I’ve spent my social work career working with and on behalf of women and girls. This is not just a population I fell into working with or a group that I’m good at working with – amplifying the needs, strengths, and voices of women and girls is my passion and purpose.
I wholeheartedly believe that “sisterhood is self-care”, which is one of the reasons that I announced my “Are You Really Saying YES To Your Social Work Career Success?” virtual workshop last Friday. I am offering a Black Friday early-bird discount rate of $49 because I don’t want money to be a barrier and I am hosting the workshop on December 1st so that we can get together and support each other before the mad December holiday rush. I want my sisters in social work to feel connected, supported, and motivated as we close our 2022 and enter 2023.
I know that this workshop will be transformative. I believe in it wholeheartedly and created a marketing plan to bring in women who can benefit from a dose of genuine sisterhood. I’ve had to shift my plan a bit because my heart has been so heavy with the news of the murder of Shanquella Robinson. As an empath, a mother of a young adult daughter, a college professor at a women’s liberal arts institution, a youth development worker, a mentor, and a social worker I have been deeply saddened by it. I avoided the first few headlines because I was excitedly working on the workshop marketing plan but by the time I saw 4-5 posts and photos I had to investigate. I will NOT watch the video but I poured into articles (which took me from anger to sadness and back again multiple times). One article discussed femicide or feminicide in Mexico and another detailed the horrific assault and I’ve had a hard time coming back from the rabbit hole I went down.
When my teen girls would say things like, “I hate females”, “I don’t trust females” or “I don’t have any female friends”, I would ask questions about the difference between a young woman and a female or ask about the qualities they valued in friends and why it was hard to find that in their environment, but more importantly we modeled and created environments of sisterhood for them. That is where I am going to continue to draw my energy and strength. Part of my personal mission as a woman and a professional is to “empower, teach, and connect”, and that is exactly what I am going to do.
I did not know Shanquella Robinson and I do not know her parents, but her death has touched me in a way that it’s hard to understand. I can’t bring her back or take away her family’s pain, but I am elevating my efforts to promote sisterhood for women and girls with the intention of decreasing the likelihood of making this senseless violence the norm. There is something that we all can do – mentoring, teaching, training, encouraging, supporting, enrolling, or donating. I invite you to join me on this sisterhood journey!
Nicki Sanders, MSW, ushers high-performing women of color in mid-level social work and human services leadership through promotion to senior leadership. As Founder and CEO of Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting, her mission is simple – to eliminate toxic workplaces by developing skilled, empathetic, and goal-oriented leaders who have the vision, support, and resources to create a culture where business prospers, and employees thrive individually and collectively. Nicki has an extensive background in nonprofit management leading high-functioning, multi-disciplinary teams. She is an accomplished professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has combined her gift for authentic relationships, Master of Social Work degree, and over 20 years of diverse work experience to create a life and career aligned with her values and purpose. Nicki is a lover of cupcakes, travel, and 80’s hip hop and R&B music.
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