Will Hall did the Keynote speech at Alternatives 2012.
It’s another inspiring and deeply moving talk. He got a standing ovation for very good reason.
Things are changing! In the several years I’ve been doing this work I can see the change. We are making a difference. Our life experience and sharing that openly with others is making a difference.
One of the things that Will is talking about here is reframing our experience. This is a topic I often talk about on this blog too. Along with reframing our experience we need to understand the role of trauma in our lives and the lives of those who are labeled with psychiatric illness.
Those are just two things he touches on. There is much much more to this lovely keynote address.
Update: I’d not listened to the end of the talk when I did this post last night. At the end of his talk Will presents a vision for the future of the movement he advocates for: working on prison issues. We’re in a new era where the prison criminal justice system is devastating communities, through the so-called war on drugs. The impact is felt mostly on the poor and on people of color, where the legacy of Jim Crow and slavery continue. After the talk several African American audience members share their experiences with incarceration and its traumatic harm to the community.
Last week Will Hall spoke at the American Psychiatric Association. That too was a wonderful and inspiring talk. It’s great to listen to these two talks geared at totally different audiences at opposite ends of the spectrum. What a special talent Will has. How lucky we are to have him advocate for all of us. And when I say all of us I mean all of humanity, because in embracing and understanding the lives of those who get labeled with mental illness we help bring back to the fold some very important members who have been systematically cut-off from participating for far too long. We need everyone to be encouraged to find who they really are on this planet. Individuation for all.
Yes, the tide is turning: