It’s not about overcoming cerebral palsy and moving on with our lives. The point is, there is no “getting over” a lifelong disability. We must learn to live and grow up with CP despite the challenges it presents in our daily lives. And so here is the space where we narrate those experiences—how CP is with us through the best and worst of life’s moments.
#cpstrong is about forming collective identity; finding solidarity in our struggles, and experiencing a sense of belonging in the spaces we create. We may find strength on our own but my hope is that we feel less alone because of the strength exhibited in this community. This stems from my own cultivation of thoughts & feelings about my own subjectivity as a woman with cerebral palsy, and how others have treated me throughout my life however good or bad. I believe that strength comes from knowing weakness, injustice, doubt and failure. And I sense that community comes from a desire to rise above these circumstances.
So #cpstrong is my motivation– it is my personal truth and I believe it has become a force in the CP community that will continue to be collectively realized. Through this movement, I work to showcase individuals who represent this sense of self-realization, confidence, and personal justice. And even those who are still figuring it out–because we all have something meaningful to say along the way. Most of all, let’s show others what we are capable of; take ownership of the word disability and call upon one another to join in so that we can begin to fight back against the narrative that has been set forth before us. There is still time to change the way society limits us, and it starts here.
Nearly two years after this effort began, we organized our very first CP Social, a live gathering for the purpose of community- building and socializing. Look out for info on our CP Social 2020 & subscribe for email updates.
Thanks to those who have helped to create new understandings of #cpstrong since our beginning in 2017. I hope you find some solace in this community and see that you, too are #cpstrong!
For further reading about this effort, please continue onto my article Building Spaces for Belonging