In order for us to better understand our responsibilities we have attempted to write a message to colleagues who will celebrate the 100th Birthday of ADA on July 26, 2090:
Dear Future Colleagues In Justice:
Today we are praying. We are praying that you live in a much more accessible, inclusive, integrated, loving, truthful and just world where democracy has been expanded and strengthened. We have taken the first steps in a long journey to justice. Regrettably in our year 2004, the ADA, IDEA, Independent Living funding, MiCASSA and our other civil rights laws are under attack. Our culture still incarcerates millions of humans with and without disabilities in barbaric institutions, backrooms and worse, windowless cells of oppressive perceptions, for the lack of basic empowerment supports. The powerful forces of the far right, forces of retreat, have started taking us back to the days of states rights; power and privilege for the few. Democracy is under attack.
My late husband, Justin Dart, Jr., one of the leaders of the ADA, dedicated the last 50 years of his life promoting civil and human rights of all people. He was writing about his burning vision for the 21st century everyday – until his last day.
He wrote: “The goal of democracy: the best life for gal … The first goal of the 21st century people must be the creation of a culture that guarantees the tools and choices of individualized empowerment to every person … I call for solidarity among all who love justice, all who love life, to create a revolution that will empower every single human being to govern his or her life, to govern the society and to be fully productive of life quality for self and for all …”
On the 100th Birthday of the ADA, are you closer to living the dream of individualized empowerment? Are you in solidarity? Do you live in a more democratic world? Today, we are praying. Beloved colleagues of 2090, we cry out to you, “Expand the revolution for the next 100 years and beyond. Never give up. Keep leading on!
“You have the power, therefore the responsibility. Live the Dream.”
Beloved colleagues, living together now in 2004, let us rededicate ourselves to the revolutions of 1776, 1964, and 1990. Let us lead the revolution for our current and future generations. The world is watching America. The world is watching the ADA. The world will follow what WE do. We have the power. We have the responsibility. Failure is unthinkable. Choose freedom! Vote in November as never before. Let us go forward together to embrace each other in reverence for individual human life. Solidarity forever! Together we shall free our propel and we shall overcome. We love you! Today, we are praying.