June 16th, 2024

Citizen Walk About delivers message of inclusion

By Herald on September 10, 2021.

A group begins the walk from City Hall to Galt Gardens Friday morning during the 11th annual Citizen’s Walk. Herald photo by Al Beeber

Al Beeber – Lethbridge Herald

Inclusion was the theme of speeches and a walk to Galt Gardens on Friday organized by the South Region Self Advocacy Network.

The Citizen Walk About was the group’s 11th annual – 2020 was missed because of COVID. The group’s mission is to be a united voice for people “with different abilities which brings inspiration and opportunity to achieve,” says SRSAN.

“Everyone knows someone, if it’s not a family member it’s a friend, who has a disability,” said Committee planning member Ben Rowley during the speeches which attracted a strong crowd of mask-wearing people to the steps of City Hall.

“There’s still room to work” on acceptance, Rowley said.

“I think having these events help.”

This year’s theme was “Our Disability Journey,” and was meant to showcase the stories of people’s experiences living with a disability.

“This theme is important to self advocates because it highlights the success and progress they have made in becoming empowered citizens in their communities and the challenges that still exist today,” says SRCAN.

Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder gave an impassioned speech about the theme.

“This year’s theme is talking about the journey we’re on. It’s not a just a journey of a few, it is the journey of a collective, a community. And in this case that community is Lethbridge.

“And it truly is together we are made stronger,” Harder said.

“It is also together with our voices, it’s together that we advocate for a brighter future. And I do truly believe that our future is made better when we act together as a collective. And that’s why it’s so important that we see people gathered in this public square,” she said.

“Even though we are a small group gathered here today, it is the media’s opportunity and I would even say responsibility to get the message out to the greater community. We need the media to help us to share your stories and advocate for greater accessibility within this city of Lethbridge,” Harder said.

All proceeds from the barbecue were to support SRSAN and other advocacy initiatives.

Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter

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