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Since the recent Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade, there has been lots of talk about whether a person should or shouldn’t express their viewpoints on the issue – or any potentially divisive issues – publicly. After much thought, I have decided that, for me, the time has come to draw a line in the sand, state my values, and stand by them.

So what do I value?

I value allowing people to make their own choices about private matters pertaining to their bodies, their families, and their bedrooms. I value equal rights for women, and BIPOC and LBGQT+ individuals. I value kindness and compassion for fellow humans.

I value the Christian beliefs taught in my home growing up especially Christ's commandment to “love one another, as I have loved you.” I value individuals with different religious beliefs and not weaponizing my faith against others.

I understand people may want to label me, but I don’t see these values as “political.” I see them as simply being the values of a kind, loving human being who accepts others without prejudice or judgment.

As a white cisgender heterosexual woman, I also understand I have privilege many people do not have, and, going forward, I will exercise this privilege to make a difference. For example, I am publicizing my willingness as an officiant to marry same-sex couples.

I also am flexing my political activism muscles (which are pretty dang weak!) by signing up to campaign for mid-term candidates whose values mirror mine. I am even considering possibly running for a local or state-level office in the future.

I was telling a friend about this post and they said “you better be careful – you might lose clients.” And I decided I was ok with that outcome because I can no longer hold my tongue out of fear. I will not sit comfortably by and think someone else will “fix this” or “it won’t happen to me.” Because it is happening to me. And it is happening to people I love.

One of the reasons I was drawn to the non-profit sector was that most who work in this field are empathetic and care about people regardless of nationality, religion, class, race, or gender. Many of us are even specifically working in organizations that address human rights as they relate to these constructs, therefore, I feel many of you probably share my values.

That said, I understand some of you may not share my values, and maybe you will think differently of me now. While that would be disappointing, I know I would be much more disappointed in myself if I was not true to who I am and if I did not support my values with my words and actions.

Going forward, I will still post educational information and insights about fundraising, and the occasional adorable pic of my dog Millie, but I also may occasionally post about what people can do to get involved and make positive changes in our world. My greatest hope is I will encourage others to overcome their fears, be a little uncomfortable, and step out in their words and actions to make this world a better place for all, not just those who look like you, love like you, and believe like you.

With love for you all, Julie

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