Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: COVID hit home – You should VOTE!

My nose is bleeding profusely. My white N95 mask is soaked with blood. How did this happen?  Let’s rewind back to my lonely days. OK, I haven’t been lonely. I simply miss my family. I have a nice size immediate family, five brother and five sisters. It’s an unfamiliar territory when I’m unable to hug my siblings, give my mom and dad cheek kisses, or attend family gatherings. I have become content with the COVID reality of going from seeing my family at least once a week to not seeing my family for weeks at a time. After a string of events that I did not partake in, I found myself having to go to the health department to…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: Trials have resumed, but not so fast!

On September 25, 2020, Judge Byrn, the Presiding Judge of Jackson County issued an immediate released that delayed trials in the 16th Judicial Circuit Court. Since March of 2020, there had been no jury trials in the Jackson County Courthouse downtown. October 5, 2020 was scheduled as the official date for trials to resume. Yes, you read that correctly, six whole months without jury trials in one of the busiest counties for prosecution in the U.S. However, Judge Byrn had previously held a Town Hall meeting informing the public that if someone in the courtroom tested positive for COVID-19, the courthouse…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: The VP looks like me!

Senator of California, Kamala Harris, will be the first Black woman and the first Asian American to appear on a major-party ticket—the Democratic presidential ticket. On August 11, 2020, Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, announced Kamala as his running mate for Vice President. There is much to be said about Kamala, but what I can say, is that I am truly proud to be able to watch a Democratic National Convention that depicts a woman of color as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the 2020 election.  What’s disturbing to me is that I see people that look just like Kamala, diminishing and…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: Take it one day at a time.

It feels like it was just yesterday when I received an email from my daughters’ school mid-March about her transitioning to online schooling. Now, we’re back to square one.  On July 20, 2020, the Governor of Kansas, Laura Kelly, shared the details of Executive Order #20-58. One of the most important sections in this order is the delaying of schools from starting until after September 8, 2020: Labor Day weekend. The order could only be signed if the Kansas Board of Education voted to approve the order. Governor Kelly’s reasoning behind the order was to give districts more time to take precautions against spreading COVID-19. Unfortunately, the Board failed to reach an agreement on the order. However, schools…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: CHANGE.

June 24, 2020 was my first day back in the courtroom since March 13, 2020. As I walked to the courthouse, I saw my client across the street as he yelled “Ms. Ellison, Ms. Ellison, wait up! Wait for me!” Honestly, I instantly felt apprehensive due to COVID-19. How will I greet him? Sometimes I start with a handshake or a fist bump, coupled with a smile. How will I tell him to stay six feet apart from me? Will he be offended? What are his thoughts about the pandemic? Is he taking it seriously? Yes, these are thoughts that ran through…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all. Being black just got harder . . . .

In the midst of a pandemic, we’re still being murdered, subject to racism, unjustly accused of violent acts . . . and the list, distastefully, continues. There’s one hat that I can never discard, and that’s being black. I’m a mother of a young black boy, a daughter of a black father and a sister to black brothers. As tensions rise surrounded as a result of the injustice, lack of human decency, brutality and racism, there is no escaping my reality. There are times when I feel hopeless. With tears of fear running down my face, I shouldn’t have to…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: Don’t give up!

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. George Edward Woodberry   It’s undeniable that COVID-19 has forced us all to celebrate, worship, create and work differently. That’s OK, because we have discovered new and creative ways to adapt than we could’ve ever imagined. We’re having to adapt to many changes and maneuver in a world full of uncertainties. Change and uncertainty can make us feel overwhelmed, stressed and anxious. We may start to develop thoughts in our heads that aren’t positive. Please know that you are not alone. You’d be surprised at…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: Living in a world affected by the COVID19

On March 13, 2020 the president of the United States issued a declaration for a national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease outbreak. The nation has been severely rocked! The disease is both deadly and easily contactable. The virus is spread primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: I have to admit—I’m overworked!

“Ms. Ellison, will you come see me in the jail this week?” “Ms. Ellison, can you file a bond motion for me to be taken off house arrest? It’s affecting my everyday life making it almost impossible for me to care for my family.” “Ms. Ellison, I know I missed court, but can you please get my warrant lifted today?” “Ms. Ellison, this is your client’s girlfriend, I need to talk to you. Please call me as soon as possible!” “Ms. Ellison, I know you got me a signature bond several times now, but can you please get me another…

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Crystaleellison

Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: Always stay focused!

Welcome to my first blog of 2020! Within the first month of the year my home team, the Kansas City Chiefs, managed an astonishing victory, basketball legend, Kobe Bryant’s sudden death rocked the nation, and the impeachment trial of the 45th president of the United States has commenced. I have managed to bring in the New Year with a mammoth caseload, a whopping 150 criminal cases at the Public Defender’s office. What a mixed emotional January it has been! I’m completely ambivalent to what this New Year will bring. The kickoff to the New Year has produced so many different emotions and reactions. Each of…

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