Upcoming Advocacy and Improv discussion shares RTC:Rural toolkit

December 7, 2020

Interested in learning more about helping people with disabilities build advocacy skills? Join a discussion hosted by AllProv, Inc., on Saturday December 12 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. MST. For more information and to sign up for the event, see: Improv and Advocacy Discussion.

RTC:Rural’s Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit will be shared as a resource during this discussion. 

Where: Online (Zoom)

When: Saturday, December 12, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. MST

Register here: Improv and Advocacy Discussion

This event is free and open to all.

To learn more we emailed with Erin Rafaels, the Board President of AllProv, Inc., the non-profit organization hosting this discussion. 

Q&A with Erin Rafaels, Board President of AllProv, Inc.

Tell us about the upcoming Improv and Advocacy Discussion. Why did you put together this event?

Erin Rafaels (ER): The Improv and Advocacy discussion is an opportunity for self-advocates, community advocates, and improvisers to connect and learn from each other. Many resources in the field of Applied Improvisation (the use of improv to teach skills to be used in life, i.e. not only on stage), are geared towards team building and business. Of course, those are completely legitimate uses of improv. However, it seems there are fewer tools available for folks using improv in fields like social services, mental health, and advocacy work. I hope in this event that people with different experiences of advocacy and improv can share perspectives, exercises for practical applications, and resources. 

Why is improv a good way to teach advocacy?

ER: Skills needed for effective advocacy work at the individual level, community, and even legislative levels align nicely with the skills that can be taught through improv exercises. This includes communication skills such as expressing yourself verbally, the ability to ground yourself, remain focused, and respond to the unexpected. A good advocate is also a good listener. Understanding the values and agendas of the people we are speaking with can help us to be more effective in getting our needs met. Listening is the foundation of many improv exercises.

What is AllProv? Why did you found this organization?

ER: AllProv is a non-profit organization that creates opportunities in the disability and mental health communities to learn improv theater and its associated skills – especially present moment awareness, creative expression, and social communication.

I founded this organization because I am an improviser, social worker, and person with multiple disabilities who benefited greatly from learning improv. I think it was truly life changing for me to take improv classes particularly as someone who experienced exclusion in many social and recreational situations due to my physical limitations and the effects of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). I wanted there to be an organization that would not only provide physical and practical access to improv but to implement it as a tool for empowerment. 

Anything else you’d like to share?

ER: Join us in our discussion on December 12 – folks from all over the world and with diverse experiences have signed up. I believe it will be an inspired and informative space for people to share, learn, and maybe even find future collaborators. If you aren’t free then, check AllProv’s website later as I hope to publish some notes afterwards.

To sign up for the event, visit the Improv and Advocacy Discussion event page on the AllProv website.

If you’ve used RTC:Rural’s Advocacy Skill Building Toolkit as a facilitator or a participant, consider joining the Zoom discussion to share your experiences!

For more information