From the CaliforniaSibs Executive Committee:
Saturday, January 20th marked the 2nd Annual Women’s March, and Sibs had a voice this year, thanks to participation at the Contra Costa event in Northern California. Julie Payne-Neward, President & Co-Founder of the California Sibling Leadership Network (a chapter of the national Sibling Leadership Network, and its own 501(c)3 non-profit organization), cultivated an opportunity to represent the intersectionality* of “CaliforniaSibs” with women.
“Disability is a non-partisan issue, however, this was an opportunity that could not be passed up,” Julie said. “We have thousands of motivated women gathering with a sense of urgency to take action. Women are more likely to be the caregivers in all senses – for children, for aging parents, and for their siblings with special needs. We were able to draw this connection for Women’s March participants, and build community among those ready to take action.” The day was blessed by good weather and turnout at the event was estimated at 14,000 (approximately 2 million across the world). Many contacts were made with Sibs, Sib parents, extended family and friends of Sibs, and people working in the field. Awareness about CaliforniaSibs and key messages about Sibs were shared. This includes:
- Participation in SibShops, or having access to a trusted adult as a child may impart resilience against developing potential negative impacts.
- 100,000 individuals with I/DD in the State of California are currently in the care of a relative aged 60 and above, many of whom anticipate transitioning care to a Sib in the next 5-10 years.
*Awareness of intersectionality (in this case women and Sibs) is growing, bringing the power for greater inclusivity and amplifying our voices. What better place to bring awareness about CaliforniaSibs and the need for supporting Sibs across their lifespan.