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Self Advocate Uses the Power of Music to Educate and Advocate

From advocate to rock star to budding entrepreneur, Chris Hendricks has certainly left his mark. A graduate of Elon University, Hendricks began his career as a singer/songwriter over 10 years ago.

Hendricks originally used his art as a means to express his own challenges and frustrations as a young man diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP). Yet, he soon realized that his lyrics had the power to educate and enlighten audiences.

Using the positive impact of these lyrics and stage presence, Hendricks began to educate his audiences about his experience living with CP. His concerts soon became punctuated with reflective stories that allowed audience members to glimpse his own experience.

chrisWith increased recognition for his own creative acumen, Hendricks soon realized that he was drawn by a deeper motivation to use his art in service to others.

His most recent endeavor, Perfectly Afflicted, LLC, combines his musical talents with his impassioned message of equality and expression to address the current realities of youth and adult suicide.

"We are all creative beings. But what happens so often is that our creativity is minimized by social pressure whether from friends, colleagues, teachers or parents, and this minimization is the source of bullying in schools and our pattern of leaving our creative forces at the door of the work place," Hendricks comments.

"It is my personal mission to revive the creativity and passion in everyone. We are all important and we all add value through our creative expressions. When we are able to do this, the isolation and separation that is so common in our society dissolve, and we are able to commit to ourselves and others on a far more profound level."

Hendricks' work with Perfectly Afflicted aims at addressing the bullying epidemic in schools. He speaks to the value of creativity to young people and encourages them to engage their minds and hearts as he holds impromptu jam sessions often in the middle of his own keynote addresses.

His work in creative expression has had such a profound impact in schools that he has also begun to discover a need for the same experience in the professional world.

Most recently, Hendricks returned from Stockholm, Sweden where he addressed a gathering of wine-sellers and broke from the other speakers by encouraging attendees to turn their wine bottles and drinking utensils into percussion instruments.

This passion and commitment to fostering creative expressions is rooted primarily in Hendricks' own experience of growing up with a disability and the challenges that he faced in finding social acceptance among his peers.

Yet, to make it about the disability itself, misses the heart of his message entirely. His personal mission and that of Perfectly Afflicted is to illustrate how the uniqueness in each one of us lends itself to discovering our own form of creative expression, freeing us from the perceived notions of what is normal and accepted.

For more information, visit http://www.perfectlyafflicted.com.

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Governor Cooper Signs Executive Order to Prohibit Utility Disconnections

On March 31st, Governer Cooper signed Executive Order #124: an additional step to help families by prohibiting utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic. The order applies to electric, gas, water and wastewater services for the next 60 days. The order directs utility companies to give residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment. Read more here.

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North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities
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