CHANGE PROJECT: Kemptville
MURAL UNVEILING FOR RE:ACTION4INCLUSION COMMUNITY CHANGE PROJECT
Community members from Kemptville flowed into the municipal building to see the unveiling of an Inclusion Mural. Designed by Youth Change Animator Melissa Workman and students from St. Michael Catholic High School, the mural was part of Workman’s Re:Action4Inclusion Community Change Project. Donned with the words Strength Lies in Differences, Not in Similarities, the colorful mural will serve as a constant representation and reminder that everyone has a role to play in ensuring inclusion is the norm.
With tear-filled eyes and a trembling voice, Melissa gave a passionate speech on the type of community she wants Kemptville to be; a place where everyone feels they belong and no one is segregated or judged, especially those with an intellectual disability. It was clear that people of her community agree, from the standing ovation she received at the end of the presentation.
Melissa worked on her Community Change Project with the support of Community Living North Grenville and teachers from her school. The project involved a contest for the students of St. Michael, where young people were asked to define what the meaning of inclusion is, through a poem, video or a piece of art.
In addition to the contest, a number of students worked on a mural that will be showcased in their school and in the community. This required Melissa and the youth involved in this project to collaborate with community leaders, including Kemptville staff and Warden Dave Gordon, mayor of the Municipality of North Grenville. Together, they organized a spot for the unveiling and where it will be showcased in the community – the Kemptville Community Centre.
Gordon, Community Living North Grenville’s Executive Director Sandra McNamara, Melissa and Community Living Ontario’s La Toya Morgan and Linda White hosted the unveiling celebration, marking the end of the Community Change Project there. However, the mural at the community centre will serve as a reminder of the project and the importance of inclusion in the community.
~ La Toya Morgan and Linda White, Community Living Ontario