On the morning of Friday, April 17th, 2015 I read this story in the Washington Post about 3rd grade teacher Kyle Schwartz and the hashtag she created, #Iwishmyteacherknew.
The hashtag was based on a the trust-building lesson plan Schwartz created for her students, where they submitted anonymous answers to the phrase :
I wish my teacher knew….
Kyle tweeted her students’ answers, people became inspired and a movement was born.
I was so inspired and blown away by what Kyle had done that wrote a blog post called : #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes. It poured out of me and I cried as I wrote the post.
By Sunday April 19th, the #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes, hashtag had been used over 600 times – and I was blown away.
On Monday April 20th, I announced that Wednesday, April 22nd, would be the official #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes Day on twitter.
And on that day (actually, it started a day early thanks to Australia & New Zealand,) 20 countries participated. To date the hashtag has generated over 23 million Twitter impressions.
The honesty that people with type 1, type 1.5, type 2 and type 3 reflected in their Tweets, Facebook and blog posts rocked my world and became the inspiration for this website.
What was once a day dedicated to the #IwishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes hashtag has now become The #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes initiative and website.
It’s my hope (OK, my dream,) that the #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes initiative and website will become a place where people living with diabetes — regardless of the type — have the opportunity to express themselves beyond 140 characters and in multi-media formats. Formats including, but not limited to, written word, video, art, photography, music and anything/everything in between.
And if you don’t want to submit anything, that’s cool too…I’m thrilled that you’re visiting the site and I hope you’ll come back often!
My goals for the site are pretty simple:
- I want everyone who visits and participates to become empowered and express themselves in whatever format they feel comfortable
- I’d love the site to develop into a teaching gallery that grows and changes with every submission, and becomes both a learning and communication tool in the process
- Lastly, I want this site to be a place where people with diabetes and people with fully functioning pancreases come together and share, connect, and become inspired and empowered by one another.
Thanks for visiting and welcome to #IWishPeopleKnewThatDiabetes website- I’m so glad you’re here!