations and getting such interested responses!  And David and Mary did just a great job of representing their friends and  community!

“Life is an echo; what you give out, comes back.”

It has been a thrilling month.  On the one had we think we’d like more months like this; on the other we might not survive the joyfulness!  Shelley and I got to go to Victoria for a day long conference with the Self Advocate for a Brighter Future who talked about employment and demonstrated so much leadership.  I was lucky enough to spend the day as a graphic facilitator there.  When I think of this group I always think that they’ve perfected “welcome.”   I want to mention three kinds of leaders here.  First, Sharon is a volunteer with this group after a career in the field and she’s just always present, always helpful – you can see the trust people have for her.   Second, Becon Support Services and Kristen Kay in particular deserve so much credit for getting excited about events like this – so many of their managers, workers, people who do shared living – came out to help, and so many of the support infrastructure there showed up as well.  There are a lot of lessons to be learned from organizations like Beacon.   Third, Mary Emmon is a self advocate that we met a few years ago – she was so excited and nervous about being on the microphone – but every time we have anything to do with this group she is increasingly up at the front of the room, such a proficient leader.   I think we often allow ourselves to get caught up in questions like “Where is the leadership in our field?” and it’s good to pay attention to it when we find it!

Our second day there was part of our community mapping project.   Again, this group blew us away by inviting and hosting people at the reception that followed our day of work together, like NDP M.L.A. Rob Fleming, Green Party M.L.A. Andrew Weaver, folks from C.L.B.C. and the Ministry of Social Development, Parks and Rec and all kinds of other friends and allies.   Our new Minister, Don McRae, made a huge effort to send a rousing video welcome in which he acknowledged the importance of conversations like this.

At the B.C. People First AGM I got to spend some time with Meaghan, who’s research you can read about in another interview by Sheenagh.   We’ve been talking to lots of people about PATH, and person centred planning, and supported employment and individualized services.  We continue our work with the fabulous David Wetherow.

Here’s hoping your summer is going great and that we’ll be spending some time together soon!

And here’s a great picture of Shelley talking about how *this* is her dream job (me too!).   Aaron

ShelleyActingUp

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