FREEDOM To Express My Views

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Today is July 4, 2018. America’s Birthday. Independence Day.

Signed on July 4, 1776, The Declaration of Independence contained these words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

In our Pledge of Allegiance are the words “With Liberty and Justice for All”, but that has never been the reality for all Americans. In my opinion, we are moving further and further away from that target. That is why I choose to make political and/or religious statements in my blog articles or on social media while I build my business. There are many business owners who choose to publicly refrain from controversial discussions – I have tried to be one of them – but in the end I simply cannot.

I am a natural born helper, advocate, and protector who lives in a democratic society. My personal and professional views can be both traditional and liberal. When most people meet me, they think I’m very shy or quiet. I am not shy, but I am very observant and a good listener – a very private person, an introvert. I’m also a social worker trained to set appropriate boundaries and refrain from meaningless self-disclosure. Additionally, I’m an entrepreneur building a business who understands that there is a time and a place for everything and that all things aren’t for all people. I am an American citizen with the right and freedom to share my views publicly and privately. The freedom to share my views doesn’t supersede someone else’s freedom not to work with me because of my views.  I fully understand that. The point of writing this is to say that I never share anything on social media or on this website without giving it a lot of thought.

I do not speak or write for accolades or praise.  I am very intentional about the things that I share and therefore have no regrets about anything that I have posted or written about politics, religion, sexual assault/harassment, racism, poverty, incarceration, immigration, education, or any other human rights issue. By the time I share my thoughts with you I want them to live on in cyberspace. I am never rude or disrespectful and want to offer my perspective in what I consider are important discussions.

My social work specialization was social action and community development.  How can I be a social worker who doesn’t advocate for social justice? My Pack A Purse Drive and Pack A Backpack Drive are ways to raise awareness about the needs and challenges of teens in foster care. I see the devastating impact of inequality and injustice every day in my work. I have former coworkers, friends, staff, students, and clients who have fled to this country for a better life, so immigration is important to me.  Seeing families on the news traumatized by this zero-tolerance policy pains me at the core of my motherhood and humanity. Witnessing police brutality as a teen and being bombarded with video after video of murder and assault are the reasons I support Black Lives Matter. I also know that most people only see the “hijacked” version of what this organization was formed to address. Talking with teen girls who have been abused or neglected at home, sexually assaulted at school, and sexually harassed in their communities are the reason I speak out about the rape culture, MeToo movement, and gender inequality.  Entering a school after walking through a metal detector that is staffed with more security guards and armed police officers than social workers and guidance counselors is a part of my regular reality.  Regularly interacting with one group of teens who are afraid that may be shot by a stray bullet on the way to school and another group who is afraid that they will be murdered in a school shooting is the reason I post about school shootings.

The goal of being in business is to make money, right? There are plenty of things I would never do or sacrifice for money. I accept that my views may cause some people not to want to do business with me.  For those who want to do business with me, please understand that I will always respectfully use my platform to give a voice to the voiceless and empower those who feel powerless.

Freedom Isn’t Free…the fight continues!

 

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Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a travel and cupcake lover with a passion for self-discovery and career advancement. She has a strong background in developing and managing interns and successful internship programs. She is an accomplished manager, professor, coach, trainer, and group facilitator who has packaged her Master of Social Work degree and 20 years of diverse work experience into Packaged For Success Enterprises, a full service training and professional development company.

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