Publisher’s Letter August 2022
Things have not been easy for people lately. As we look around, watch the news, scroll through social media, there’s not a lot of good news in the world today. I think we are all craving good news, love, kindness, and meaningful personal connections. Last month, I was fortunate to get a heavy dose of all of these things at an event called Inclusion Festival.
Inclusion Festival is the nation’s only sensory-friendly, music, health, and wellness festival, and I’ve never met so many wonderful and diverse people all in one place. I met a dentist who is also a physician who works with people with disabilities at University of Pennsylvania. I met two people who left the practice of law for more fulfilling pursuits. I met people of all ages with varied abilities and genders. I participated in workshops like Brain Gym ™, meditation and mindfulness, got a massage, hula-hooped, helped at the accessible store, and listened and danced to a Beatles tribute band, knowing every word of each song. I even met a woman with whom I shared mutual friends from an old neighborhood.
One of the highlights of the Inclusion Festival were two panel discussions during which the participants talked about their unique experiences with autism, blindness, deafness, mental health challenges, and growing up in homes or going to schools where their gender preferences made them outcasts. It was enlightening and liberating to hear people express shared feelings and experiences we rarely discuss openly.
During a closing ceremony people summed up their experiences, saying they are not getting enough of the love and kindness they desperately need these days. I came away feeling the need to make more of an effort to share what I experienced there and open my heart to all the good things that life has to offer. To learn more about Inclusion Festival, visit www.inclusionfestival.com.