This post about what a new Inclusive Leader, Megan Carrigan, experienced at an Inclusive Leadership Co-operative Gathering in 2017 has a surprise ending so be sure to read all the way through.
First though, our Sept 28 to 29, 2018 Annual Inclusive Leadership Gathering on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada is for new and experienced Inclusive Leaders, our families, friends, colleagues, students and everyone who is involved in transforming communities by embracing diversity. We hope can join us for one, two or all three days! Click here for more information.
Now back to Megan: Megan found the courage to sign up for the 2017 Inclusive Leadership gathering because she was already used to practicing an essential Inclusive Leadership skill which is the art of showing up. Throughout her life, Megan has always managed to find the internal resources within herself to keep showing up at school and at supportive community organizations despite dealing with seizures that can literally throw her to the ground any time any day of the week.
Epilepsy affects people of all ages, cultures, and walks of life. This wide spectrum of people experience an equally wide spectrum of problems with their neurological disorders. While physical problems such as seizures, spasms and injuries occur, another common side effect includes damage to personal confidence and self esteem. Megan has faced all these struggles with creative determination to keep showing up in supportive places with supportive people.
Megan was invited to the ILC Annual Gathering in June 2017 by two of her mentors from the Victoria Epilepsy and Parkinson’s Centre. They found her a partial sponsorship and encouraged her to come with them.
“It was a really cool event,” said Megan. “When we went, there were a bunch of different activities, and a bunch of people with a large age range and from different places. We had meals and went from one course to another course or activity all day long for three days. We did a lot of different things, and learned how to work with other people better.”
Workshops and activities varied from motivational stories, to Anti-Discrimination first aid courses, and Inclusive Leadership skill-building workshops. “For example, in one of the classes we shared things about ourselves and what we’d like to change, and how we think this would help us in our future. The facilitator taught me a lot about leadership and helped me learn how to organize myself better. I was trying to just do things too fast. She taught me to schedule by doing it at my own pace and doing it well.”
Megan found the people she met while socializing and celebrating to be as inspiring as the workshops. “There were group activities, games, and a celebratory talent show on Saturday evening. I read a poem about my first seizure that I had published in a book. Others sang, played guitar and danced. I just had a really good time. The people and the classes I went to were very interesting and helpful, and everyone was fun to be with.”
Megan learned that being an Inclusive Leader means putting skills for connecting with different people, communicating with compassion and standing up for diversity into practice in her daily life. “I use my new skills everyday, whether organizing activities for the places I volunteer or in my social sciences courses at college.”
Here is the surprise ending:
Megan was one of ten new Inclusive Leaders who was invited to co-facilitate the Inclusive Leadership Co-operative’s Feb 2018 Inclusive Leadership Adventure for 55 emerging and experienced Inclusive Leaders from diverse backgrounds. She applied her newly learned Inclusive Leadership skills throughout this weekend of co-facilitating as well as participating in experiential Inclusive Leadership education. Megan co-facilitated co-operative games, creative arts projects, leadership presentations, Heart to Heart discussion groups, awareness building activities, and outdoor challenges. She had a awesome experience and learned more skills that she is now applying everywhere she lives, learns and leads in her community! We look forward to Megan returning to our 2018 Inclusive Leadership Co-operative Annual Gathering in September to continue her Inclusive Leadership Development!