LEAP: The Human Kindness Project 2019 – “INCLUSION”
We isolate ourselves from one another along the many differences of race, culture, nationality, gender, class, ability, personality, beliefs, behavior, politics, and more. In 2017, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy declared a Loneliness Epidemic, because “it affects a great number of people in our country, but also because one person’s loneliness can have an impact on another person.” Dr. Murthy further explained that science has shown “a robust association between the fraying of social connections and both mental and physical health issues… Loneliness can be directly connected to struggles with addiction and violence, and with chronic illnesses like heart disease and obesity, with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression.”
Door County students have noticed this trend, too: within their schools and families, in our community, and in the news. From school shootings, to suicide, to drug use, to cyber-bullying and unhealthy relationship choices, teens seem especially susceptible to the effects of social isolation. This year’s LEAP students wanted to explore the reasons we feel isolated – whether forced upon us because of the way other people are relating to us; or something we do to ourselves, either purposefully or as a side-effect of our choices – and what we can do about it.
The original, student-generated script is solution based; drawing on the work of doctors, scientists, diversity consultants, authors, poets and even ancient Japanese art forms. LEAP 2019 shows us a glimpse into the lives of several fictional high school students, each dealing with their own brand of isolation and exclusion. A frightening event shifts their perspectives, and the student body gradually comes together as a community to grapple with these issues; learning to reach out despite brokenness, to accept despite flaws, and to include despite differences.
LEAP students have dubbed this year’s presentation, “Inclusion Is the Solution.”
Inclusion is hard and deliberate work, and out of this work comes a measure of healing. Dr. Murthy implores us all to continue what the LEAP students have begun to explore: “The ultimate solution to loneliness lies in each of us. We can be the medicine that each other needs. We can be the solution other people crave. We are all doctors and we are all healers. The question is, do we have the courage to speak up and to stand up for others, to reach out to them when we feel they may be in need?”
Sponsored by Door County Medical Center, LEAP: The Human Kindness Project is a student-led, adult-facilitated program that gathers students from Door County high schools to address an issue of Social Change. Each year, the group collaborates with a team of local writers, musicians, actors, choreographers and directors to identify a societal issue, and works together from November to April to learn about and design a response. The program culminates in an original creation of music, dance, multimedia, spoken word and theater; through which the students express their approach to the issue, share their ideas for a solution, convey the educational material that brought them to that conclusion, and challenge the audience to shift their own perspectives. The production is presented to their high school peers during daytime performances, and to the wider community with evening and afternoon shows.
Buy Tickets at: www.southerndoorauditorium.org
Where: Southern Door Community Auditorium
When: Friday, April 12 @ 7 pm, & Sunday, April 14 @ 2:00 pm.
Tickets: Adults $15, Seniors $12, students are free
For more information please call 920-493-5979