When you know better...
Reach Every Voice came into existence about three and a half years ago to fill a void in the lives of students looking for an engaging summer program that would allow them enriching learning opportunities while at the same time letting them get some much needed practice with their communication skills. Since before it had a name, REV has had its foundations in responding to our community's voices. Our name, Reach Every Voice, was suggested by one of our original Summer Institute members.
As we've grown, we've done so in ways that our community asks for. We make changes as a result of our community's feedback. And we are always, always trying to learn more from #actuallyautistic voices.
Lately, we've been reflecting about our logo.
When we first chose REV's logo, we loved the colors, we loved the idea of people working closely together, and we loved the incorporation of the puzzle pieces, a symbol long used to unite people behind the idea of Autism Awareness.
But now we know better.
We've been reading a lot lately about the ableist history of the puzzle piece; the idea that many autistic individuals do not see themselves as missing a piece, needing to be solved, or needing to be cured; and the reasons why Autism Speaks has developed a reputation among the woke disability community as one of the worst programs to give your money to.
And when you know better, you do better.
After talking with many of our community members and working with a graphic designer, we're ready to upgrade our logo. As we worked through the process of reviewing designs, we asked for feedback from our community, and unanimously, they chose this design.
We asked seven different individuals at REV what they liked about this design. Here's what they had to say:
"What I see is infinite unity of voices."
"I love the idea of voices interwoven."
"Think it is sophisticated and says mostly what REV believes in - respect,
presume competence, and fun."
"It shows how our voices make connections."
"Joyful, infinite voices together"
"All are interwoven and powerfully suggest unity."
"I dare say the heart of REV is bringing voices together."
We're pleased to have developed a new logo that represents the voices of our community and what we value. Over the next month, we're going to work to upgrade our website, social media, and anywhere else that featured our old logo.
We can't erase the puzzle piece logo from our past, nor do we want to. For us, it's an excellent reminder that our understanding can and should continue to evolve over the years ahead.
Now that we know better, though, we're acting on it.