Waddie Welcome: A Man Who Could Not be Denied – DVD
This is the extraordinary story of Waddie Welcome, a man born with cerebral palsy on the 4th of July, 1914. For more than 70 years he lived in Savannah, Georgia surrounded by the love and care of his family and friends. No respite care. No institutions. No day-care programs. After his primary caretaker died, he was placed in a nursing home against his wishes. He spent over ten years advocating to get out. This is a story of how a community came together to enable Waddie to move back to the community. Award-winning filmmaker Narcel G. Reedus captures the heartbreak, pain and triumph of a man who refused to be denied.
After living in a nursing home for over ten years, community members worked together to help Waddie Welcome to return home. This is the story of how personal relationships can spark and sustain justice in our society. It challenges us to redesign the responsiveness of service systems.
© The University of Georgia
Institute on Human Development and Disability
University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities
College of Family and Consumer Sciences
Open / Closed Captioned Audio Descriptors
Run Time: 26 Minutes
(Video production – 1997; DVD production 2011)
Waddie Welcome and the Beloved Community
Book by Tom Kohler & Susan Earle
Our purpose is to tell a story. A story about a man named Waddie Welcome. There are five points to make up front. . .
. . .This telling of Mr. Welcome’s story began as Tom Kohler joined slides and written materials with a reflection written by Susan Earl to create a talk for people concerned about community building, and especially about community building as it is done by people associated with Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy, as Mr. Welcome was. Response to the talks led to this book.匶ou will see Lester Johnson, a citizen advocate, in this story, but this story is bigger than that. It is the story of Mr. Welcome’s eighty-seven years.
. . .We would not usually be telling a person’s story in such detail; people’s lives are private. But Mr. Welcome became in the latter part of his life a public figure and a man who felt his life had a message. Mr. Welcome’s great nieces have seen the story and think that it is respectful.
This is the story of a remarkable man and the people who surrounded him to make their whole community stronger. It is a life lesson in community building from people who became masterful by doing it.
It is a treasure story with amazing photos.
“The beloved community is not a utopia, but a place where the barriers between people gradually come down and where the citizens make a constant effort to address even the most difficult problems of ordinary people. It is above all else an idealistic community.”
– Jim Lawson
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