[Nfbc-info] Why I joined the NFB

Angela Fowler fowlers at syix.com
Mon Sep 21 18:09:33 UTC 2015

Mary, thank you. This is a very timely message, as those of us in CABS are struggling to find a way to impress upon young students the benefit, both to themselves and to all blind people, of devoting their precious time to the movement.
	Though I had been aware of, and a supporter of the NFB for years prior, I became seriously involved in the NFB in 2009. I missed the friendship and comradery I gained while at the Colorado Center for the Blind, and longed to be a part of something greater than myself. 
I found comradery and a chance to get involved, and so much more. I found friends who saw talent in me I didn't know I had, and I found teachers who weren't afraid to tell me when I was making a mess of something. Looking back, I think both things benefited me in equal measure. 
	Mary spoke of the discrimination against federationists by the airlines in the '70's. While we have made much progress since then, it would be fool-hearty to think that such blatant discrimination is a thing of the past. As you know I am president of the Canes and Tails chapter, and we can all testify, as you read over the weekend, that pockets of prejudice still exist today. 
	"Live the life you want" is so much more than a tag line. For federationists, it is the living breathing reality in which we operate. It is the mindset that blindness, though at times an inconvenience, will not hold us back from doing what we want to do. For each other, we reinforce that reality in a society which too often questions it. For those blind people who have not embraced it, we offer encouragement and teaching which empower them to realize their own potential. Always we stand against those who in their ignorance would place limits upon us based on their perception of blindness. That, folks, is why I devote so much of my time to this movement. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Nfbc-info [mailto:nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Mary Willows via Nfbc-info
Sent: Monday, September 21, 2015 10:03 AM
To: 'NFB of California List'
Cc: Mary Willows
Subject: Re: [Nfbc-info] Why I joined the NFB

Great idea, Darian.  Let's break it down even more.  
1.  What got you to a convention or meeting?
2.  What made you come back and commit to the movement?

Personally, I attended my first event when the national convention was in Chicago in '72.  Once there, I found people who were getting around the hotel and the city of Chicago without help.  I liked that.  It became a goal for me.

Then, when I moved to San Francisco, I met some blind bowlers who always attended monthly meetings.  They had a bus which was donated and a driver who donated her time which picked up people starting at about 6:00 P.M. and we got to the meeting by 7:00.  The bus trip was always fun and people introduced themselves and made sure that new people got to where they needed to be.  
We met at the American Red Cross building in SF.  There was a man at the door to greet and seat everybody.  Especially the new ones.  His name was Muzzy Marcelino.  He asked me to write down my name on his slate and stylus.  I managed to do that but it was the first time I ever saw anyone actually use one of those things.  
The topic was what made me go back.  They had just finished a state convention and were all up in arms about United Airlines because the "Fresno Six" were not allowed to fly on the same plane.  United wanted to put the Federationists on different flights.  
Do I have to tell you that did not go over well at all.  In that group was the national Treasurer, (Muzzy Marcelino) the First Vice-President of NFBC, (Jim Willows), a young kid named Fred Schroeder and other leaders who I don't remember.  
It impressed me since it was the 70's and these blind people were sticking up for themselves.  "Power to the People" and all that.
I can't say that I have never missed a convention since but I certainly can say that from that time on I knew that these were the kind of people I wanted to be around and learn from.   

Everyone who reads this message should take my reminacing to heart and attend the convention of the National Federation of the Blind of California on October 30, 31 and November 1 at the Doubletree Hotel in Newark.  This is where you will meet the movers and shakers.  We will teach each other the truth about being blind and when the work is done, we will have a heck of a lot of fun.
Go to  www.sixdots.org  to register.

Mary Willows

The National Federation of the blind knows that blindness is not the characteristic that defines you or your future.  Every day we raise the expectations of blind people because low expectations create obstacles between blind people and our dreams. 
You can live the life you want; blindness is not what holds you back.

National Federation of the Blind of California (NFBC)
3934 Kern Court
Pleasanton, CA 94588

Thank you,
Mary Willows, President NFBC
mwillows at sbcglobal.net 

-----Original Message-----
From: Nfbc-info [mailto:nfbc-info-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf Of Darian Smith via Nfbc-info
Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2015 8:29 PM
To: NFB of California List
Cc: Darian Smith
Subject: [Nfbc-info] Why I joined the NFB

Hi all,
 Many of us remember what caused us to join the Federation, some of us probably don’t quite   remember what made us what to join or who encouraged our involvement and some of us still just like a good story and something positive to hang our hats on. 
 So I guess I’ll ask everyone who reads this just what made you join the NFB? Who made the “ask” and made us welcome in the movement?
   Yours in the Federation, Darian Smith _______________________________________________
Nfbc-info mailing list
Nfbc-info at nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for Nfbc-info:

Nfbc-info mailing list
Nfbc-info at nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for Nfbc-info:

More information about the NFBC-Info mailing list