Inclusive Prom Update #2

Inclusive Prom Update #2

Dear Community,

Inclusive Prom is only 4 DAYS AWAY. We have been meeting regularly, voting on this and that, & currently trying to tie up any loose ends. We have received tremendous support from local community groups: The Family Tree/Jacob Crouch Suicide Prevention, PFLAG Lafayette, Safe Havynn, & We Demand More. Together with individual community members excited for the cause, we are extremely proud to present this event. Our volunteers are getting ready to transform Wonderland Performing Arts into a beautiful trip through the mirror and into Wonderland. 

This year’s Inclusive Prom will take place on Saturday, March 11, 2023. The theme for this year’s prom is Alice in Wonderland. As of the time of this writing, 80 of 150 tickets (or 53%) have been sold. For the safety of participants and to give the best possible experience, ticket sales will close two days before the event. A team of vetted chaperones will be working the event.

Big News! DJ Digital will be spinning tunes, promising to make this event way cooler than the person writing this thank you letter and update. With top shelf music, refreshments sponsored by River Oaks Hospital (New Orleans), swag bags for each attendee, and a photo booth, this will be an event not to be missed. (And not to brag, but the planning committee may be working on some pretty sweet costumes.)

As of this writing, we have spent approximately $3200 of the $4000 we received from 24HCP. Thank you for seeing us. Given the current trend of adolescent depression, book bans, and LUS denying a request to hang a banner for Pride, we appreciate you standing up for justice and celebrating diversity.

For all of those Acadiana High School students who wouldn’t be able to take their special date to the prom, or who for whatever reason don’t feel comfortable showing up as their authentic self, for those who may be bullied or feel isolated, for those who would not otherwise get a prom, and for those who want an opportunity to meet other high school students from Acadiana, this is for you. But you know, hurry and get your tickets because only 47% remain and this is going to be a super fun event you don’t want to miss.

Thank you!

Team Inclusive Prom

Freetown Sound Lab Update #2

Freetown Sound Lab Update #2

Dear Community, 

The Freetown Sound Lab has already hit the ground running with 5 in-person interviews of neighborhood citizens. We’ve already started to capture some amazing stories such as the Black Baseball League in Lafayette and The Circus Comes to Town, to name a few. We are planning the build-out for the in-house lab to begin early March. Website development is also underway. Stay tuned for more to come.

Team Freetown Sound Lab

Sensory Safe Space Update # 2

Sensory Safe Space Update # 2

Hello community!

We are still so grateful for the support that we have received for this project. The relationships are connections we’ve been able to establish and harness is more than inspiring. We are happy to announce we will be partnering with the city of youngsville to bring a safe space to their Mardi Gras parade. Kudos to Youngsville for being progressive.

We are also in talks with UL to have a space for one of their home games! Yeah UL! We will be providing sensory bags for the autism society’s annual event as well as the DREAMS Foundation event on April 29. Just another example of our community together for one cause: inclusion. Purpose acceptance and opportunity are what we all deserve. These spaces allow for that!.

We are ready to hit Festival International head on even better than last year and can’t wait to purchase equipment and signage! Not only will this help us make our mission mobile but it will allow us to educate our growing community on sensory processing and the challenges and individual and their families face when there’s nowhere to go at an event. Our community is strong …our community is growing and we don’t see an end in site! Thanks so much! Stay tuned. #beluga

Team Sensory Safe Spaces

Healthy Acadiana Seed Library Update # 2

Healthy Acadiana Seed Library Update # 2

Dear Community, 

Team Seed Library checking in again to update you on our progress! With every intention of sounding cheesy- the SEED that was planted at our Healthy Acadiana Coalition meeting back in June of 2022 has really GROWN! We can’t thank all of you enough for believing in this project! 

We are still on track for our launch date but when we know for sure we will invite each of you!

Our final name is The Seed Library by Healthy Acadiana, and this will be reflected in the logo being designed for us! We’ve had several meetings in the past few weeks to figure out branding and we are so excited to share this with you when we have a logo! 

The cabinet, a replica card catalog, is being built by someone awesome and after seeing his other work we know it’s going to be beautiful! 

We’ve asked many seed companies, 11 to be exact, for donations of seeds and we are happy to announce that approximately 500 seed packets of various varieties are on their way to us as I type this letter! This frees up some initial money we set aside to purchase seeds so we can purchase more for later dates to help our sustainability. 

We can’t do this work alone and want to thank our subcommittee members for their hard work in figuring out the checkout process, donation processes, what types of seeds to purchase, and all the things in between to make this a huge success. 

We can’t wait to be able to share the Seed Library with all of you. 

Healthy wishes, 

Team Seed Library

Sensory Safe Space Update # 2

Sensory Safe Spaces Update #1

Dear the (coolest, funkiest and most supportive) community members,

First of all: THANK YOU. Thank you all: the backers, our team, the other teams, the 24 hour citizen/civicside team, YOU, to those you’ve told, et al. We are so grateful. We learned and will continue to learn from those that inspire us most, our community. For us to have the support and now some financial backing from our community means that many individuals will now be able to participate more readily at events in our community. Whatever capacity they/you want. We all deserve to have that opportunity, that’s what true inclusion looks like. We truly believe that this is just the start. THANK YOU!

In case you were not aware, as of November 5, our project was chosen to be funded! We had already created some relationships with many organizations and individuals in the community prior to our launch, but since then we have created quite a buzz and we are taking it in positive strides! While it is exciting, it’s a bit overwhelming too…nothing we can’t do together right?. We are in talks with the city of Youngsville to establish a Sensory Safe Space at their Mardi Gras Parade. They have just moved into their new offices, so we should hear back prior to/around the first of the year. We have a connection already for a UL-Lafayette football game, Festival International and some other options of events. Our goal is to do 3-4 large scale events in 2023. In 2024, our goal is to increase that by 1-2 and do 1-2 smaller scale events, as well as provide (many) events with our “sensory bags”.

Our next steps include continuing to form meaningful relationships in our community about our goal for inclusion, awaiting the funds which will allow us to thoughtfully order the equipment we need to make this mobile space happen! We are aiming for a Mardi Gras festival in 2023, but also are leaving room for that possibly being too early in the process.For those that may have some questions such as: how does this space differ from a VIP area? How long can you stay in this space? Why aren’t you doing this space at all events? What is The Beluga Project? Answers will come, please email or contact us on The Beluga Project social media pages.

Dear Community, you are appreciated. Stay tuned!