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Celebrating 55 Years of Valuing Differences

posted by Chris Sparks on Thursday, August 30, 2012

This year is EPI’s 55th anniversary. Fifty-five years ago EPI committed to serving Iowa’s most vulnerable - persons with disabilities - and envisioned change where individuals with disabilities could live a life as valuable members of the community.

Back then, this was quite a break from the compassionate advice of most professionals to institutionalize persons with disabilities really feeling it would be better for both the family and the individual.

Today, as we embrace The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People way of life, we further celebrate and value the differences of each person who graces our doors. Allow us to share what we’ve learned along the way:

  • Every person brings a unique perspective based on their individual experiences. Using these differences and working together we can come up with novel solutions to challenges neither one of us could come up with alone.
  • Even if we have different opinions, we can both be right. When we value each other’s perceptions and consider this possibility that we might both be right we can learn from each other and create something great together.
  • We’re all different and alike. We can all find common connection points which help bring us together. At the same time, no two people are alike - we have different backgrounds, history and experiences. That’s what makes each of us uniquely us and it’s cause for celebration.

Please join us at our 55th Anniversary Celebration where we’ll showcase how we’re learning to value differences through our work in The 7 Habits.

The celebration will take place Tuesday, September 18 at the Waterloo Center for the Arts. It’s an open house - stop by anytime between 3:30 and 6:30 for a nifty-fifty-fifth celebration. We’ll have food, floats, family fun, 50s style and much more.

About The Author

Chris Sparks served as EPI's third ever Executive Director from 1998 until 2022.