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Our community is engaged in an important effort to create a community of belonging. This exhibition illustrates belonging through the recorded, unrehearsed, personal stories of eleven, self-selected and local participants. They were asked to share their understandings and experiences of belonging.

Voices of Belonging - Allie

"We need to see the person too."

I go by Allie for short. I was a health science major, then a psych major. And then eventually I landed on education. I'm hoping to be a good elementary classroom teacher, but also to be able to understand kids who are in special ed because I was in special ed myself growing up. So I know how it is for the student as well as for the parents. I was friends with a boy who was in a wheelchair. We would play tag together. And he would be much faster than us.

To even out the playing field, we all went home and got our bikes to play tag instead. At the time, you know, you don't think of it as being inclusive. You think of it as he's going too fast for us. We need to even this out and then I feel like as we get older, it's like the blindfold comes off and we start... we're like, ‘oh, they're, they're black. This person's Asian this person's... this person has some kind of physical handicap.’ It's like, there's a person behind that we need to not see the disability. We need to see the person too.

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