Self Advocates of Semiahmoo’s Alexander Magnussen, Danielle Burns, Asma Patel with Semiahmoo House Society executive director Doug Tennant and involvement co-ordinator Charmly Smith at the Disability Pride Parade, held June 15 in Richmond. (Contributed photo)

‘We have reasons to be proud of ourselves’

South Surrey self-advocates participate in march, conference to promote inclusion

B.C.’s first-ever Disability Pride Celebration and March was an important opportunity “to be out there and be loud and proud.”

Alexander Magnussen, chair of the Self-Advocates of Semiahmoo – a group formed by Semiahmoo House Society members to advocate, raise awareness of and support their peers with diverse abilities – was among many from the Semiahmoo Peninsula to participate in the event, which was held this month in Richmond as part of the 2017: Inspired by Love conference.

Touted by Inclusion BC officials as a celebration of “the pride we have for Canadian citizens of all abilities,” Magnussen said it was all that, and more.

“I think the march is important to have because we need to show that people with disabilities have reasons to be proud of themselves,” Magnussen, 28, said in a summary of his thoughts on the march and conference sent to Peace Arch News last week.

“We are still quite a minority group and we need to be more visible. This march is one way we can be more visible and proud.”

Magnussen and SAS advisor Jill Glennie said participants were pleasantly surprised by the reaction of motorists who honked and waved support during the June 15 public display.

“Everybody was sticking their hands out (to wave),” Glennie told PAN.

Magnussen was on the steering committee for the march, and said it was kept “short and sweet” to accommodate participants who had mobility issues.

The conference, held over four days at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel, was about advancing “real inclusion.” It included a pre-conference day of “presentations, conversations and social events” aimed at inspiring new ideas and action, as well as workshops and speakers.

Magnussen, who has autism, was one of two keynote speakers to address attendees on June 16. The seasoned presenter said he spoke about “positive relationships and why it is important to have relationships with people.”

Artwork by Magnussen was also featured “everywhere” at the conference. The colourful prints remain available for purchase at SHS, 15306 24 Ave. For details, call 604-536-1242.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Highway 99 traffic flows under 24 Avenue in South Surrey Monday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
A cyclist crosses above Highway 99 on 24 Avenue Monday afternoon, Oct. 19. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Liberals promise new freeway interchanges for South Surrey

NDP candidate taking pre-election announcement ‘with heavy grain of salt’

A past extreme weather response shelter set up for women inside Surrey’s Nightshift Street Ministries. (Photo: Chris Paul/nightshiftministries.org)
Homeless people in Surrey face ‘shocking and scary’ scenario this winter

Last winter there were nine Extreme Weather Response shelters in all of Surrey and White Rock. So far, during this pandemic, there are only five lined up for the coming winter

File photo
Surrey Mounties seeking dash-cam footage of Whalley road rage fight

Two men are alleged to have stabbed one another

The RCMP helicopter. (File photo)
Suspect escapes after police pursuit through Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford

Police chase involved two stolen vehicles, including one taken in Mission

IIO Chief Civilian Director Ron MacDonald. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Police watchdog concludes Mounties didn’t shoot Fleetwood teen at strip mall

IIO finds tragic death of teenager ‘not the result of any actions or inactions’ by the Surrey RCMP

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

A Rick Hansen Secondary School student died in hospital after suffering a medical incident in class on Monday. (File photo)
Abbotsford student dies after medical incident in class

Rick Hansen Secondary School offering additional counselling for students who require it

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Pixabay)
Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Most Read