Our founders declared that liberty is a universal birthright. As we approach the months of June and July, let’s talk about freedom.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt closed his 1941 State of the Union address stating that society has a duty to protect and uphold for everyone the four essential human freedoms:

  1. Freedom of speech and expression.
  2. Freedom of worship.
  3. Freedom from want.
  4. Freedom from fear.

In preparing for the upcoming holidays, several people at the Center shared what freedom means to them personally: “Being able to do what I want, when I want;” “Having independence, especially as I age;” and “Being able to be me, not who someone wants me to be”.

Strikingly, when pondering what freedom means in America for “We the People”, the response was different. “We”, they stated, “does not apply to All the people. If it did, everybody would be treated equally, regardless of race, creed or color.”

Although the United States has existed for almost 250 years, our country still has work to do to realize our foundational heritage: protect and uphold freedom for everyone.

What can we do to help achieve it? Our strongest tool is making our voices heard through voting. But we can also use our voices through storytelling.

Describing our lived experiences has the power to change the narrative and debunk myths in society. More importantly, our stories affirm our humanity and dignity.

The Center is a supportive space where your voice will be heard. In preparation of Juneteenth and the 4th of July, express your freedom by sharing your stories.