This Is Me

Recently, at my first board retreat of the new board term I asked my board to share a song that makes them think of our organization, connects them to our mission or makes them relate to the work we do. The organization is Keshet, and our mission is to create a community of belonging, where individuals with disabilities learn, play, work, live and grow with people of all abilities. Our programs include; education, recreation (including supporting day and overnight inclusive camp, employment, adult day programs and independent living for individuals with disabilities from the age of 3 until forever.


Music has always been a huge part of Keshet and I felt it would be an appropriate start to our retreat to connect everyone on the board to why we give our time, talent and treasure to Keshet.


I actually felt connected to everyone’s songs and I think it was a great exercise.

The one song that came up 3 times out of 15 board members was This is Me from The Greatest Showman, and although I changed my song because 2 other people chose it, that song always resonates for me. I have called it my anthem, and in fact, for me it feels like an anthem for the entire disability community.


Keala Settle singing in a long gown on stage
Keala Settle Singer of 'This is Me' from The Greatest Showman


Here are the lyrics:


I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
'Cause we don't want your broken parts
I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one'll love you as you are

But I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown 'em out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

Another round of bullets hits my skin
Well, fire away 'cause today, I won't let the shame sink in
We are bursting through the barricades and
Reaching for the sun (we are warriors)
Yeah, that's what we've become (yeah, that's what we've become)

I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown 'em out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me
This is me

It feels superfluous to say anything more, but then again that has never stopped me before!


This is what I want to say to everyone with a disability; We are who we are meant to be! Make no apologies and march on to the beat you drum!


And to everyone disabled and non-disabled alike I say let’s continue to break down the barriers both attitudinal and physical and work toward ensuring there is a place for us in every facet of our communities!!