In 2010, the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) launched an ambitious, statewide initiative to partner with and support community members at the local, grassroots level to use person-centered supports, community-centered connections and persistent and reflective learning that purposefully involves people with and without developmental disabilities in collaborative action. In 2020, the initiative celebrated 10 years of progress, recognizing that the Real Communities Partnership (RCP) is an award-winning, signature concept that has received national attention for its innovation and diversity. To best address the many urgent issues we are now facing in society, the RCP became the Welcoming Community Movement Fund (WCMF), where GCDD provided financial and technical support through Global Ubuntu to grassroots organizations across Georgia. The WCMF was the natural evolution of the RCP. The WCMF was funded by GCDD and managed by Global Ubuntu.
The purpose of the Welcoming Community Movement (WCM) is to pave the way toward an equitable and just society - foundational of welcoming communities - where people across race, ability, ethnicity, culture, class, socioeconomic background, educational status, gender, and religion are treated with dignity and respect. Dialogues and advocacy are poised to shift culture and attitudes so that everyone is able to regard others with empathy and compassion, and people feel welcomed and develop a sense of belonging. The WCM is a journey through disabilities and racial justice.
Authentic social justice movements are those in which marginalized groups, including people with DD, black folks, people of color, and other minorities lead the movement. Such movements encourage people who hold power to empower and stand beside the leading agents and provide the necessary support to make the dream possible. Through the lens of the Welcoming Community Movement, we will build and sustain a movement where the culture shifts from one of hate, unfairness, and dehumanization to one of love and belonging where the principle of morality is practiced as the norm. In creating such a community, we must answer the following questions on a personal and systemic level.
Again, through the lens of the Welcoming Community Movement, we intend to build and support a movement where the culture shifts from one of hate, unfairness, and dehumanization to one of love and belonging -- where the principle of morality is practiced as the norm. In creating such a community, we must also reflect, plan, act, and advocate for the personal, interpersonal, structural, and systemic change of racism and ableism.