Robinson said it's great when individuals or groups try to educate about human differences on their own, but it works even better when they work together and think together, which is exactly what this expo is supposed to do. Using it as a platform for more change down the line, Robinson said the committee wants to play some type of role in helping students discover who they are outside a classroom.
"There's always existing tensions of young people coming to terms with who they are. We have a growing population of Shen people who are having identity issues, trying to figure out how they fit into the larger scheme of things; how do they define themselves by images," said Robinson. "Those things we see and notice as part of reality are also part of our vibrant community and school district and we want to play a positive role in that type of evolution. Helping students evolve as people and also helping us as a community to evolve with the times."
At the SHENSATIONAL Global Expo, a series of workshops, discussions, presentations and booths are scheduled for specific time slots throughout the day. One of the highlights is a talk by John Robinson, director of corporate support at WMHT. He's a multiple congenital amputee born without full development of his arms and legs who wrote the book "Get Off Your Knees" and was the subject of a highly acclaimed documentary produced by the network. He brings the message of overcoming obstacles and said if he touches at least one person, he has served a purpose.
"I'm an example of a person with diversity and it's exciting to share my story in hopes that whoever is out there listening can get something out of it," said John Robinson.
He said he talks about growing up physically disabled and the challenges that came with it. He focuses some time on what it was like going through a private high school, which gave him a small environment and allowed him to focus on what he needed to focus on, like schoolwork and himself as a person. He went on to attend a bigger college which he said was good to challenge himself and face the real world.