IMPACT: Including Samuel - The Power of Youth

Uploaded by workingfilmsdocs on 07.04.2011

bjbj- Including Samuel: The Power of Youth Transcribed by: Jasmine Thompson >> DAN HABIB,
SAMUEL S DAD: When Sam was born, we initially saw him as a typical kid, just like my oldest
son Isaiah, but after about a year we realized he had a disability and that was a very confusing
time for us. When Samuel was about three a doctor actually suggested to me that I document
our life. >> SAMUEL S MOTHER: When Samuel was a baby and we first started realizing
that he might have a disability, I remember being really afraid. How can he get a full
education and go to college when he can t hold a pencil? I just couldn t imagine beyond
that and I was very afraid for him and for us. >> SAMUEL S DAD: The primary thing I learned
from making this film is that all kids have the capacity to be fully included in school
and community all kids. The school is the hub of the community and if you can t attend
your own regular school in your community, how can you possibly feel like you re truly
apart of the community? At Beaver Meadow Elementary kids with disabilities join the same classrooms
as kids without disabilities. Now my son goes to Beaver Meadow and I think about inclusion
everyday. Since the film has come out, it s been on national television, I ve been in
about thirty different states around the country representing at universities, national conferences.
It s far exceed any of my hopes or expectations, but I knew that unless new generations of
people in this country saw disability as just a natural part of the diversity of our culture,
I would not have achieved the goals of the film. So, that s when Working Films helped
us organize a summit of disability rights and educational leaders from around the country
in Washington D.C. And what big idea that came out of that summit was we need a national
inclusion campaign that is teen led and teen focused. [pause] We selected twenty teenagers
with and without disabilities to come together for the summit. Everyone had to host an Including
Samuel screening party ahead of time and we said, We don t care how you arrive at this,
but we want you to come up with a specific idea for a national campaign for inclusion.
>> MARVIN LASTER, BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS OF AMERICA: What can we do to use the momentum of this
family to create something powerful? No matter how cool I think I am, I realize that I am
almost thirty-three years old. [laughter] And the things that I may come up with may
not resonate with young people. I want you guys to think outside the box. Make it fresh,
make it exciting, make it inclusive of everyone that is your charge today. >> NATHAN LIU:
If we want to make this campaign successful, the very first thing I think we should do
is change people s perceptions. >> KELLIE CHAFIN: Once you know something when you re
a child, you live with it. They re like rules. >> NICK HOLZTHUM: How do we make it cool?
I want to bring it back to redefining cool. >> RUBY STERN: What s cool right now? iPods,
like cell phones, Facebook. >> BACKGROUND: [shouts] Inclusion! >> RUBY: Inclusion! >> ANN
SAYBOLT, APCO WORLDWIDE: How are you going to engage people in the campaign? Like how
does that play out? >> TALI RAPPAPORT: TV s a powerful tool. >> TYLER GREENE: Everyone
watches TV. However, even more everyone goes on YouTube. [laughter] >> MICHAEL TIERNAN:
I agree with Tyler, YouTube is a great idea. I think the internet is our generation. Imagine
how many people we could get if a friend tells a friend who tells a friend and they just
spread it everywhere. >> SAMUEL S DAD: We did a lot of visual mapping, where we put
poster board on the walls and there were incredible connections happening. [music] >> COLE HENDRICKSON:
We could have Jim Carrey play him. >> CARA LIEBOWITZ: We came up with the slogan, stand
out to fit in >> NATHAN: Something that Ziggy said yesterday really stuck out to me. It
was the phrase, different is normal . I really like that. >> KRISTIN DOUGHERTY: We were talking
about, like I am only as different as everyone else. I just want to be treated normal. >> SARAH
CRONK: We put defy the norm, defy the norm, defy exclusion. >> YOUTH LEADER: If we were
just doing like a stilled image, it would just be, I am norm and then a person, expect
he is suppose to be in a wheelchair. >> LEDERICK HORNE, POET & DISABILITY ADVOCATE: Difference
is normal, I am normal. I see normal coming up a few different times. Norm, I am the norm.
Like, the guy, the guy is name Norm. >> BACKGROUND: Ohhhh! >> LEDERICK: I am Norm, right. >> ANN:
For I am Norm, what were saying to people is we re all normal. If you were going to
do a PSA, like a TV, what would it look like? >> YOUTH LEADER: I am creative, I am funny,
I am a writer, I am smart. >> CARA: Then at the very end all of us in a group all say
together, I am Norm >> NATHAN: I am an artist. >> NICK: I am a disabled athlete. >> YOUTH
LEADER: I am a filmmaker. >> CARA: I am an advocate. >>YOUTH LEADERS: [shouts] I am Norm!
[claps] >> SAMUEL S DAD: Over the course of two days, these twenty teenagers filmed two
sample PSA s, created a very powerful mission statement, and they came up with this idea
for a campaign which is now called I am Norm. You know, in this day in age, you got to have
a good website if you re going to have a campaign. And so, the young people designed the content
of the website. They thought about what would be on it, you know pictures, videos, discussion
questions. There s a whole section on actions for inclusion that you can take for your school
or community. There s a YouTube channel that has dozen of videos created by people from
around the country on the I am Norm theme. There s a documentary of the summit created
by one of the teen participants, a fourteen year old kid named Drew Goldsmith, who has
autism. [music] And honestly, one of the great things about this, I hope this campaign is
huge, I hope it is a big national success story, I hope it gets tons of visibility,
I hope its on you know major TV, but if nothing else happens then what s already happened,
what we ve done is we ve helped cultivate twenty youth leaders. And I think they, each
of these kids are going to make a huge difference in our society, one way or another. >> COLE:
Norm is the idea that all people are normal because differences are normal. [claps] >> SAMUEL
S DAD: That s kind of the beauty of it, is that we just want to see where this goes in
an organic fashion. And if I told you right now, this is where we will be in a year, I
d be lying because I don t know. But I don t really want to know, I want to see where
the teens take it. [music] >> TYLER: We ve become so close. Like, how does that happen?
[laughter] >> YOUTH LEADER: We ve demonstrated inclusion here the whole, you know 48 hours,
whatever it was. >> YOUTH LEADER: These are the most intelligent people I ve ever met
and I wouldn t of known had I not given them a chance [laughter] and included them. >> NATHAN:
I ve learned so much and I ve met so many wonderful people and I m going to remember
this experience my whole life. >> COLE: Why are we segregating them, when we can include
them for less money than if we re actually separating them? Why wouldn t that make sense
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