by Eric Frey and Michael Garrett
In 2011, ACB will be celebrating 50 years of advocacy for people who are blind or visually impaired. A number of people in the community did not think ACB would last, but here we are 50 years later. Through dedication, persistence, and hard work, we are stronger today than ever before in our history. The Multi-Cultural Affairs Committee (MCAC) has chosen a theme for its annual luncheon and afternoon program, titled "Exhibiting the Gold, Exploring the Treasure, Embracing the Cultures." This program will showcase our 50 years of service to the blind and visually impaired. This event will identify how we got where we are today and what needs to be done in the future, so we may continue our outreach for another 50 years.
As ACB celebrates 50 years of advocacy efforts, it presents a golden opportunity to exhibit the many accomplishments the organization has made and put on display the pioneers who blazed the trail for us who are here today. If we are to continue our outreach efforts, if we are to stay true to our mission, we must continue in the tradition of those who founded the organization, leaders such as Grant Mack, Durward K. McDaniel, Catherine Skivers and M.J. Schmitt. Those leaders laid the groundwork for the accomplishments we enjoy today. ACB should be proud of its involvement in achieving legislative success; and ACB is second to none in its structured negotiations settlement approach.
Like those who led the way for ACB 50 years ago, the MCAC believes there are treasures among us today. We believe the most valuable resource that ACB has is the people that comprise it. ACB is rich in ingenuity, talent and intellectual know-how. But are these attributes being adequately utilized? We say no! So let the exploration begin! Somebody is sitting on the sidelines with ingenious ideas, a variety of hidden talents and all kinds of knowledge. ACB needs you!
The MCAC also believes that the strength of ACB can be found in its diversity. The committee strives to encourage individuals of all cultures to become active participants in ACB. Can this happen? Can ACB do a better job of embracing cultures? Yes! The MCAC recognizes the efforts put forth by ACB president Mitch Pomerantz which promote inclusion. Pomerantz and other ACB leaders have made significant strides in including individuals from a variety of cultures in programming, key committee appointments and employment opportunities.
Each year the MCAC reaches out to ACB in an attempt to share the rich heritage embedded in every culture. 2011 will be no exception, accentuated by the fact that this will be ACB's golden anniversary. So, we invite you to come join us and see how we will Exhibit the Gold, Explore the Treasure and Embrace the Cultures.