Peace And Love Movement Brings Awareness to Normalcy Law | Foster Care Speaker
The #PeaceAndLove Movement
I first had the opportunity to start speaking (and rapping) for groups of foster youth. I literally owe my career to my experiences of using my story of overcoming life in “the system” to empower the youth that I worked with.
To this day, foster care related audiences are some of my favorite audiences in the world.
And I get to speak to them all across the country.
Often times, when I speak to a group of youth we take photos together and I’m able to post them online for them to share with their friends. It is amazing to see the excitement in their eyes with this simple moment that represents hope to them.
But we almost always run into red tape.
This red tape is set in place by the strict regulations on youth in foster care and these regulations impair their ability to simply feel normal.
The youth who are under the age of 18 are generally not allowed to take photos with me due to privacy reasons…and it is too difficult to get permission from their guardians – who happen to be the state government.
When I toured with the South Dakota Unified Judicial System for the annual training that they provide to judges, lawyers, and social workers (at no cost to the attendees), I also got to speak to two great groups of foster youth. You can watch a powerful recap video from the week long South Dakota tour by clicking here.
At the end of one of my youth presentations in South Dakota we wanted to take photos together, but some of the youth were going to be left out.
I saw excitement turn to disappointment and smiles turn to heads hanging to the ground.
So, I decided to not leave anyone out.
I had everyone get in a group facing the wall (and facing away from the camera). I stood in front of them facing the camera and took a photo of me in front of the entire group.
They all got to be in the photo. Little did I know that this would start a movement.
You see, every one of the teens put their hands in the air and showed either a peace sign or a love sign. Yes, teens who are in placement against their will, who might struggle with depression or addiction, or a history of abuse at the hands of their loved ones, showed positive signs of hope and optimism with signs of Peace And Love. If only we could all have such strength and determination.
Later that night my video producer BenMadeIt noticed this phenomenon and voila! a movement was born.
Here’s a photo of the first group of teens who started this movement:
And here’s a photo of the hundreds of judges, lawyers, and social workers who quickly supported them the very next day with Peace And Love Signs high in the air. Some of them even made jokes about the Peace And Love signs reminding them of their time in the 1960’s and 1970’s. 🙂
This movement of #PeaceAndLove brings awareness to the need for normalcy and supports the Normalcy Law as outlined by this great article about the law being passed in Florida to simply “let kids be kids”.
I strive to have a Peace And Love photo in every state in America because every state needs to adopt the Normalcy Act.
But that hasn’t happened yet.
You can help by sharing this blog and using the hash tag #PeaceAndLove to show your support for ALL CHILDREN HAVING A SENSE OF NORMALCY IN LIFE, regardless of their circumstances.
Here are #PeaceAndLove photos from shortly after the South Dakota kick-off in a few other states:
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Travis Lloyd is an inspiring motivational speaker with a powerful story of Overcoming Adversities to achieve happiness and Success – Against All Odds. As a youth motivational speaker, Lloyd’s audiences include high school, college, leadership events, and conferences for educators, child welfare and mental health professionals. He speaks and performs internationally, but still works as a Mental Health Crisis Worker and advocates for social change that impacts at-risk populations. He is a board member of Foster Care Alumni of America, VP of the Our Fields Of Hope Foundation and author o the book Overcoming Emotional Truama: LIfe Beyond Survival Mode. Find out more at www.TravisLloyd.net.
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Motivational speaker Travis Lloyd believes that “If someone else can do it, so can you!”