Monday, July 6, 2009

This time, I mean it -- "it's on"

Yesterday was a pretty good day at the Little People of America Conference. The motion to officially condone the word "midget," tabled on Saturday, was easily passed Sunday morning. Soon after the motion passed, I got on a shuttle with Mike Petruzelli (the President of LPA's Long Island Chapter and one of the NY Conference Coordinators), Clint Brown (a conference coordinator and the one who is running media in New York) and others for a news conference to announce the LPA Conference. We hosted the conference at the stadium where the Dwarf Athletic Association Games were being held. Petruzelli got the help of a pr guy in the area who works with some local politician. They all did a great job. At least seven outlets were there, including a television stringer that would feed the content to scores of other networks. I kicked off the media event with a welcome then some background on Little People of America. Mike P. then spoke more specifically about the conference. Clint then took the microphone to talk about diversity, acceptance and language. This was great timing to coincide with LPA's official condemnation of the m-word. To reinforce Clint's message, Amy Roloff of "Little People Big World" spoke about her commitment to inclusion, acceptance, etc...

The news conference was quite an exciting and exhilarating but scary event. Scary in so far as every time we, as people of short stature put ourselves in the public eye, we open ourselves up to objectification. I think we open ourselves up even more when we put forth a strong message about acceptance. But if we want change, we have to take chances and take risks. Kudos to the New York Conference Organizers -- Petruzelli, Brown and Jimmy and Darlene Korpai, who really pushed the envelope, bringing the national a step forward.

The conference also was a chance to revisit the issue of the April 5 "Celebrity Apprentice." Some people were worried this was a bad idea, that it would only open old wounds and open the door to more ridicule. But I disagree. Back in April and May, NBC, Trump and Burnett shrugged off our concerns. Considering that scores of outlets picked up yesterday's news conference, and many of them placed follow up calls to Trump, NBC, etc..., this time, we will be more difficult to ignore. Here is a link to the Associated Press coverage of the event.

1 comment:

  1. Gary, it sounds like the conference is going great. Good work with the language issues. How strong and important is language! I can't wait to hear all about it.