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I Will Not Be Silent

I live my life out loud,
not because I want to hurt anyone,
but because I want to stop hurting.

I live my life out loud
because the secrets
have cost us too much.

I live my life out loud,
not to alienate those who hurt me,
but to welcome and soothe those who feel alone.

I live my life out loud
because our abusers
have tried to silence us.

Live out loud with me.
Set your past and spirit free.
Stand strong in love and unity.

Live out loud with me.
They shall no longer hide
behind smoke screens and gifts with strings attached.

Live out loud with me
where love and light
cannot be snuffed out.

We are the survivors.
We choose to forgive,
not for them, but for us.

We live our lives out loud,
not because we want to drown out other voices,
but because we make our own choices.

We control our bodies.
We define who we are.
We create our futures.

Not you.

Nance L. Schick, Esq. was trained in mediation by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (“ICERM”). In her current law practice, she mediates business, employment, and ethno-religious conflicts. She also serves as ICERM's Main Representative to the United Nations. She has coached new mediators for the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts MediateArt program and the New York University Mediation Apprenticeship Program, and she is author of a book, DIY Conflict Resolution: Seven Choices and Five Actions of a Master, which uses mediation techniques to help readers resolve various conflicts. In law school, Nance studied mediation, experienced it to a limited degree as a litigant, and represented the University at Buffalo in two ABA Mediation Advocacy Competition rounds. This year, she judged the same competition.