End It: Shine a Light On Slavery

#EndItMovement

Love is the light by which all are brought forward out of darkness. -LeeAnn Taylor

Today is Shine A Light On Slavery Day. It’s a day to join other Freedom Fighters from around the world to shine a light on modern-day slavery.

END IT is a Coalition of the leading organizations in the world in the fight for Freedom. With Coalition Partners engaged in work on the ground, together they bring AWARENESS, PREVENTION, RESCUE, and RESTORATION.

Learn More about Human Trafficking, Modern-Day Slavery, the Red “X” and the #EndItMovement. Share your #EndIt selfie on social media to join the collective voice and continue to raise awareness. Here’s your chance to get creative while linking arms with others to stand up for justice and freedom for the millions still oppressed and enslaved today.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

 

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Remembrance Day: Never Forget

Six million Jews were murdered under Germany’s state-sponsored persecution and Nazi rule during the Holocaust.

While targeted persecution of the Jews began in 1933, the mass murder was committed during World War II. It took the Germans and their accomplices four and a half years to murder six million Jews. (From April to November 1942 alone–only 250 days–two and a half million Jews were murdered). It’s incredibly hard to even imagine.

Today we remember the Jewish people and we must never ever forget. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that history will repeat itself (in the case of Nazi Germany or any other place where genocide has occurred, or where the murder of innocents is in any way permissible) unless we do more than just obtain knowledge or take care to remember.

We must be vigilant to stand for life, liberty and freedom for all people groups, and for humanity in all of its forms. We must commit to staying awake, to feel the bitter sting of death, of sorrow, of pain and walk alongside those who have tasted it. We need to be aware of the reality of lost generations, unsung heroes whose destinies have been stolen, and those whose dreams will never come to fruition, because they have been blotted out of the annals of history. Their loss must be our loss, and our loss must be their loss.

Silence is not an option. Apathy is not an option. No excuse is acceptable.

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.Elie Wiesel

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Martin Luther King Day: Things That Matter

Today, January 20th, 2014, is a day set aside to commemorate humanitarian and human rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. Many of his words remain immortal, as if suspended in time. In large part, because they cross man-made boundaries, borders, and heart lines. One of my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes is:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

If there is to be any significant and lasting change, then our “weapons of warfare” must be tools that allow for the greatest good (for all of humanity). Tools that make room for forgiveness, reconciliation, and understanding. It’s a type of violence of the heart–a formidable purposed action plan that invites sanity, promotes healing, cherishes true human brother and sisterhood, celebrates human potential for progress and good inclusive of all, and refuses to settle for less than pure truth.

Another Martin Luther King, Jr. quote that underscores the sacredness and the gift of life:

“Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about the things that matter.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

So, what are the “things that matter”? They are the things that bring life, and light, and love. Apart from them, we can go through our entire life believing a lie, basing our attitudes and actions on false evidences, promoting disharmony, and limiting all that was meant for us–never living our true potential. These are the threads that bind humanity together despite our uniqueness. They help us see that we are more the same than different. We celebrate our individual uniqueness with a concurrent understanding that we all share in our humanness, in that, we are each made up of body, soul, and spirit and wired with dreams, goals, and aspirations.

None of us placed ourselves on this planet. We are all pilgrims on a journey, co-travelers. We are individually responsible to discover and then propagate that life, light, and love. It’s profound in its seeming simplification, but there’s nothing ethereal about it. It’s owning the stewardship of our own lives, families, and responsibilities; being responsible for, and propagating things like justice–true justice, mercy, and compassion; and, being aware and intentional about the purpose of our lives–being about our personal destiny–the why to our being here. These are things that matter.

A recognition that hate against our fellow humans is a useless destroyer that invokes darkness. Unforgiveness kills the potential of the one who refuses to forgive. It invites a sickness that cannibalizes the one who holds it close to their heart. Then there’s selfishness. A pathetic desire to indulge ourselves above all regardless of the outcome–to hoard and cling to every good thing and opportunity for ourselves before others. And what about pride? A lie that allows individuals, people groups, and entire cultures to believe they are better, more worthy; and, more valuable or important than another. All of these petty and frivolous thoughts can become attitudes that eventually become behaviors. That’s why it’s so important to guard our hearts and think for ourselves. These “ways” can creep into our thinking and set up shop, creating mindsets that are destructive both for us and those we live alongside in this life. Ultimately, they insidiously weave their way (because we’ve invite them) into our way of “being”.

In remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. today, I want to be about the things that matter. The things that underscore and highlight life, light, and love. The things that will make a positive ripple effect in the world. The things that have power to make a meaningful difference, inclusive of all. Apart from truth, nothing else matters.

Let us be radical about love, about moving toward the light, and radical about seeking out truth. We are all on this journey together, how will we steward our lives and our part in the lives of those we co-journey with?

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Modern-Day Abolitionist Thought Leaders Come Together

Modern-day abolitionist thought leaders will come together for a Google+ Hangout event this Friday, January 10th at 10 a.m. PST and, you are invited!  They will speak about issues surrounding modern-day slavery, share their collective insights, and challenge attendees to collaborate in the fight against modern-day slavery.

The event will be hosted by Nicholas Kristof and Half the Sky Movement. Speakers will include Gary Haugen (International Justice Mission), Dave Batstone (Not for Sale / Just Business), Rachel Lloyd (Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, GEMS), and Susan Bissell (UNICEF USA). They will be answering the question: What Does 2014 Hold for the Fight Against Modern-Day Slavery?

The modern-day slave trade is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, enslaving more than 30 million individuals today. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world.” Combating this $32 billion-dollar-a-year industry takes enormous effort as well as a large framework of diligent abolitionists. (via Not For Sale website)

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. What a great way to cross-connect with fellow freedom fighters, learn from leaders at the forefront of the movement, and invite friends to get involved! You can RSVP here: http://bit.ly/1cNChdw.

I hope you’ll join me there!

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy

In DISPOSABLE PEOPLE: New Slavery in the Global Economy, abolitionist and author Kevin Bales makes a clarion call for the ending of modern-day slavery around the world.

Slavery is theft — theft of a life, theft of work, theft of any property or produce, theft even of the children a slave might have borne. -Kevin Bales

This book is well researched and documented through the author’s personal experience going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders. His investigation of slavery took him around the globe to Mauritania, Brazil, Thailand, Pakistan, and India.

Even with the resurgence of an abolitionist movement in modern times, the fact is, there are an estimated 27 million people living in slavery around the globe, yet many still escape our awareness or acknowledgement.  Why?

Bales argues that the increasing globalization of the economy–supply and demand–has fueled the “need” for coerced labor in the global supply chain, including forced child labor and debt bondage. What many readers will find interesting is his economic rationale for why slavery is not as profitable or sustainable as fair labor practices.

In what is referred to as the emergence of a “new slavery,” he asserts that modern-day slaves, unlike traditional forms of slavery, are not always considered a long-term investment. That means human beings lose their value. Many are viewed by slave masters as cheap, usable and sometimes (as in the case of sex slavery) reusable, “disposable” people.

Bales also illuminates the urgent need to raise individual and global social consciousness by connecting the dots from the slave to the end-user. He challenges our norms, by highlighting the necessity to re-think our purchase and consumption habits and preferences, and how supply and demand can directly affect slavery. The book challenges political, corporate *and* personal consumption mindsets and behaviors.

Kevin Bales

But he doesn’t just expose readers to this massive global problem and leave the research and case studies on the table. He offers readers strategic solutions. This book will open your eyes to the bigger picture and leave readers with a personal choice once they have been opened.

All of the author’s royalties from this book go to fund anti-slavery projects around the world.

 

 

Buy the Book Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy.

Kevin Bales is co-founder of Free the Slaves.

Watch & Listen to Big Think Interviews with Kevin Bales.

Watch Ted Talks Video of Kevin Bales: How To Combat Modern Slavery.

As an author, a professor of sociology, and consultant to the United Nations Global Program on Human Trafficking, Kevin Bales is one of the world’s foremost experts on modern slavery. He has made it his mission to eradicate global slavery. Read More.

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

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Baseball, Hotdogs & Human Trafficking?

What do Major League Baseball, Hotdogs and Human Trafficking have in common?

NOT FOR SALE nights at the ballpark in four major cities! Baseball fans and human rights advocates will have the opportunity to partner with players and the Not For Sale team against human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

Not For Sale is an organization led by president and co-founder Dave Batstone and executive director and co-founder Mark Wexler. The goal? To create a world where no one is for sale. Learn more about NFS and how it fights modern-day slavery around the world.

San Francisco Giant’s pitcher Jeremy Affeldt led the way as the first MLB athlete to join Team NFS. This year’s event will include advocate players who have stepped up to the plate against human trafficking including San Francisco Giants’ Jeremy Affeldt, Brandon Belt, Matt Cain, Hunter Pence and Barry Zito.  Adrian Gonzalez, Skip Schumaker, Shawn Tolleson and A.J. Ellis from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Plus, Nick Hundley, Brad Boxberger and Chase Headley from the San Diego Padres.  Click here for a full list of (Team NFS) MLB player advocates who have teamed up with NFS. 

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is, here are some examples of “power plays” to help combat modern-day slavery:

  • San Francisco Giants Jeremy Affeldt pledged $250 for every strikeout he throws to NFS for every season he plays to fuel Not For Sale’s global initiatives.
  • St Louis Cardinals Matt Holliday pledged $500 for every home run he hits each season he plays.
  • Los Angeles Dodgers Adrian Gonzales pledged to donate $100 for every hit he has this season.
  • Arizona Diamondbacks Ian Kennedy donates a portion for every inning he pitches.

“We’re trying to leave a legacy here that when we leave this game, we’re known for not only what we did on the field, but what we did outside the field.” –Jeremy Affeldt, San Francisco Giants

> Not For Sale nights with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, July 9

> Not For Sale nights with the San Diego Padres at Petco Park, July 14

> Not For Sale nights with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field, July 31

> Not For Sale nights with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium, August 26

Major Leauge Baseball players and their fans have raised over $100,000 which helped fund a critical need for Not For Sale’s victim services.  Now, they want YOU to join them! More fan involvement means raising even greater awareness and more funds to help fight against modern-day slavery.  Everyone can do something! Blog, tweet, tell your friends, join with NFS to start a fundraising campaign in your area, use your creative talents, or donate online!

San Francisco Giant’s two-time World Series champion pitcher Jeremy Affeldt also released his first book, To Stir A Movement, which details his journey from childhood to pro ballplayer along with his relationship with Not For Sale and his heart for social justice.

Who’s your favorite MLB player or athlete? If they’re not already involved in the fight against modern-day slavery, use social media to reach out and challenge them to get in the game! 

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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5 Ways To Fight For Freedom From Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, mainly for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. As the world’s fastest growing criminal industry, it affects every nation across the globe. Every 30 seconds, someone is forced into this type of bondage–modern slavery. –The A21 Campaign

We’ve all heard the expression, “No one can do everything, but all of us can do something“. When it comes to issues like sex trafficking, forced labor, or any form of modern-day slavery, we freeze. Not because we don’t care, but because we feel so absolutely incapable of making any significant or effective contribution toward real change.

Where do we start? How do we start? Once we take the first step, what next? That’s when it helps to look to credible people and organizations who have already started paving a path, and join them on their journey. The A21 Campaign is one of those organizations. I agree with them when they say, “Not everyone can intern or volunteer, but everyone can make a difference.”

The A21 Campaign makes it simple for us by offering Five Ways To Fight For Freedom from human trafficking. One of my favorite pieces of advice is:

“Be yourself and channel your passions for a purpose. No one else has the exact talents and platform as you. Do what you love to help raise awareness or money.”

The A21 Campaign exists to abolish injustice in the 21st century through prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships. Want more ideas on how you can get involved as a modern-day abolitionist? Check out the full list here. Learn more about A21 Campaign’s mission.

It is estimated that the average age of human trafficking victims is only 12 years old. The majority of modern-day slaves are believed to be women and girls. According to A21, only 1-2% of victims are ever rescued. Share the Five Ways To Fight For Freedom with your friends… numbers matter!

Tell us how you are channeling your passions for a purpose and joining your efforts with other freedom fighters on the road to end slavery!

Contact The A21 Campaign or Follow on Twitter

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Child Labor Perpetuates Cycle of Poverty

Not only does child labor lead to a perpetual cycle of poverty for a family, it also depresses the economy. A study by the ILO (International Labor Organization) found that it would cost $760 billion to end child labor, but the benefits to the economy would be more than six times that–an estimated $5.1 trillion in economies where child laborers are found. –GoodWeave International (GWI)

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Trafficked and Re-Trafficked

Children trafficked into one form of labor may later be sold into another, as with girls from rural Nepal, who are recruited to work in carpet factories but are then trafficked into the sex industry over the border into India. -ILO/IPEC, Helping Hands or Shackled Lives? Understanding Child Domestic Labour and Responses to It

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Recipe for Trafficking

 

“Take one desperate woman, ripe for exploiting. Remove her opportunities. Soak her in poverty for a lifetime. Throw in a fistful of organized crime.

Mix her up. Turn her out, and there you have it.

One woman, pummelled, panicked. One woman, freshly trafficked.”

Stop the Traffik

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©Destiny's Women™ is a blog founded, written and published by April McCallum -- "Championing the Life, Freedom and Destiny of Women" Creative Commons License
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