Advocate of equality and social inclusion for those with intellectual disabilities, through his organisation, Stimulo.
Stimulo is an organisation that has been working to defend the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities. We fight for total social inclusion, positive social participation and full access to opportunities. We do this through several activities and strategies, particularly through access to the employment market.
Work should be for everyone in this world. It’s a right that enables other social, political and life quality advantages. That is why we have chosen to emphasise the right for people with intellectual disabilities, to be trained and hired for appropriate jobs.
Hope is about opportunities and possibilities for all with Alejandro Brauer #isharehope Episode 114
Summary: Alejandro’s answer to the five questions! Listen to the full conversation on the player above; also available on iTunes and Stitcher.
Question 1: How do you define hope or what is your favorite quote about hope?
Hope is the possibility to dissolve paradigms and start a new way of life and approaching opportunities to those who didn’t have them before.
Question 2: Who has shared the most hope with you?
First of all my family who understood that little kid who kept on asking “why”. They allowed me to question everything and they gave me all the information.
Also, when you dissolve a paradigm what you do is to provoke a doubt where there was no doubt. So, people that start questioning with me and start exploring for answers and possibilities have shared that hope with me.
My daughter is another one who has shared hope with me. I’d love to think that that idea lives in her in the way she conceives the world and in the way she will decide to live her life. Also, her mom who has always supported me all along our marriage.
Question 3: How have you used hope to make it through a difficult time in your life?
Part of my job is related to understand how discrimination works, acts and happens. There is no way I can do what I do without facing the fact that discrimination is part of the problem. You cannot talk about diversity or disabilities or social inclusion if you don’t talk about discrimination. This has taken time and serious study.
What I’ve seen is that among the groups that I work with that are actually discriminated all the time by general society, it excessed a profound and very painful trans-discrimination. There is homophobia against homosexuals or women and all the other sexual orientations. Within the group, within the collective, the LGBT community, there is something that we call transphobia which is a hate from lesbians to homosexuals or from homosexuals to transgenders and there are very violent, discriminative, constant hate behaviors.
One of the experiences is, when Stimulo still had a shelter, there were these parents that came with a son who was already 25 years or something. They liked the program and they took their son to live with us. Other families didn’t like him because he would shout, scream or hit his face which was absolutely natural for me and I understood that it was a way to express something. I talked to my staff and we started to think about it what he was trying to tell us when he does this. But, there was this family who came to talk very seriously to me because they didn’t want this young man to be among the rest of the residents. It sounded so out of question to me that I said no and they insisted. They were very pushy and I started to feel uncomfortable. They said that if I didn’t reject this admission, they would withdraw their daughter. This was a family with a certain level of influence in terms of opinion because they were very important donors. I didn’t want to lose anybody.
I told them that if I leave, this project will be impossible because it depends on me and I know exactly how to do it and because I’m the only one crazy enough to engage with this organization. So if the young man goes, I will go and you and all the rest of the families will have to deal with it. My legs were shaking. It was risky and I was younger at that time. It was simply justice needs risk and risk of sacrificing something at a certain point. When justice wins, everybody takes its own place. This family stayed, the other guy was welcomed and I kept on working.
Question 4: How are you sharing hope today?
The organization Stimulo is a platform of many activities and many effects. Stimulo itself after 14 years of leading this organization has grown. We all have to understand that growth is never a continuing line especially when we’re talking about organizations that depend on the economic situations of the country where they’re at. We have to adjust and adapt. One thing we do is the Community Development Program. What we do is we go to very poor communities, indigenous communities in different areas of the provinces and we approach the convention of human rights of people with disabilities to the people with disabilities that live in those communities and their families through a lot of activities.
What I’m doing now is I am trying to create a new organization which will be a nonprofit as well and we’ll collect all these issues that Stimulo has detected. This organization will gather all these missing points to make a better place.
I’ve been invited to work in another foundation that wants to reduce violence through artistic activities. They want to start to explore violent communities in the borders. They called me as well from national broadcasting. They want to open a program and it’s a whole segment on TV about social inclusion and diversity. They want me to be the conductor of this program as well as the researcher and producer which I think is a great opportunity for people I know who have great projects.
Question 5: How should I (the listener) begin to grow in hope or share hope today?
(1) Be kind to each other.
(2) Beyond honesty, transparency.
(3) Be coherent.
(4) Kiss. Spend more time kissing.