Professionals: Be a Leader in Social Justice

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I’m a business owner. I’m a professional social worker bound by a code of ethics and a set of practice standards. I have been told, by people who know better, that I can’t speak out politically. That I can’t cuss in public. That I can’t write about my personal life or talk about it, because “that would be unprofessional”.  That I can’t be a leader in the social justice movement “because it’s controversial”.  Don’t believe it. Your profession, your professionalism, creates an obligation to speak out against injustice, and for the rights of people who look up to you and…

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Granting Grace in Social Justice Conversations

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What is Grace? For Christians, the idea of grace is that God loves you and forgives you even when you have screwed up really badly. Merriam-Webster describes grace as “free and unmerited”. That means that you don’t deserve grace, it’s given to you. A gift. Not a gift with strings. Not a gift with an attached yabbut. A freely given gift. God (or Goddess, or higher power, or Fate, or whatever floats your boat) isn’t the only being that can grant grace. Dogs are excellent at it. Better than humans, actually. When a dog loves you, she loves you completely.…

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Black People Are Canaries in the Coal Mine

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Black People are the Canaries in the Coal Mine Hey, fellow white people: “Black people are the canaries in the coal mine”. So said @Erika_K_Wilson in a reply to @ShaunKing when he shared the video of the white nurse in Salt Lake City who was arrested for protecting her patient’s rights. Y’all white folk aren’t listening to Erika and Shaun, so maybe you’ll listen if another white person says it. Black people are the canaries in the coal mine. See, it’s exactly what Erika said, but now my white skin gives it weight in your brain. And it was true…

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Building Rural and Rust Belt Progressivism Through Social Justice

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(Note: Like many of my social justice activist essays, this one is primarily addressed to white people who are exploring activism. The needs and goals and methods of white activists are often very different than their fellow activists who are people of color due to the effects of privilege) My Personal Journey from Libertarian to Progressive: I wasn’t always the left of Lennon lefty lefterson I am now. From my late teens through my early thirties, I was a die hard, but ignorant and OMG hypocritical, Ayn Rand fangirl who considered herself to be the most libertarian of libertarians. I…

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