From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – Last week, I spent time with a community member whom I admire in his dedication to inclusion and community. He was telling me a story of how he had been part of a team for the Habitat Amazing Race and that, in true team spirit, the whole team was in funny t-shirts ~ and bat wings!
At one point in the day he was separated from the group and the race. He found himself just walking down the street in this conspicuous garb and he slowly realized that he was different. He was being stared at, even by the “guys in pickup trucks” on the main street. Like a lightning bolt, he suddenly realized that this is how it feels to not blend in to what is considered ‘normal’. As a white male in Lindsay, full of passion for what is right, this experience offered him an opportunity to feel the kind of stares, judgments and anxiety that he passionately fights to diffuse. He also, in that moment knew something else ~ he could take the bat wings off and blend in again, a luxury that those who are seen as different rarely have.
We, like him, work to champion inclusion, respect and finding of gifts. We can take the bat wings off for ourselves or we can teach the bat-winged warriors to fly. Fly on, community champions!