1. What is acceptance for you?
Acceptance is the unconditional offering of a connection, regardless of differences, and should be extended with respect and empathy. To walk a mile in someone’s shoes or to walk beside them as an ally are the first steps in truly accepting people as they are.
2. What’s your favourite holiday?
Alberta’s family day is my favourite holiday. It comes at a time when people most need to make a connection. The dark, cold days of mid-February are a hard time for some Albertans, and it just gives us an excuse to gather when we can and share some love. Family is important to me, but it extends to others who may not be related by blood: the definition of family in my world is anyone who wants to be included and accepted.
3. Who’s in your village?
My village always starts with family, especially my four lovely daughters: all strong capable young women. Next would be the non-profit community where I have spent my career developing relationships, allies, supportive connections and a contingent of change-makers. That neighborhood would include my university cohort of Community Developers – the movers and shakers in the world of human rights and social justice, as well as my colleagues, fellow volunteers, and the brave people who have wandered through my life on several continents (sometimes visitors to your village make a lasting contribution).
4. Why did you join Autism Edmonton?
I joined Autism Edmonton because I wanted to help people in the Autism community. My younger sister is on the spectrum (Pervasive Developmental Disorder), and our family struggled a lot with the lack of resources in rural Alberta. I’ve experienced the triumphs and difficulties as a family member, so I want to help Autism Edmonton uplift the Autism community and ensure community members have access to information and support.
5. What is your favourite book, author or movie?
I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli, a Japanese animation company. Most of the movies they make have extremely creative and adventurous storylines with intriguing themes about human-environment relationships. The original movies are in Japanese, but you can watch them in English on Netflix now!