The Citizen Walk About is an annual event jointly hosted by SAIPA and SRSAN. The Walk About celebrates all abilities, inclusion and brings awareness to the disability rights movement.
SRSAN held its first Walk and Roll for Self-Advocacy On June 5th, 2009. People gathered at the Lethbridge City Hall where they listened to Rodney Barrows and Lana Rutledge talk about their experience as self-advocates. Representatives from the City of Lethbridge spoke and Bridget Pastoor, MLA for Lethbridge East, helped to start off the walk and roll. People had signs showing their support of the event and the messages they wanted community to see. People walked to Galt Gardens and had Tom Cain conclude the event. He spoke of SRSAN inviting other minority groups to join the walk in the future. In 2010, SRSAN changed the name of the Walk And Roll for Self-Advocacy to the Citizen Walk About. This was to include all citizens who believed in self-advocacy.
Thanks to the tireless dedication of self-advocates and committee volunteers, the Citizen Walk About has grown bigger and better each year! Strong messages from self-advocates about inclusion, community, equal rights and citizenship draw a crowd of 70 to 100 people annually as they walk from Lethbridge City Hall to Galt Gardens. Upon arrival, self-advocates and the community celebrate together through a barbeque and local entertainment.
2018 Citizen Walk About
This year’s theme will be “Weaving Your Own Path”, a topic important to self-advocates.
“Weaving your own path is important because [people with disabilities] often don’t get to make decisions,” says Ben Rowley, chair of the planning committee. “A lot of people with disabilities are sheltered so it’s hard to learn and grow. This is about showing people that they can achieve their dreams, even though it might take a little longer to get there.”
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., festivities will begin at Lethbridge City Hall with attendance from local community members including Dory Rossiter and Dave Lawson. Citizens will then depart city hall and begin the walk to Galt Gardens, carrying signs with key messages important to creating a more inclusive community.
In addition, SRSAN will host a barbeque and talent show in the park. Acts include singing, dancing, rapping and art displays. All proceeds will support SRSAN and advocacy initiatives.
2017 Citizen Walk About
Last year’s event was a smashing success! Under the theme, “The Disability Rights Movement Across Canada”, dozens of people in our community came together to show their support and march in unity for inclusion and equal opportunity! Those in attendance included:
CTV Anchor Dory Rossiter, Lethbridge East MLA Maria Fitzpatrick Lisa Lambert, representative from the office of Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips, Erin LeCler, representative from MP Rachael Harder’s office, and Lethbridge City Councillors Ryan Parker, Blaine Hyggen and Jeff Coffman.
We even received a special message from Minister of Human and Social Services, Irfan Sabir! Message Below:
Self-advocates and their allies arrived at Galt Gardens to a packed crowd, cheering them on! Then, it was time for everyone to let loose and share their gifts and talents! Participants were treated to colourful art displays and local talent performances! See the event unfold in the pictures below.