A Transformative Conversation Around Equity, Disability and Support
Presented by Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), Equitable Dinners, L’Arche Atlanta and Out of Hand Theatre on February 6 and 27, 2024, the two gatherings will bring together dinner and discussion about the value of Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in the lives of Georgians with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families and is the latest iteration of the GCDD Storytelling Project.
Guests will be able to take part in this event in-person at the Georgia Public Broadcasting studios in Atlanta Georgia on the evening of Tuesday, February 6th or virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, February 27th.
The Storytelling Project was created six years ago in partnership between GCDD and L’Arche Atlanta to increase public awareness and motivate Georgia legislators to act now for this remarkably underserved community. By providing living portraits of individuals struggling to receive a life-altering benefit, the project’s goal was to expand cross-sector allies and garner voices of support outside of the developmental disabilities community. Since its inception, more than 170 stories have been shared via mini- documentary film, short films, creative prose, podcasts, written stories, and photographs.
This will be the first event produced by the Storytelling Project team to partner with Georgia- based Equitable Dinners. Equitable Dinners, which began in Decatur, Georgia to create meaningful conversations and change around educational racial disparity issues, combine art and dialogue and bring people of diverse backgrounds together in a facilitated conversation about complex issues. The February 7th dinner will be the first time that disability equity and supports will be an event topic.
Dinners are designed to help participants engage in conversation with depth, honesty, and mutual respect and guests include community residents, leaders, and additional stakeholders. Previous events were kicked off with a one person play that gave life to the issue being discussed. Both February events will begin with the screening of three short films centered around disability, community, and support in Georgia and will then break out into small group conversations.
Storytelling Project Lead Storyteller Shannon Turner stated:
“This year is a natural progression of the last few years of the Storytelling Project. With the documentary film, 6000 Waiting, and the two Treasure Maps years, we experimented with new ways to get the stories of Georgians with disabilities in front of broader audiences, as well as how we could gather safely during the pandemic. Now, we’re combining all we’ve learned in an exciting new platform thanks to our partnership with Equitable Dinners.
My greatest hope for A Seat at the Table, both the in-person gathering in Atlanta and the virtual, statewide event, is that they will be opportunities to use these three unique stories we’ve filmed as a launchpad into intentional conversations that will both connect us to each other more deeply and lead us to transformative action where we desperately need it.”