Stamps of approval

UNPA Autism Awareness stampIn my other life, I’m a writing teacher. I give seminars on writing at libraries and conferences, and I teach a weekly memoir-writing class for senior citizens here in Chicago.

Earlier this month my memoir-writing class was all a-twitter about a new Black Heritage stamp the U.S. Postal Service had released that day honoring publishing legend John H. Johnson. Johnson was the founder of Johnson Publishing Company, which publishes Ebony and Jet magazines. A number of my writing students had attended high school with him here in Chicago, and one had even run against him for class president. “He won,” she lamented. “I was an also-ran.”

Today I learned that come this April, I’ll have even more postage stamps to celebrate: on April 2, 2012, the United Nations Postal Administration is going to issue eight autism awareness stamps. The U.N. Postal Administration issues stamps every year to call attention to different causes, and 2012 is the first year these stamps will highlight autism awareness. From a Disability Scoop article:

Artwork for the stamps was solicited from artists with autism around the globe. The eight winners include five from the United States.

“It was an extremely difficult and challenging process to choose only eight designs from all of the artwork submitted,” said Rorie Katz, creative director for the U.N. Postal Administration. “All of us were personally touched by the stories of the artists and their families who are extremely passionate and supportive about raising awareness for autism.”

These special stamps will be available at U.N. offices in New York, Geneva and Vienna, and the postage is valid for mailing correspondence from any U.N. location globally.


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