What is “the force,” you ask?
“Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” ―Obi-Wan Kenobi
The FORCE has definitely been with KIT lately! One year ago today Kat and I were in Atlanta to discuss how we could help Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) open more opportunities to youth with disabilities and achieve their goal to help all children, especially those who need us most, reach their full potential. This week we were in San Diego at the BGCA National Conference at the “coming out party” for our official partnership! (< click that link – you will love it!)
The conference’s serendipitous location in San Diego, home of the KIT HQ, meant that many of us could attend and support Kat and Vivi’s efforts. Kat and Vivi presented workshops, womanned (I may have made up that word!) an exhibit booth to share extensive KIT resources, and teamed up with BGCA staff to lead the kick-off meeting of the new BGCA Disability Inclusion Learning Community.
It was my honor to attend the Learning Community session and what I heard from Club leaders from around the country (NY, NJ, MA, NV, WI, WY, and others) made my heart sing! These leaders were not only committed to meeting the needs of all youth in their communities; they were CHEERING for BGCA in making disability inclusion a priority. Their stories, their passion, and their dedication – powerful and inspiring. Our friends from the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Clubs shared what it has meant to them to have KIT as a partner. These individuals are going to lead the way as 4300 Clubs around the country explore what it means to be truly inclusive. I just can’t wait to see what happens.
As we head into the weekend, let’s reflect on the FORCE of partnerships. No one has to go it alone. We belong to each other. We are all in this together, and together we will build a more inclusive world.
Thank you, Boys & Girls Clubs of America for sharing our vision and helping us make it a reality!