31 Mar Member Blog: The Greatest Accomplishment
Women on the RISE
What does it mean to me to have Governor Deal to issue an executive order to end employment discrimination for those of us who have a criminal background? This is the greatest accomplishment of my life. All my life I have been in and out of the system and being told “No” when it came to trying to obtain employment. I was qualified for the positions I would apply for, but because of my background I was denied employment.
I made up my mind that if I ever found employment where I could say that I am formerly incarcerated I would start a campaign to remove the boxes on employment applications. I have always believed that if I could just get an interview I would get a job. I didn’t know what a campaign was until I went through the 9to5 Atlanta Community Internship Program. That experience gave me the tools and understanding of what I needed to do to make this change.
From the very beginning of this campaign many, and I mean many, people said, “You can’t do that. The State of Georgia will not remove the box on employment applications that ask about a person’s background.” I said, “They have too. Not just for me, but for the thousands like me and who are coming behind.”
Today there are no words that can express my feelings on this historic change. I am happy that the doors are open for people with backgrounds to have the opportunity to be selected for interviews based on their skills, education and qualifications. Now we can apply for employment in any one of the 159 counties in the State of Georgia.
That’s what’s up!