Guest post by Meagan Dewitt, Family Engagement Specialist at Lund
The “I live at Lund…” project started a few months ago when my supervisor, Case Management Coordinator Amy Woodruff looked to staff for ideas for activities of what we could do when we had two days off of programming. I had an idea after seeing a video made by BuzzFeed titled “I’m Trans but…” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-niyBo3hDpA) This video showed Trans people discussing stereotypes and assumptions that were not true to them and then had them discuss things that were true which people might not assume about them. I thought it would be really great if the women who live at Lund had an opportunity to address the stereotypes that they face when a person knows one thing about them, they live at Lund.
I didn’t think at that time that that email would lead to me standing in front of 97 gathered staff members at the All Staff Retreat but that is one of the great things about this agency. In the 11 months that I have worked here I have not only witnessed, but also experienced, the great respect that Lund has for the ideas and creativity of the people who work here. And while it is wonderful to work at an agency that has so much respect for the people who work there, it is even better that we work at an agency that values the voices of the families that we serves equally if not more than our own. Lund respects that the stories and experiences of the families we serve are always best told by the people who lived them rather than the people who served them.
The “I live at Lund” video allowed the women who live in our residential program to address the stereotypes and assumptions that people make about them and our program. It also gave them an opportunity to discuss other aspects of who they are and what they are proud of. Filming this video has been an incredibly rewarding experience. The women who participated were absolutely incredible. While I may have provided a space and a camera, they provided us with something that we could’ve never created ourselves, their voices, their truth, and a few very cute babies.
I am incredibly grateful that they have allowed me to share this publicly.