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May 3, 2024 |

Journeys of Hope: New book by Black Hills Works Foundation

“We are delighted to share the experiences and perspectives of these amazing people in print. They contribute so much to our state as friends, employees, and neighbors, and their voices deserve to be heard,” said Dr. Andrea Serna, Black Hills Works Foundation President. “The support of the South Dakota Humanities Council has been invaluable in allowing us to extend the reach of this important project.”

Although the journey of life is different for everyone, we can find encouragement and strength in our shared experiences. That’s equally true for the nearly 600 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are participants in Black Hills Works’ programs. Thanks to a grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council, 65 of them will be featured in Journeys of Hope, a book to be published this spring.

Founded in 1972 by the hard work of fellow South Dakotans, the South Dakota Humanities Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is the only cultural organization in the state whose sole mission is to deliver humanities programming to the people of South Dakota.

The book is a culmination of personal interviews held during 2023, led by Carrie Moser along with other Black Hills Works Foundation staff. In its pages, readers will meet people like Ordean, who grew up in a state institution in the 1940s and was overjoyed to finally move out and into the community at age 29. Readers will also meet Heather, a tireless advocate for her peers with disabilities; Zach, whose friendliness and curiosity are unmatched; and many more.

Kristina Roth, primary author on the book, said, “Through their stories, Journeys of Hope traces the progress that has been made toward expanded possibilities for people with disabilities.” She also notes that those in the book are valued employees, athletes, performers, visual artists, beloved family members, and dear friends. Their unique contributions help make South Dakota the outstanding place it is.

Black Hills Works Foundation will mark the book’s publication with a public discussion panel on May 16, 2024 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Suzie Cappa Art Center on 722 Saint Joseph Street in Rapid City. The discussion panel will be led by Dr. Andrea Serna and will include several individuals who are featured in the book. The event is open to all, but RSVPs are requested. Please register on Eventbrite or contact Kristina Roth at [email protected] or 605.718.7383.

Copies of the book will be available at Black Hills Works Foundation office at 514 Mount Rushmore Road. There is no cost to obtain a copy. It will also be available as a free PDF download at www.blackhillsworks.org after June 1, 2024.

Following the discussion panel, attendees are invited to stay for Bikes and Blooms: A Spring Open House at Suzie Cappa Art Center. Guests can meet the artists, purchase original artwork, and enjoy live music.

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