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“Celebrating Identity Beyond Diagnosis: Recognition + Representation of Children on Rare Medical Journeys”

The Schubert Center for Child Studies will hold a three-part speaker series titled “Celebrating Identity Beyond Diagnosis: Recognition + Representation of Children on Rare Medical Journeys.” 

Inspired by the motto of Positive Exposure—“change how you see, see how you change”—the series uplifts the individuality and humanity of children with special needs and disabilities. Events will give voice to a community that is all-too-often marginalized and vulnerable. All events are free and open to the community. Registration is required to receive the Zoom links for each event.

The Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, the Office for Disability Resources, and the Office of Interprofessional Education Research and Collaborative Practice will co-sponsor the series. Community partners include A Special Wish Cleveland, Jewish Education Center of Cleveland – SEGULA, Madvocator: Educational and Health Care Training, Mother to Mother, PEP Cleveland, REACH – Resource, Education and Community Help Services, UCP of Greater Cleveland and The Up Side of Downs of Northeast Ohio.

Learn more about the series on the Schubert Center website.

The following events will be part of the series

“Building Trust Through Representation: At the Intersection of Disability, Race and Parenting”

Thursday, March 25, from noon to 1 p.m.

Charisse (Nikki) Montgomery, Salina Miller and Patricia Parker, authors of We Dare Be Brave: African American Moms and the Emotional Journey of Raising Children with Disabilities, will share their personal experiences as Black parents and as advocates to improve the experiences and health outcomes of children with complex medical needs. Increasing empathy, equity and inclusion will require significant changes in the ways families, educators and health care providers think. Participants are invited to bring questions and will leave with practical strategies for the future.

Register for “Building Trust Through Representation: At the Intersection of Disability, Race and Parenting.”

Rick Guidotti: “Recognizing Beauty in Difference”

Thursday, March 25, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

After a chance encounter with a young woman living with albinism, award-winning international fashion photographer Rick Guidotti began exploring images in medical textbooks. He was affronted by the dehumanizing photographs depicting disease and disability, lacking all sense of individuality. This experience led Guidotti to found Positive Exposure and to turn his lens from the more traditional ideas of beauty to the richness of human diversity. Guidotti will share, in images and story, his encounters with children around the world and explain how we can steady our gazes to see the beauty in difference. He’ll also introduce FRAME: Faces Redefining the Art of Medical Education, a resource that changes how medical information is presented to health care professionals-in-training, clinicians, families and communities by uplifting the humanity and individualism of patients.

Register for “Recognizing Beauty in Difference.”

“In Our Own Words: PEARLS Ambassadors & Youth Advocacy”

Friday, March 26, from 1 to 2 p.m.

Meet young ambassadors who are changing people’s perspectives with their honesty, thoughtfulness and humor. They will discuss their own journeys and share what inspires them to speak out. The Youth Ambassadors of PEARLS Project and their families are empowered self-advocates, using their unique voices to foster positive change. The project is a creative tool for classrooms, professional development and research, as well as for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding and respect for human diversity.

Register for “In Our Own Words: PEARLS Ambassadors & Youth Advocacy.”