Welcome to the LPA Blog!

Hello everyone, and welcome to the first post of the LPA Blog! We are so excited to begin this project of ours, which has been in the making for about more than a year, and we are ready to get cooking!

You may be wondering: “Who are these people?” A little bit of background about us, the blog creators: Lakshmi Shyamakrishnan is a student at the University of Maryland, currently pursuing a MS degree in Marketing Analytics. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion, and plans to use her education to work in People Analytics in HR, to create more inclusive corporate recruitment and selection practices. Sandy Taylor has been working with LPA for 13 years, as LPA’s Program Manager and Conference Management Committee Chair. Sandy is passionate about the dwarfism community, connecting with new members, and truly highlighting the community’s diverse stories and bringing members together. 

So, why did we create this blog? For Lakshmi, the idea started way back in early 2020, soon after the December 2019 LPA Today issue published an article of Lakshmi’s. As a first-time attendee during that year’s National Conference, Lakshmi wrote about her experience and the excitement she felt about being among members of this community. It was a fantastic introduction to the community, and she was able to connect with a myriad of wonderful people, amongst whom she felt empowered. She wasn’t able to have the chance to do so before, and lacked a lot of needed support from this perspective when growing up. It is amazing to see the kind of support that being a member of this organization can give you, and Lakshmi felt lucky to be a part of it. 

She wanted a more frequent outlet to write about her thoughts and to understand the thoughts of others, and was surprised that the LPA didn’t already have a blog. She reached out to some contacts, who encouraged her to take this directly to the president. Mark Povinelli was excited about the idea, and connected Lakshmi to Sandy to get it up off the ground. 

Meanwhile, behind the scenes Sandy also wanted an outlet to share personal stories, diving deeper and pushing boundaries beyond those in the LPA Today. Sandy wanted to offer another avenue for new parents to hear stories and connect, and a platform to share the depth in our community that often isn’t publicized, while offering members a chance to share publicly or anonymously. Sandy wanted to be able to capture timely conversations directly related to our community. 

In our current technological era, the ability to communicate with people around the country - and around the globe - is easier than ever with social media connecting us all. So, what better way to take advantage of that than to create a platform specifically for our community to do so?

While we have the amazing LPA Today, and this monthly magazine does a great job of ensuring that various perspectives are heard - on countless issues and events - one thing we realized is that the valuable resources and information it provides tends to be fairly objective, and doesn’t usually speak to what people are feeling and experiencing. The creation of this blog was with the understanding that all members of LPA would get the chance to dive into those emotions, to discuss the unpleasant parts as a member of this community living in this world - because unpleasant parts exist too. 

In getting down to the nitty-gritty of these emotions, we can learn more about shared experiences, feelings, and have a great way to connect with like-minded peers, perhaps also to seek advice from the many members of this community. The thing is, with the current resources at our disposal, only those of us who are members of the LPA are able to benefit from one another’s company, experiences, and thoughts. With this blog being available to the public eye, we hope to help non-involved LPs learn about, connect with, and understand more about their community. 

For people like us - who have ideas, thoughts, and experiences we want to spread the word on, and which we believe others may benefit from - it is valuable to have a resource that will help us discuss these topics with one another in a more frequent manner. With the recent political climate, it is more important now than ever for people of this demographic to stick together in these difficult times, support one another, and help educate the rest of the population about matters they may be unfamiliar with so we can bond together and create a better and more inclusive world. 

If you have an idea you’d like to talk about, submit an LPA Blog Submission form! We have themes once a month for which we need submissions, and if you have a story that needs to be told that fits one of the upcoming themes, or a new idea that could fit a future theme, let us know! We can’t wait to hear from you!

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