G LDEN HEART AWARD WINNERS
Just Be Nice prides itself on rewarding those who exemplify our primary mission, which is to leave the world better than we found it. Through helping others selflessly, boldly standing up for the oppressed, and exemplifying kindness - even when it's the hardest thing to do, we proudly award those who have hearts of gold. Each of whom truly make the world a better place each, and every day.
AUGUST 2020 WINNER
Amy Pinder, MA, CCC-SLP is the co-founder and Executive Director of Inclusion Festival and the Executive Director of Accessible Festivals. She is a yogi, hula hooper, arts enthusiast, and speech-language therapist with over fifteen years of experience working with individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental differences.
As a therapist, Amy incorporates joyful, regulatory, and play-based movement such as yoga, juggling, and hula hooping. These activities encourage clients to engage, explore, increase capacities, and effectively communicate through meaningful, experienced-based activities that promote mindfulness, encourage creativity, and improve overall wellbeing.
She is also the Founder and Owner of Circles of Communication, a private practice that offers integrative speech-language therapy and alternative education programs in Central New Jersey.
Just Be Nice would like to thank Amy for her dedication to the special needs community, and for all of her contributions to make the world a better place. It is our absolute pleasure to issue this award to Amy and Inclusion Festival for the month of August, and hope that you all will check out the festival online August 21-23.
We are grateful to Amy for taking some time to answer some of our questions...let's see what she had to say!
Q: Why do you think it is important to make the choice to "just be nice"?
A: Choosing to treat others with kindness, dignity and respect is one of the simplest and most powerful decisions we can make, for ourselves and others! When we actively commit to responding with love and kindness, we feel better about ourselves and have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the quality of someone else's life.
Q: What are some things that you do personally to carry out this message?
A: I do my best to respond to all situations with love and kindness, and to spread acceptance, understanding and appreciation for people with disabilities, I co-founded Inclusion Festival, the nation's first and only sensory-friendly music and wellness festival, designed to celebrate and include people of all abilities. This year, we are presenting a FREE virtual festival, modeling best practices in online accessibility and highlighting the diverse talents and perspectives of so many through uplifting music and empowering workshops that foster kindness, love for self and others, and of course, inclusion! Inclusion Festival ONLINE will stream on our website, www.inclusionfestival.com, August 21-23, 2020.
Q: What are some examples of being nice that you have recently seen from other people?
We are all navigating such uncertain times right now and I am very grateful for the ways others have stepped up to support those in need, and our collective mental health. For me, music is one way I support my own mental health so I have been viewing many livestream concerts and festivals from home. So many of the promoters and artists I love have identified charitable organizations in need and donated to their cause by raising money through online music offerings. Similarly, Inclusion Festival ONLINE will raise funds for Accessible Festivals, a non-profit dedicated to making music and recreation accessible to ALL people. This year Accessible Festivals has supported numerous musicians, event workers and artists with disabilities who have been especially impacted due to Covid-19.