We are one, because I AM YOU

Performers tell their stories of resilience, courage, and power
during three sold-out shows and in a paperback book.
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I Am You: Stories of Resilience, Courage, and Power

Bryson shares his struggle with depression as a transgender man. Jessica tells how she deals with violence by being kind and having pity for her bully. Jeff explains how he stood up for himself and fought back against a bully. Jacob reveals his struggles with self-mutilation after a lifetime of bullying. These are just a few stories of resilience, courage and power that are shared by people with developmental disabilities. Step into their lives and see how they had to stand up and fight back to gain independence and live their dreams.

To give a voice to the voiceless, Stone Belt launched its first “I Am You” stage production in 2008. This concept grew from recreational therapy student Michelle Davenport’s desire to document and preserve the stories of people with disabilities. Along with Amy Jackson, the development director at that time, Michelle believed the stories of inspiration, courage, and resilience could be brought to stage as a powerful testament to the performers’ courage and strength.  Using the Bloomington Playwrights Project’s professional stage created a high-quality production value and gave audience members an intimate way to experience the lives of people with disabilities.  

In 2018, as people prepared their presentations, a common theme surfaced—bullying. Each of the performers agreed to have their stories compiled into this book. They include Jacob Johns, Jeff Stillions, Bryson Wrightsman, Marylin Chitwood, Anna Harner, Julia Adams, Jessica Walker, Tommy Cunningham, Nick Parsley, Thomas Phillips, Amber Teulker and Carla Mann. 

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Stone Belt Arc is the local chapter of The Arc in Monroe County. The Arc is committed to all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities realizing their goals of living, learning, working and fully participating in the community. The combined strength of local Arcs, The Arc of Indiana and The Arc of the United States makes The Arc the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Learn more about The Arc by visiting www.arcind.org and www.thearc.org.

Copyright © Stone Belt Arc 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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