Living in technicolor at the Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy annual covered dish supper

I took a handful of notes at Thursday evening’s annual covered dish supper held by Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy.

The first sentence I wrote down: “Indifference is injustice’s incubator.”

I’m pretty sure that emcee Wade Herring said that, but I didn’t even write the speaker’s name in my notes. (UPDATE: Confirmed that Wade Herring said that.)

Whoever said it, it’s an elegant and pithy four words.

Citizen advocacy here and in other cities has a pretty straightforward mission: pairing citizen advocates with “proteges” whose lives have been impacted by developmental disability and who are at risk of being pushed into the hidden corners of our society.

Largely because of the work of longtime director Tom Kohler, citizen advocacy has had many successes here in Savannah. The annual suppers, which typically attract over 300 to Savannah Station, are visual evidence of success. It would be hard to find a more diverse gathering in Savannah, ever, in terms of age, race, religion, disability, and so on.

As part of the program, Ashley O’Brien — who has worked in the office for many years — and I read an abbreviated version of “Voices of Advocacy”, a spoken word piece that I wrote in 2002 piecing together excerpts by and about various protege-advocate relationships. The piece was written for three voices, but I thought it worked OK in a shorter version and with only two. (I’ll check with Tom and Ashley about the appropriateness of publishing a version of the text here on Savannah Unplugged.)

I took my camera. Last year, I got some pretty nice photos. But when I dismounted from my bicycle, I found that I did not have a battery in the camera. Oh well, there were plenty of others taking photos, including a couple of pros who undoubtedly got some great images that I can link soon.

“Tonight, we’re in technicolor,” Tom Kohler said in his culminating remarks, just before the meeting adjourned. Tom talked about the typical “black and white patterns” of our lives, and the vibrancy of our gathering, where literally everyone in Savannah is welcome.

Here’s a shot from my phone during the singing of “Imagine”: