Program director says peer is ‘like a beacon’ for inclusion
A shared disposition to “see the beauty in every opportunity and in every person” forms part of the basis for a relationship important to Gord Tulloch.
Gord, who is a posAbilities program director, says he and Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion executive director Richard Faucher are peers who work towards a common goal of inclusion, and “to give people a good life in the community.”
They also bring similar traits to their work and relationship, such as an unabiding love of people.
“It’s a will not to judge,” Gord says, noting “everyone is trying to get through life the best way they can.”
“And we all have our idiosyncrasies and we all have our differences but we’re all alive and well . . . I think that constant sort of marvel and wonder . . . is one of the pieces that brought us together,” Gord says.
These traits invite openness and trust, which are key to Gord and Richard’s work to fostering inclusion.
Gord says he’s always respected his peer and had some level of professional interaction with him. But when Gord became posAbilities program director in 2008, he says Richard “totally took me under his wing.”
Richard directed Gord to committees to join, made introductions and invited him to meetings.
“He provided a lot of help,” Gord says.
“Not only is Richard so great at this kind of networking” but he is “like a beacon” for inclusion, Gord says.
“He’s a person of such authenticity. He’s an incredibly real guy, and his heart is so pure around this (movement). His values are unassailable so in terms of an ethical, moral compass around what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, Richard is like a beacon.
“For me, he’s one of those people that is our moral compass. And he’s all about innovation, he’s all about making things better, that the lives of the people we support are better, and he acts on it,” Gord says.
Gord adds that Richard’s can-do attitude is central to making decisions and moving inclusion forward.
One of the best things that’s resulted from their relationship is acting on a strong, commonly-held belief that arts and culture is a powerful piece for reshaping social attitudes, as people with disabilities are able to share their stories and be heard.
Gord says he and Richard have started to partner around films with the Vancouver International Film Festival and met with film-makers to discuss film, videos and commercials about people with disabilities or by people with disabilities.
“Richard and I believe very much that until people with disabilities are part of the narrative that we tell ourselves as a society, they won’t have the same voice, and the collective understanding of ourselves will be impoverished because we’ll be missing important threads,” Gord says.
“It’s one perspective of this world and it’s not out there,” he says, adding it’s “one thing to be invisible in the community and it’s another thing to be invisible in history.”
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