I've written before about how to use entertainment media as opportunities to learn. Here's another way you can do that.
Get into the Game is a social action campaign that uses the hit documentary Murderball to increase public awareness about people with disabilities and to raise funds for the U.S. Paralympics. Haven't seen it?
Murderball is a film about tough, highly competitive rugby players. Quadriplegic rugby players. Whether by car wreck, fist fight, gun shot, or rogue bacteria, these men were forced to live life sitting down. In their own version of the full-contact sport, they smash the hell out of each other in custom-made gladiator-like wheelchairs. And no, they don't wear helmets.
From the gyms of middle America to the Olympic arena in Athens, Greece, MURDERBALL tells the story of a group of world-class athletes unlike any ever shown on screen. In addition to smashing chairs, it will smash every stereotype you ever had about the disabled. It is a film about family, revenge, honor, sex (yes, they can) and the triumph of love over loss. But most of all, it is a film about standing up, even after your spirit - and your spine - has been crushed.
So how can you get into the game?
* Host a screening of Murderball. They'll send a free DVD, tips for a successful screening, flyers, and more.
* Donate to the Paralympics Just $215 will provide a wheelchair to a deserving athlete. Pass the plate and enter your group donation online or send checks made out to the US Olympic Committee to:
PO Box 16699
Beverly Hills, CA 90209-2699
* Spread the word to others who may want to donate, participate or host a screening.
* Check yourself and make sure your language and actions don't promote the stereotypes or discrimination of disablism.
And if you want to host a double feature, check out Emmanuel's Gift, also available on DVD. Thanks for the tip, Nick! Now let's get into the game!
"Someday, I may get evidence that changes my beliefs about equality in parenting, about the commitments we should make to children, about the worthwhileness of life with disability . . . Perhaps someday I will change my beliefs. Perhaps I will change either my evaluation of existing evidence, my understanding of new evidence, or the values I bring to the debate. That is what life is about. Meanwhile, I must keep paying attention and keep speaking out.” - Adrienne Asch, 2001