Letter to the editor: Micah’s parents give thanks

By Katie Wolf

Letter to the Oakland Post for the Oakland University Community,

Much as been written about Micah Fialka-Feldman over the past few years.

Before this semester ends, and Micah finishes his final days on campus as a student living in the dorm, we want to acknowledge the enormous support he has received from so many students, staff, faculty, and friends of Oakland University.

His life has been forever changed for the better because of the openness, kindness, and interest demonstrated on a daily basis from so many people on campus.

Whether it be students who studied with him, instructors who encouraged him to learn, student organizations who welcomed him, leadership opportunities in which he was included, rallies which supported him, and friends who hung out with him . . . in all these typical everyday ways, Micah was part of a community.  He wanted to go to college and he did, in the fullest of ways.

We are genuinely grateful for the depth of his education.  He leaves OU with a Grizzly backpack full of skills, lessons, memories and most importantly relationships that will guide and empower him for years.  He leaves wanting to be a contributing and responsible citizen, neighbor, and friend.

Perhaps it is noteworthy to connect two moments in history, both occurring on April 26—one in 1977 and one this year in 2010. In 1977 on April 26, after 25 days of the longest ever sit-in at a federal building, over 100 disabled activists won their demand that Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973 be implemented immediately.  Section 504, modeled on the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities in federally funded programs.  Thirty-three years later, on April 26, 2010, Micah  spends his last full day in the dorm and campus as a student—a living legacy  to those disabled citizens and allies who believed that we must create a world where all belong and can participate in meaningful ways..

Our family has gained so much from so many of you at OU.  We have deepened our understanding of resiliency, diversity, inclusion, and community.

From the bottom of our hearts, we say thank you.

Janice Fialka and Rich Feldman.

Parents of Micah Fialka-Feldman, Class of 2010

Field of Study:  Humanity and Community Building

www.throughthesamedoor.com

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