Some people call me ‘conservative’. I sit in neutral on that label but I am definitely a private person who takes pride in my reputation. I am keenly aware of the power of social media and almost always think twice before hitting send or publish on an email, post, or blog. I am expanding my business and now offering organizational and community relations consulting and career coaching through Packaged For Success so I am even more cognizant of my digital footprint.
I avoid controversy for the sake of controversy and don’t always share my personal views online. I have to admit that sometimes the things I see in the media and on social media are so outrageous that I know it is in my best interest to remove myself from the dialogue. Sometimes I am so alarmed (or horrified) that I can’t formulate the words to describe my shock. Other times I just can’t NOT voice my opinion. Here’s why:
-I believe that the media has succeeded in desensitizing us to other people’s plight and pain.
-I believe that the media extends the lifespan of our historic system of racism in the United States.
-I believe that we have become a country that blames the victim whether she is a college student who reports a rape or a high school kid who was abused by a police officer.
If a potential small business, nonprofit, or corporate client searches my online profiles they will find my support of #BlackLivesMatter and first-person accounts of the ‘school to prison pipeline’. Of course all lives matter but pro-black doesn’t mean anti-white. I am against police brutality but I appreciate and respect the hard job that all police officers do. I am grateful for brave men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe. I am outraged when Black teens are labeled ‘thugs’ for the same behaviors of ‘drunk frat boys’. I do not support the behaviors – violence, robbery, bullying are all WRONG – but how we view the perpetrators is significant from a community relations, advocacy, and cultural standpoint. These generalizations, labels, and accusations often follow us beyond mall parking lots and metro elevators and they have dire consequences when they flow into courtrooms and boardrooms.
My views have been shaped by my upbringing, education, and career.
Trinity Washington University (graduate)
Trinity is a comprehensive institution offering a broad range of educational programs that prepare students across the lifespan for the intellectual, ethical and spiritual dimensions of contemporary work, civic and family life. Trinity’s core mission values and characteristics emphasize:
Commitment to the Education of Women in a particular way through the design and pedagogy of the historic undergraduate women’s college, and by advancing principles of equity, justice and honor in the education of women and men in all other programs;
(From President McGuire) The ability to think critically, to write and speak clearly, to make ethical judgments, to know the context of history and literature, to understand the fundamental economic and political forces affecting the psychology of whole peoples, these are the quantities essential to effective leadership in our ever-changing global environment. These are the hallmarks of a Trinity education in the liberal arts.
University of Maryland School of Social Work (graduate)
MISSION: Our mission at the University of Maryland School of Social Work is to develop practitioners, leaders and scholars to advance the well-being of populations and communities and to promote social justice. As national leaders, we create and use knowledge for education, service innovation, and policy development.
GOALS: The University of Maryland School of Social Work is a highly-ranked institution that produces outstanding social workers whose practice advances the well-being of all the people they serve, especially members of populations at risk.
National Association of Social Workers (member)
The mission of the social work profession is rooted in a set of core values. These core values, embraced by social workers throughout the profession’s history, are the foundation of social work’s unique purpose and perspective:
• social justice
• dignity and worth of the person
• importance of human relationships
This constellation of core values reflects what is unique to the social work profession. Core values, and the principles that flow from them, must be balanced within the context and complexity of the human experience.
Value: Social Justice
Ethical Principle: Social workers challenge social injustice.
Social workers pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. Social workers’ social change efforts are focused primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, and other forms of social injustice. These activities seek to promote sensitivity to and knowledge about oppression and cultural and ethnic diversity. Social workers strive to ensure access to needed information, services, and resources; equality of opportunity; and meaningful participation in decision making for all people.
I am currently accepting consulting projects in the following areas:
• Recruitment and hiring
• Staff retention and development
• Volunteer engagement and management
• Partnership development and community outreach
• Needs assessments, strategic planning and smart growth
• Launching and improving non-traditional student programs for nonprofits and colleges
• Developing and strengthening mentor and internship programs
• Ethical marketing
• Strengthening positive youth development programs
Nicki Sanders is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.
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