Post #2 in the UPward Series
On February 22, 2021 UMA joined nine organizations, and the newly appointed Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Michael J. Bobbitt for an evening to kickoff Universal Participation Initiative Innovation and Learning Network for 2021.
Even before the evening began, Charles Baldwin emailed with a note indicating that the session would include captions and Voice/ASL interpretation and that we should be prepared to introduce ourselves with name, pronouns, town/city of residence/the indigenous people of that area, and 3-5 words to describe self. He also offered a link to help determine the indigenous nations inhabiting every town or city in Massachusetts.
The program included reflections from several deaf artists Elbert (EJ) Joseph, Felicia McGinnis, John Ying, and Takiyah Harris. We also enjoyed a video featuring DEAFinitely performers and comments from the Mass Cultural Council ED. All non-signing speakers spoke slowly and deliberately to accommodate translation. Though different at first, it created a feeling of calm and thoughtfulness – that permeated the evening.