A core value of our work at Q is seeking out and listening to diverse perspectives and points of view, and this was something we experienced this year at Q 2019 through a profound talk given by Austin and Christi Davenport.

The married couple, both of whom were diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth, shared their unique love story with our audience of 2,000 church and cultural leaders. Together, they reminded us that the stories of people with Down syndrome matter, and they contribute to the common good of our lives and communities.

Austin + Christy Davenport

These important ideas are reflected in The Peanut Butter Falcon, a new film out this weekend. This modern Mark Twain style adventure story shines a light on a young man with Down syndrome, and it hinges on the idea that we all have inherent worth—a value that is perhaps best realized when we’re in relationship with one another.

TPBF trailer2

The film tells the story of Zak, a passionate young man who dreams of training at wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck. However, there’s one small problem. Diagnosed with Down syndrome and with no family to care for him, Zak is confined to a retirement home, where he’s lived for the past two and a half years.

After an unlikely escape and a strange turn of events, Zak finds himself on the road with Tyler, a man with a troubled past who himself has few options. The pair forges an unlikely friendship—sealed with a secret handshake—that helps them see past their differences, illuminates the power of relationship and reveals the inherent worth of each character.

It’s a heartwarming story that advances an idea we believe in. Like Austin and Christi Davenport reminded us in Nashville this April, people with Down syndrome are an important addition to our lives and communities, and their stories are worth listening to and celebrating.