What FREEDOM means to me is having the ability to think what I want to think – not having to succumb to what society says I must do, but doing what I want to do. Being so self-sufficient that I don't have to compromise myself for anyone. There was once a great boxing champion who I will always admire, “The Great Muhammad Ali.” He was told that he had to conform to be champ, but Ali said, “I will be the champ like I want to be – not the champ like you want to be.” That statement has stuck with me throughout my entire life. I will forever respect him for making that statement. Whether you choose to get a degree, master a trade, have a business, climb the corporate ladder, or do what makes you whole on your own terms – you’re still just as FREE AS THE NEXT MAN! So, to me, freedom is to thine own self be true. So, earn your money, and live your life to the FULLEST!!!"
Judge Sandra J. Peake Discusses What Freedom Means to Her
JUDGE SANDRA J. PEAKE: “What does freedom mean to me? Freedom today looks much different to me than it used to. Freedom is a feeling of optimism, of the confidence that adversity can be overcome, that the people around you are able to define the dream of freedom for themselves individually, and, to be able to visualize, actualizing those dreams for themselves and their families. Freedom is reflected in a feeling of hope and empowerment in organizations that I am proud to be a member of as the organizations strive to serve the communities in which we live, raise our families, worship and work in. It also means that I can experience freedom in seeing progress. Improvements in our justice system, housing, educational achievements demonstrated by graduations at various levels, scholarship opportunities, employment opportunities, and a more equal playing field while competing for even greater opportunities. All of these things point to significant progress and greater freedoms for more people and improving the quality of life for all. Visible and steady progress towards these goals means freedom to me."
Judge Michelle Moore Discusses What Freedom Means to her
JUDGE MICHELLE MOORE: “Freedom to me means being your true authentic self. It means to live life on your terms without restrictions or being confined to what others think you should be. Freedom to me means being able to pursue your dreams and make your own life choices without the fear of condemnation.”
ANGELIQUE BARTHOLOMEW: “As an African American Female being asked what freedom means to me is a challenging question to address. Freedom symbolizes a multitude of things. As a woman, Freedom is the right to choose and control my own destiny, make choices and participate in society on any level without any ceiling. As an African American it means to be able to perform at my greatest potential and not worry that I will be judged or overlooked for my skin color and hair texture before having the chance to prove that I am great!
Freedom is not personalizing the many misconceptions that strangers or family members may have of who they envision me to be and being sure of who I AM. Being Free is in so many ways to, just be authentically you.
Freedom is continually breaking chains that have locked away my confidence; breaking my own invisible mental and emotional limitations. Freedom is learning but even more important, unlearning the ways of the world. Being on the receiving end of growth and change. Even Rosa Parks road the back of the Bus before making History. Freedom to Me is making my mark in History.”