Eight at the Summit
"Living, Loving, and Working" were the words printed in black and orange on our T-shirts, as we proudly returned to the yearly "Leadership Summit" at the CUNY Graduate Center recently. Last year, the Self-Advocates presented their Moth Stories, receiving a standing ovation. This year, we were invited by YAI staff who are singers and musicians, and asked to join them in performing the song Innovate: Zimbabwe by Bob Marley. We sang our part of the song proudly: "Brother our rights, our rights, It’s so right! We gon live, We gon love, we gon work, WORK FOR OUR RIGHTS! Innovate!
Afterward we joined a post-event celebration at a nearby pub, all of us sitting enjoying the foods served, saluting every person who helped and guided us, including the band, each other, and our late friend Melvin Palmer. It was a great day to be a self-advocate and a great day for all YAI staff. As Car'Melo would say proudly, "azucar!" Me, I would add "palante" English for "go forward!"