by Mark Matulka, Governmental Affairs Director, Mosaic
Mosaic, a member of the LSA network and the LSA Disability Network, is a faith-based organization serving people with intellectual disabilities in ten states. This post was originally published on Mosaic’s blog on May 16, and is shared with their permission.
When people ask what I do, I usually respond, “I work in government relations for a nonprofit organization.”
Right away I’m telling the person I am speaking with what my organization does not do.
No other industry says what it is not. Where Mosaic falls under the Internal Revenue Code does not define our organization’s mission.
Adam Braun in The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change discusses the importance of language and having purpose. Braun’s organization, Pencils of Promise, developed a “for purpose” model, which mixes non-profit idealism with for-profit business principles.
Language matters for faith-based, mission-driven organizations.
Mosaic does serve people with intellectual disabilities. Mosaic does seek opportunities and partnerships that create meaningful lives, in caring communities. Mosaic does help people enjoy a full life.
As Braun and others encourage, by changing our words, we are able to change our worth, and speaking with aspiration pushes us to become better.
Our voices will be heard. Mosaic will positively impact the world through our mission and advocacy. All people with intellectual disabilities will live meaningful lives in caring communities.
Language especially matters when advocating to elected officials. As a constituent, your “ask” of your elected officials must be purposeful. Elected officials rely on your opinions, ideas, and experiences to make informed decisions.
Be aspirational. Focus on creating positive outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities.
Now when I meet people, I truly tell them what I do: I work for a “for purpose” organization improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
To learn more about Mosaic, visit http://www.mosaicinfo.org/.
Lutheran Services in America Disability Network (LSA-DN) is a nationwide association of Lutheran social ministry organizations, faith-based organizations and Lutheran professionals supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and related conditions. LSA-DN includes 27 members that provide support to more than 150,000 individuals in 32 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For more information, visit: http://www.lutheranservices.org/LSADN