[NFBOK-Talk] NFBOK Notes and newsAugust 18, 2017
jeannie.massay at nfbok.org
Fri Aug 18 21:12:50 UTC 2017
The following message is from President Riccobono. Please read on for
important news and updates regarding the upcoming solar eclipse, the NFB
Pledge and the 2018 NFBOK Convention.
National Federation of the Blind
Mark A. Riccobono
officeofthepresident at nfb.org <mailto:officeofthepresident at nfb.org>
Dear Fellow Federationists,
This week I have been thinking a lot about how we carry out the activities
of the National Federation of the Blind and what broader impact the
Federation philosophy might have on society. We value equality, and we work
to eliminate discrimination based on the characteristic of blindness.
Although I would argue that our philosophy about the impact of emphasizing
certain characteristics over others applies to many other aspects of our
society. It is certainly relevant this week as the subject of race has again
become a dividing factor in our society.
This week we put two messages on the rooftop sign at the National Federation
of the Blind. The first is "Reject Racism," and the second is "Stand Against
Hate." Both of these are consistent with the spirit and values we attempt to
live in the Federation. The National Federation of the Blind has helped me
to better relate to those whose backgrounds and experiences were different
than mine. I have had the opportunity to spend time with blind people who
have had no opportunities and are struggling to get by. I have spent time
with blind people who have faced significant discrimination that continues
to hold them back. I have spent time with blind people who think they have
never experienced discrimination and they wonder what it feels like. And I
have spent time with blind people who believed that they made it on their
own and that the work of our movement gave them no advantage. It is the
Federation that taught me to find the common bond we have in our experiences
as blind people and to use that as a tool for advancing opportunities for
all blind people, including myself. By seeking first to relate to others,
the Federation has opened up opportunities for me to engage with outstanding
people that I might have otherwise never had the chance to learn from.
As we seek to carry out the work of the Federation within our great nation,
I encourage us to use the learning we have gained from the Federation to
teach others how they might approach building our communities in better
ways. Equality is a value we hold and it is something that we understand
well based on our shared experience as blind people. This week I have been
asking myself how we might use that knowledge to help others recognize that
same value in the space they occupy on a daily basis. As we struggle to
figure out that tricky question, I would suggest that one of the best things
we can do is continue to live the Federation philosophy in everything we do.
We are sending the notebook on Friday so we can share with you the
information about how to observe the eclipse on Monday in unique ways.
Please share your accounts of experiences with the eclipse as it would make
interesting content for our publications.
Next Monday, a total solar eclipse will pass across the United States. The
eclipse soundscape project <http://eclipsesoundscapes.org./> is providing a
unique opportunity to experience the eclipse nonvisually through haptic
feedback using a rumble map, and through audio descriptions unlocked in real
time as the eclipse moves overhead. Due to the change in light, nocturnal
animals stir into action, while diurnal animals settle. As the sun's light
re-emerges, it often triggers a "false dawn chorus," recordings of which
will be gathered from across the country and shared in the wake of the
eclipses passing. An accessible iPhone app is already available, and an
Android app is coming soon. For those without a smartphone, MP3 files will
be available from the eclipse soundscape project's website.
Origins of the NFB Pledge:
A recent request was made to the tenBroek Library staff to research how the
National Federation of the Blind pledge was created. Federationists recite
our pledge at every chapter meeting, state convention, and national
convention. The pledge that we all know and use today came about during the
1974 NFB National convention. Dr. Kenneth Jernigan first spoke about the
idea of a formal pledge to show one's support for the organization during
that year's Presidential Report. He also hosted a special reception during
that convention, complete with a receiving line including the entire NFB
Executive Committee, now known as the NFB Board of Directors. Every member
who walked through that receiving line received an official NFB membership
card with these words printed on the back:
I pledge to participate actively in the efforts of the National Federation
of the Blind to achieve equality, opportunity, and security for the blind;
to support the policies and programs of the Federation; and to abide by its
NFBOK 2018 Convention:
The 2018 NFBOK Convention is scheduled for Thursday evening, April 12 thru
Sunday morning, April 15, 2018. The 2018 convention is in Tulsa at the
Doubletree Warren Place. Mark your calendars and definitely save the date!
Lots more information coming your way, stay tuned!
Have a great weekend!
Jeannie M. Massay, M.A., LPC
330 W. Gray Street
Norman, OK 73069
jmassay1 at cox.net <mailto:jmassay1 at cox.net>
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