These two photos represent the best and worse of the recent years of my life. Yet, both were taken within weeks of each other. As I stated in my previous post, I am part of the White Collar Justice Impacted population. The photo on the left is my mugshot after being arrested for the events that led to my White Collar conviction, AND THE ONE MOST SEEN BY POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS when searching my name.

The one on the right is my greatest accomplishment. I have been married to my wife for almost thirty one years. She is the most loving and giving person to stick with me. My oldest daughter is an Immigration Attorney, my second a Chemist in San Franscisco, my third a Literacy Teacher for Underserved Students at a Non-profit, and my youngest is just beginning her post secondary career in Politics.

To raise a family takes dedication, persistence, love, patience, honesty, communication, enouragement and many other skills that can’t be taught.

Unfortunately, potential employers for Justice Impacted White Collar individuals focus solely on the picture on the left, while ignoring the transferrable skills required in the picture on the right.

During the meetings with others like me during Jeff Grant Monday evening White Collar Support group, we all share something in common. We made mistakes during part of our lives that we own up to. But, everyone also has a larger story filled with marriages/ significant others, families and those who love and know us best.

I am writing this to continue the awarenes that the Justice Impacted White Collar individuals are more than the sum of their crimes and require employers to look deeper at who we are and how these skills can be put to use in the workplace.

I hope to see an expansion of 2nd Chance Employment work by organizations like Chan Zuckerberg InitiativeThe Change CompaniesUptrust70 Million JobsHonest JobsNucleos, IncCheckr, Inc.FUSE Corps, and more to include a deeper focus on the challenges of the White Collar Justice impacted communitty along with the other important groups they serve.

We are looking forward to our next Zoom interview where the discussion goes beyond our crimes to the other great things we have accomplished that takes many more years to achieve and is a more realistic representation of who we are. #mentalhealth#work#communication#change#interview#employment#leadership