[Nfbc-info] Nfbc-info Digest, Vol 127, Issue 4

Lisa Irving peacefulwoman89 at cox.net
Wed Dec 9 05:12:42 UTC 2015

Wow Jordan,

You're asking some very powerful questions. You've got a good start; you
have a desire to change a response/behavior. Your fear goes beyond blindness
and therefore you might consider checking with your healthcare provider.
They may be able to refer you to counseling services which specialize in
working through being a victim of a crime as well as finding new tools to
tackle fear when it creeps up and smacks you on the head. 

Lisa Irving 

-----Original Message-----
From: Nfbc-info [mailto:nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Jordan
Mirander via Nfbc-info
Sent: Tuesday, December 08, 2015 8:24 PM
To: nfbc-info at nfbnet.org
Cc: Jordan Mirander
Subject: Re: [Nfbc-info] Nfbc-info Digest, Vol 127, Issue 4

How can I overcome my fears? What can I do to overcome my fears that are
ruling me, and crippling me

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 5, 2015, at 4:00 AM, nfbc-info-request at nfbnet.org wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
>   1. An article from the November Braille Monitor (Darian Smith)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2015 11:51:43 -0800
> From: Darian Smith <dsmithnfb at gmail.com>
> To: NFBC Listserv <nfbc-info at nfbnet.org>
> Subject: [Nfbc-info] An article from the November Braille Monitor
> Message-ID: <46F65470-F361-4C94-9D1C-22A6EAF26BE3 at gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain;    charset=utf-8
> Hi all,
> I just saw this great article from jeannie Massay and I wanted to share it
with you fine folks.
> It also gives a mention to our very own LisaMaria Martinez!
>  Enjoy
> The Foundation of Our Federation
> by Jeannie Massay
> From the Editor: Jeannie Massay is a member of the National Federation of
the Blind Board of Directors, the state president of the National Federation
of the Blind of Oklahoma, and she works as a Licensed Professional Counselor
in her newly established private practice, addressing mental health and
behavioral concerns. In this article she writes in her capacity as the
chairman of the National Federation of the Blind Membership Committee, and
here is what she says:
> What did you think of when you read the title of this article? Perhaps you
thought of one or more of our leaders in the organized blind movement who
have been visibly active over the years. I too think of President Riccobono,
Dr. Maurer, Dr. Jernigan, Barbara Pierce, Joanne Wilson, Dianne McGeorge,
and countless others. They are all leaders in our movement and have all
played and continue to play vital roles in the Federation today. I believe
that the most important decision that they all made as blind people was to
join and become active members in the National Federation of the Blind.
Without that pivotal decision they would not be the people they have become,
nor would our beloved organization, which many of us call family, be the
leading force in blindness that it is today. 
> You may have heard me or others say that the National Federation of the
Blind is a membership-driven organization. What exactly does that mean? In
simple terms it means that without our members, without you and without me,
the National Federation of the Blind would not have the collective voice to
drive change in seeking equality in education and employment, the collective
action to facilitate changes in legislation that bring about civil rights
equality, the power to make sure that blind parents don?t have their
children removed solely on the basis of their being blind?I could go on.
Without members there would be no Federation. 
> Now let me go back to the title of this article?The Foundation of the
Federation. When President Riccobono asked me to chair the membership
committee, I accepted the challenge and then began thinking back over the
years that I have been a part of the Federation. It occurred to me that no
one ever really asked me to join. I paid my dues, and that was that. I then
began to think about the many individuals I have invited to local chapter
meetings or to our affiliate and national conventions. I had an interesting
epiphany: I never really asked any of them to join. 
> It has become clear to me that, while we are very passionate about what we
do, we are not always focused on finding blind people wherever they may be
and then bringing them into the family by actively asking them, ?Please join
us; we need your help.? I know of many blind people in Oklahoma and across
the nation who do not yet understand what the Federation can bring to their
lives, so we need to help them discover what being a member of the
organization can do for them. We are living the lives that we want, and this
is why we boldly affirm and must share what we have learned: that blindness
is not the characteristic that defines us and that together we must address
those obstacles that stand between us and living the lives we want. The
Federation found me where I was and took me to where I could believe in
myself again. I fervently want this for every blind person. Don?t you? 
> At our national convention held in July of this year, the membership
committee held a meeting that was exciting! The room was packed. The meeting
was dynamic, interesting, and participants left with real examples of how to
bring in new members. Six speakers made presentations about what they have
done and are doing to bring the positive message of the Federation to blind
people and their families and friends. Beyond bringing the message, they
explained how they are working on bringing these men and women into the
Federation family.
> The speakers (listed here in no particular order) were Amy Porterfield
from Arizona, Lisamaria Martinez from California, Shawn Callaway from the
District of Columbia, Jimmy Boehm from Tennessee, Mary Jo Hartle from
Maryland, and Jedi Moerke from Oklahoma. Each speaker enthusiastically came
to share his or her secrets about how they are growing our Federation
> Lisamaria told us about an event called ?Discover You? where NFB of 
> California members spoke about and demonstrated technology, discussed
employment, promoted sports and recreation, and shared tips and tricks about
being blind parents. The event brought in more than one hundred attendees
from all over the Bay area. Members from several chapters came together to
telephone every name on any list they could get and to visit agencies who
regularly work with blind people. This really paid off. She said, ?We
partnered with the Lighthouse to use their facility. They also helped out by
adding to our list of presenters and by chipping in for the meals.? Another
comment was that the California affiliate board?s decision to help members
get to the state convention was a tremendous benefit in bringing them to the
transformative experience a convention can represent. The NFBCA Board voted
to charter buses from different parts of the state to encourage and make
financially feasible the opportunity to attend. The newly found members were
encouraged to attend a national convention. We all know how important this
gathering can be in showing new people the big picture through highlighting
all we do, but what is sometimes overlooked is how much stronger we become
by spending time together.
> The idea of getting new members to attend state affiliate and national 
> conventions seems to be a solid strategy that is shared by many affiliates
and for good reason. Amy Porterfield from Arizona spoke about the Membership
Recruitment and Engagement Committee for the affiliate. Amy said, ?We aim to
bring in new members and help find a lasting role for them in an area where
they both bring and feel value. We have a very diverse spectrum of members
on our committee, including members from each chapter and division. We also
include members with a range of experience in the Federation and with a wide
range of interests.? In order to bring this concept to all chapters in the
affiliate the NFBA Membership Recruitment and Engagement committee developed
a traveling road show that visited all local chapters in Arizona. Every
meeting included a philosophy/membership training session that allowed new
members to learn about us, while encouraging our more established membership
to welcome and mentor new members. Amy?s final remark about membership
recruitment and engagement was this, ?The NFBA affiliate relies heavily on
all the branding and messaging that is provided by our national office and
board. We find that the one-minute message is a vital element in educating
others as well as our other tools. The value statement is foundational and
reminds us about why we are spreading the Federation philosophy.?
> Shawn Callaway, president of the National Federation of the Blind of the
District of Columbia delivered a similar message. He stressed how important
it is that we create opportunities to meet blind people who can use the
information we possess about the adjustment to blindness and who have not
had the opportunity to meet us and hear our message of hope. The DC
Affiliate planned an event in cooperation with the DC Independent Living
Council. This event, as did ones mentioned earlier, brought in many new
faces. Shawn proudly announced that the DC chapter would soon surpass one
hundred dues-paying members. 
> Jimmy Boehm, membership chair in the Tennessee affiliate, also spoke
passionately on the necessity of finding blind people where they are and
bringing the message of the Federation to them. Jimmy and others in the
Tennessee affiliate have begun efforts at finding blind college students by
organizing a chapter on campus and having official chapter meetings by
applying to be a campus-recognized organization. By doing so, the chapter
was able to secure funding for members to attend the Tennessee affiliate
convention and funding to assist members in attending the national
convention this year. 
> ?Growing our movement requires that we not only meet people where they 
> are, but that we provide them needed information enabling them to move
forward on their journeys toward living the lives they want,? said Jedi
Moerke, president of the T-Town Chapter of the National Federation of the
Blind of Oklahoma. She went on to describe an event planned and executed by
the chapter. ?Last October our chapter held a seminar for local vocational
rehabilitation consumers. The half-day seminar covered a variety of
important topics including the value of blindness training featuring high
expectations and an empowering curriculum; a variety of everyday jobs blind
people do; the steps to the rehabilitation process; advocacy in the
rehabilitation process; and an opportunity to hear from executive agency
leadership regarding available services and the direction in which our
agency is headed. They heard from real blind people who went to training,
got jobs, and are leading fulfilling lives. We expected at least twenty-five
participants. We had double that number in our audience! Some participants
joined our chapter, and others continue to remain in contact with us. Many
attended our most recent state convention.?
> No report of our convention meeting would be complete without mentioning
the comments of Mary Jo Hartle during her presentation. She is the president
of the newly formed chapter in the Greater Baltimore area. Mary Jo said,
?Our chapter meets on a weekday evening closer to the area that we live in.
We were coming to the National Center for the Blind for the chapter meetings
on Saturdays, but it took us over an hour one way to get to the meeting and
another to get back home. With kids it just wasn?t making sense for us. We
decided to organize a second chapter so that members would have a choice of
meeting days, times, and locations. Things have worked out really well. Our
chapter is growing, and our original chapter in Baltimore has not diminished
in size. This presents a growth opportunity that we need to look into
wherever we have chapters in large cities. We can find many more people in
this manner.? 
> In all of the presentations summarized above, you will note a shared
theme: that we must find people where they are. We then love them into the
Federation family by educating and helping them to discover that blindness
is not what holds them back. They can live the lives they want and we, the
members of their new family, are standing beside them every step of the way.
We continue the forward momentum of the Federation by finding blind people
and asking them to join our family. To help perspective members learn more
about us, tell them about our new member homepage at <www.nfb.org/how-join
>>, but always remember that no webpage or piece of literature can
substitute for the personal contact of a friend, mentor, and Federation
family member.
> Wherever we find new members to grow the Federation, we must begin and
keep the momentum going. Let?s go build the Federation!
> ------------------------------
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> End of Nfbc-info Digest, Vol 127, Issue 4
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