Our spotlight non-profit this month is Project: Just Like You, whose mission is to give a positive voice to those with special needs. Project: Just Like You is very near and dear to my heart. As many of you know, my daughter has Down Syndrome and because of trailblazers like Molly Korte, the founder, our journey is so much easier than those 20-30 years ago. I'm so happy to share Molly Korte's own words about Project: Just Like You :
“There is no greater power on this earth than story.” --Libba Bray, author
Our goal and mission is to change the world, society, and mindframe by sharing people’s stories. Cultures and societies are SHAPED by the human experiences through storytelling. Each human life has a valuable story to share. We are connected to others through stories in the human race. No story should go unnoticed or unread because each life and each story is special and holds weight.
Those with disabilities are often gone unheard and unnoticed. Yet, it is through sharing their stories, we find common ground. We begin to see these individuals as dignified human beings worthy of respect, friendship, and love. Project: Just Like You aims to share these stories to shape humanity. Our goal is to become world-class story tellers.
Project: Just Like You is a nonprofit that seeks to raise awareness of inclusion through world-class storytelling. Storytelling is the most essential part of advocacy. When people’s stories are heard, it changes the way a society looks at the individual. I began Project: Just Like You because of my son Jacob. I wanted the world to see him the way I do, as a normal and happy toddler. Because in so many ways, Jacob is just like anyone else his age. He plays with trucks and cars, wrestles with his sisters, likes to be read to, and loves to laugh. These are the attributes I want others to see in Jacob. This is my son. Jacob wants to have friends and playmates. He may not be able to express it like other children, but he has the same desires, hopes, and dreams.
In 2019, we have several projects planned, which include film and art. We seek sponsors and collaborators for these projects to expand the message of Project: Just Like You into different realms.
We also plan on expanding the reach of our third annual RVA Different Abilities Day, held on December 3, which the United Nations declared as “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” (and coincidentally my son Jacob’s birthday.) For the past two years, RVA Different Abilities Day has been held at the Children’s Museum of Richmond. The event’s programming includes guest speakers, food, entertainment, inclusive play for children of all abilities, and vendors in the disability support industry. We make the event free to the public.
We are in early-stage talks with a film creator to fashion a documentary to showcase children with disabilities and how they live in different parts of the world to raise a global awareness of people with disabilities and inclusion within culture.
Project: Just Like You also produces a video podcast called “Movement Monday,” where we interview people making a difference in the Disability community. Each show is open to the live audience to ask questions of our guests. The production is done professionally and requires a small negotiated fee per episode, but we have no means to promote the series or expand upon our base of our 27 live interviews already produced.
We have so many different avenues we want to explore to share stories on a global scale, all of which support our mission to promote inclusion, particularly for children with special needs. There is so much work to be done! And until every single person is recognized and respected for being the amazing individual they are, we will continue to share stories in new and various ways.
Thank you for your support and for helping us build a world of respect, kindness, and inclusion.
--- Molly McMunn Korte is a Richmond-area mother of 3 and advocate of people with disabilities. She is a graduate of Partners in Policy Making and one of Richmond Magazine’s 2018 “Daring Women.” Molly founded Project: Just Like You in 2016 to promote inclusion through the power of storytelling. Visit projectjustlikeyou.org to learn more or email Molly at email@example.com
Hi there! I'm Courtney . I am a mom of three ,a group fitness instructor, and a blogger. My favorite thing to do is to explore new fun things in the Richmond area with my family. I look forward to connecting with you through our Girl's Night Out events and social media.