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A Letter from CACL's New Executive Vice-President Krista Carr

April 12, 2017 - -

Long-time advocate Krista Carr will take the position of CACL Executive Vice-President on April 18th. Below, Krista shares how she became involved in the movement for inclusion.

In 1995 I was a brand new university graduate, ready to take on the world. I had a Bachelor of Business Administration and I was off to find a well paid, “important” job in a marketing firm. I wanted a big salary, a big car, a fancy office and a big benefits package. I had one small problem: I had no experience in the field and that was proving to be a problem in me reaching my goals. I was working three part-time jobs to pay bills but none were in my field. I was anxious to get my career started.

One evening I arrived home to a message on my answering machine asking me to come to an interview at the New Brunswick Association for Community Living. I had never heard of the organization and didn’t recall applying for a job. What I did know though was that I really needed a full-time job. I wanted to get started with the next chapter of my life. I arrived the next morning at the interview. I will never forget going into a very old apartment building in downtown Fredericton, positive I must have the wrong address. The office couldn’t possibly be in this place. Sure enough, it was. I clearly remember thinking “what am I doing here?”.

I was fortunate enough to be offered the job of Administrative Assistant. I was positive this would be a very short lived experience and that it would give me some experience as I moved on to find a better and more “important” job. Little did I know then that I was embarking on the most “important” job I could ever do. Once I was exposed to the work of the Community Living movement, the people it does that work on behalf of, and the mission we are all working so hard to achieve, I knew this would be my life’s work. 

I became Executive Director of NBACL in 2000 and now will move to the role of Executive Vice-President of CACL. Since the beginning I have dedicated all of the energy I could to supporting the families of persons with intellectual disabilities to get the supports they need to live a life on par with other families, to dream the big dreams that so many professionals and others told them not to have, and to make those dreams come true by supporting their sons and daughters to live meaningful lives of purpose and contribution in their communities. Along with that I have tried to support people with an intellectual disability to be recognized as full citizens and to have their voices truly heard and respected by others.

What keeps me passionate and motivated in this work is the individuals and families we support and their resilience and determination in the face of constant adversity and daunting challenges. I watch with complete awe and I am humbled they allow me to work on their behalf. I am working for the world I want my young daughters to grow up in, a world where we understand and value the gifts and contributions each one of us brings. We will only be strong when every single person is supported to reach their fullest potential in a diverse and inclusive society.

I am honoured and humbled to lead CACL into the future. I am excited to continue the work of building a strong national family movement for inclusion and full citizenship. I look forward to working with all of you to accomplish the vision of an inclusive Canada.

Sincerely,

Krista Carr