IMPACT: Advocate With Empathy

Part Six of the IMPACT-Ability Webinar Series Co-hosted by Plan Institute and Tamarack Institute

IMPACT_Book_Cover.pngDate: Tuesday January 24th, 2017

Time: 11:55am-1:00 pm Eastern Time

Speakers: Donna Thomson, author, parent and caregiving advocate 

Justice for people with disabilities and their families is not something we can achieve on our own. For better or worse we need government. Advocating with empathy proposes that we stop poisoning the political ecosystem, put aside tactics of blame and criticism and become solution-based advocates. Solution-based advocates have two mutually supportive objectives: they propose solutions while strengthening relationships with all the players, supporters and potential allies inside and outside the political system. This has the benefit of improving government's ongoing capacity to be responsive to our challenges.

Aside from her tenacity as a parent advocate, Donna has a particular knack for appreciating the challenges faced by politicians and public servants. One of her approaches is strategic inquiry.

Join Al and Vickie in an intimate conversation with Donna Thomson, author, parent and caregiving advocate as they explore what it means to advocate with empathy and improve your chances of advocacy success.

Please note that this session is Part 6 of a 7 Part Webinar Series with Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack. Space is limited in all the sessions, and you must register for each session you wish to attend.

Click here to buy the book.

Click here to listen to recordings of the previous sessions

Register for the next, and final session: IMPACT: Think and Act like a Movement



About Al Etmanski & Vickie Cammack



Vickie and Al have been disability activists, teachers, writers and social entrepreneurs for more than three decades. Their efforts have led to the creation of the BC Family Support Institute, the Representation Agreement Act, the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the closure of BC’s 3 big institutions, Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, and Tyze Personal Networks. They were recently awarded the Order of Canada for their innovative work on behalf of families and people with disabilities. Vickie and Al believe the ingenuity and creativity of people with disabilities and their families is a force that continues to change the world.

Al Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur and author. He is a founding partner of Social Innovation Generation (SiG) and BC Partners for Social Impact. Previously he co-founded Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN) with Vickie Cammack and Jack Collins. Al is an Ashoka fellow, and a faculty member of John McKnight’s Asset Based Community Development Institute (ABCD).

About Donna Thomson headshot.jpg

DONNA THOMSON began her career as an actor, director and teacher. But in 1988, when her son Nicholas was born with severe disabilities, Donna embarked on her second career as a disability activist, author, consultant and writer.

In her book, "THE FOUR WALLS OF MY FREEDOM", (2010 in hard cover and 2014 in revised paperback, House of Anansi Press), Donna examines her personal family experience with caregiving, probing the ethics and economics of how families giving and receiving care can flourish in society. Donna examines how social innovation leading to practical solutions can help families thrive even in very challenging circumstances - a subject she blogs about regularly at her site "The Caregivers' Living Room" ( Currently, Donna consults on family engagement in health research and in family centred care in communities. Together with Vickie Cammack, she is co-authoring a new book on caregiving.

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