Changing Perspectives is turning 5! At a recent retreat, our small team took time to reflect not only on our growth in the past year but also on our success over time. To date, we’ve promoted awareness and inspired empathy in dozens of communities by partnering with hundreds of educators to reach more than 20,000 PreK-12 students.
Our progress is possible because of our donors, which got me thinking about donors who have supported us since we took our first steps. So we reached out to one long-time contributor, Jim Grossman, and asked him why the Changing Perspectives mission resonates with him. Here’s his story:
The summer before I started 4th grade, I had one in a series of surgeries to correct my cleft lip and palate. I was excited about the operation, believing that after it, no one would see my differences anymore. Alas, that wish didn’t come true. I still had a scar and a bit of a lisp.
Most of the time, it didn’t matter; my schoolmates and neighbors knew me. Outside of my circle of familiars, however, I knew people noticed – and they didn’t seem to know what to do when they did. Often, I felt like an “other.”
Flash forward: I’m now a father and a middle school special educator. Two of my children have learning differences and every one of my students is figuring out how to navigate the world with a disability. I know they have all felt the same sense of otherness I experienced when I was young.
This is why I became a Changing Perspectives founding donor four years ago.
Changing Perspectives challenges the notion of “other” by replacing the misconceptions of disability with the vocabulary of empathy. The curriculum equips educators to create safe spaces for students to have honest discussions about what makes each of us unique and what connects us in our sameness as human beings.
Through our donors’ generosity, Changing Perspectives has helped spark the essential conversations Jim mentions with thousands of kids.
Will you help keep the dialogue going by making a
tax-deductible gift today?
Founder & Executive Director