In January 2010, 20 young people from across the country–with and without disabilities–came together in Washington, D.C. to create the I am Norm campaign. These young people designed this campaign to promote the acceptance, respect and inclusion of youth with disabilities.
Have you read about the campaign? If not, the best way to understand I Am Norm is to visit their webpage and read about the organization. The following is what they wrote about the campaign:
We come from diverse backgrounds and places, but we share some common ideas. We believe that diversity makes us stronger, and that discrimination breaks us down. We know that hatred is a learned behavior, and that we can all strive to rise above fear and prejudice. We understand firsthand what we gain when everyone is included in our schools and our communities, and how much we lose when anyone is left out. We are united in our commitment to a world where people of various abilities have equal opportunities.
The youth who met that January wanted to see a change. In just one weekend, we designed a campaign in hopes of bringing about that change. Through this campaign, we hope to raise awareness about inclusion, provide opportunities for youth to share their ideas about inclusion, and promote inclusive practices in schools and communities. We want to encourage the acceptance, respect, and full inclusion of all youth, including those with disabilities, in schools and communities.
We think that people should not have to fit a mold in order to fit into a classroom or a community. We want the world to abandon its perceptions of normalcy, and to learn to embrace and appreciate diversity among individuals. We want to show people to see that real inclusion can only happen by bringing together diverse groups of people and ensuring that everyone is supported, understood, and respected.
We are an initiative designed by young people to promote the acceptance, respect, and full inclusion of youth with disabilities in schools and communities. Our work is driven by a Youth Inclusion Taskforce and supported by a coalition of youth-serving partner organizations.
The following message was sent by Jerry Aiken on Sunday from the Dragon*con event:
WE are I AM Norm. This is a program within National Inclusion. We work in conjunction with other funders and are focusing on youth movement to build awareness about inclusion. National Inclusion receives the funds and manages the program.
- You can still vote 3 ways: Facebook, our direct Pepsi page, and text.
- Our direct Pepsi page: www.refresheverything.com/iamnorm
- Text 109076 to Pepsi 73774.
- You have 5 votes for each method of voting every day. You can only place one vote per method per day to a given idea.
- POWER VOTES: Find Power Votes on specially marked Pepsi products. Go to www.refresheverything.com, click on power votes, enter the code and they give you a number of extra votes. All of the power votes can be voted for a single idea. You can “cash in” 10 power vote codes daily. The number of power votes you win may be as few as 5 or could be 100 or more.
- There are 10 winners in the $50K category which is now the highest award possible.
We got a slow start, but this is something the ClayNation can do. Lets watch I Am Norm move up every day!!