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Hello. My name is Greta Harrison. Welcome to Born Fabulous Podcast’s website. Season 2 is now launching and I want to share that story with you.
Near the end of season 1, I was talking on the phone with Jeannie Harris. She is featured in season 1, episodes 9—13. In conversation I mentioned to her that if I did not know better, I would question the sincerity of her son, self-advocate Tim Harris, because he has so many best friends.
Jeannie then explained Tim’s outlook on friendship and said she had to share the story of Tim and his friend Ashten. I was blown away and at the same time, over the phone, Jeannie and I said “Friendship should be the theme for season 2!” Here is that story in a two minute promo clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7QdGWArBFU&t=2s
Sadly, many people with significant disabilities struggle to have friends with disabilities or without disabilities. There are so many reasons for this, I will address some of these in future blogs or pieces for The Mighty.
Woodrow Wilson said, “Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.” I believe that. Human beings are social creatures that need friendship. And together we can truly change the world.
So the theme for this season is “Changing the world, one friendship at a time.” In this season you will hear four distinct sets of best friends who met at work, church, and college. In each set of friends, you will see one very successful self-advocate with a disability and their friend who does not have a disability. Why? Because that’s how the season organically started. And that is something the world certainly needs more of. Real inclusion of people with disabilities is something society is slowly, but surely, realizing should be part of our everyday fabric.
These episodes are so special, that they are being released as full videos on YouTube, as well as the audio podcasts you are accustomed to. I hope many students in K-12 and college/university settings see these friendships, and are inspired to step out of their boxes and expand their horizons. The world will be a much better place as that organically happens.
Some reminders: The theme music lyrics were written by Melissa Riggio, who had Down syndrome. She was my youngest daughter’s first role model. My youngest is now nineteen, almost twenty, and she has Down syndrome. Her whole life we have been looking for people who are breaking stereotypes, increasing awareness, and raising expectations. It was such an honor to speak to Melissa’s parents, Steve and Laura Riggio in season 1. Steve is the former CEO of Barnes & Noble. He and his wife have done so much to help advance college choices for people with intellectual disabilities, and more. The music and voice are by Rachel Fuller. Rachel is Pete Townshend’s wife. Pete Townshend of the Who, a true rock legend. It is such a blessing to have permission to use this beautiful music. The art logo was done by my youngest last year.
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I am so happy and excited to release this season. I love each person interviewed here, and am so honored to call each one friend. Editing this season has been slower than the past, because I keep smiling and replaying things as I relive the interviews. Tim Harris and Ashten Mizell, Sean McElwee and Sean Couevas, Kayla McKeon and Rachel Burns, and Micah Mialka-Feldman and Tori Cedar are each amazing individuals who are truly making the world better for all, every single day.
Let me know what YOU think. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for caring.
From my heart,
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