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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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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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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Human Beings as Commodities

Human trafficking is the fastest growing global crime, second in size only to the illegal arms trade. It involves the movement of people through violence, deception, or coercion for various purposes, among them sex, forced labor, and even body parts. The book, Stop the Traffik speaks to the issues of organized immigration as a crime (aka trafficking in persons or human trafficking) and the exploitation and violence that victims are subject to.

“Criminals take advantage of the fact that human beings are the world’s most precious ‘commodity’. Let’s finish what Wilberforce started. We can stop the traffick. And we MUST.'” –Daniel Bedingfield

Learn More: Visit Stop The Traffik’s Website

Buy the Book: Stop the Traffik: People Shouldn’t Be Bought & Sold

Learn About: Abolitionist William Wilberforce

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” -William Wilberforce 

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

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Celebrating Black History Month

 

Black History Month is a time to recognize and remember the importance of African American history in the fabric of the American story. Following are just a few links that allow us to learn, reflect, and celebrate black history, civil rights, human rights, and the significance of liberty for all people. 

About African American History Month

African American History Timeline in Brief

African American History Month Images

The March on Washington

The Civil Rights Movements

The Civil Rights Act

The Harlem Renaissance

Biographies of Famous African Americans

Black Women in Art & Literature

African American Entrepreneurial Spirit in History

The Meaning and Making of Emancipation eBook

The Abolitionists A PBS Documentary  

Legends of American Visionaries Exhibit: The Tuskegee Airmen 

Smithsonian’s Black History Month

“To be true to one’s own freedom is, in essence, to honor and respect the freedom of all others.”  –Dwight D. Eisenhower

(Photo: by TheRealEdwin, Flickr)

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

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The Just Church: An Interview with Author and Abolitionist Jim Martin

International Justice Mission (IJM) is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. Jim Martin is the author of IJM’s new book, The Just Church.  As vice president of church mobilization his firsthand experience helps equip and enable churches to understand justice issues and learn how to take action against violence and oppression worldwide.  

“Why is it that the glaring global justice issues of our day—issues such as sex trafficking, modern slavery, illegal property seizure and sexual assault—are so seldom addressed in our churches?” -Jim Martin

Join me as we discuss The Just Church with author and abolitionist, Jim Martin:

Would you please share what prompted you to write The Just Church, and what your main objective was in writing the book at this time?

One day I had the realization that it was just a matter of time before I walked in to a bookstore and saw a book with the words “Justice” and “Church” in the title. Having been in ministry for eighteen years—ten of those as a pastor at a church passionate about justice, I realized I had a pretty specific perspective about what kind of book would be most helpful. I wanted to be sure that any book that encouraged churches to engage in justice in a hands-on way would make a strong connection between justice and discipleship rather than simply justice and mission. A few nanoseconds later I realized that, given IJM’s experience with churches over the last decade, we should write that book. I was just at the right place at the right time.

Although the church is clearly called to defend the oppressed, it hasn’t always been actively engaged in issues of violent oppression.  Why do you think that is?

Violence is simply different from most other challenges the church confronts. As IJM’s founder Gary Haugen says, “Victims of violence aren’t suffering from bad luck or bad weather,” nor are they suffering because they don’t have a healthy church they can attend. They are suffering because of the intentional abuse of someone else. As Ecclesiastes 4:1 puts it, the oppressed have “no one to comfort them.”  But “on the side of their oppressors, [is] power.” Confronting violent power is challenging. It produces feelings (such as fear) that can be uncomfortable.

If a church could do just one thing to begin an intentional process of moving toward being a more “just church” today, what would that be?

Reverse the spiral of isolation. That is to say, so many churches in the US (and in other more “developed” parts of the world) struggle with isolation. If we are isolated enough as to be largely unaware of injustice-related suffering altogether, then this lack of awareness will actually affect how they read the Scriptures. Because we don’t see this kind of suffering in the world, we don’t notice when we are reading about it in the Scriptures. Not noticing it in the Scriptures, we are not compelled to see it in the world. And the spiral accelerates. We need to reverse the spiral by taking a careful look at the Scriptures for their call to engage injustice in the world. And we need to take a hard look at the world to see the kind of suffering experienced by our neighbors. Having done that, I have little doubt that the God of justice will move us to action.

What have you found to be most effective in moving people from the sidelines of awareness, to the field, so-to-speak–from apathy to action?

One word: Hope. Hope is like a secret weapon. The easiest mistake to make is to simply pound people with statistics and horror stories. But the harsh truth of the problem alone usually serves to produce anger or despair. Anger may produce short bursts of activity, but is not effective fuel for a long journey. Even worse, despair is like inertia—making it even harder for us to take action. But hope is different. Hope motivates, hope increases momentum. At IJM we talk about a ratio of 10 to 1. For every one part stark reality of oppression, you need to inject 10 parts of rescue, restoration and transformation-based hope.

What challenge would you issue to the church in terms of its impact in actually alleviating this kind of suffering in the first place?

Stories of rescue are both inspiring and hopeful. And rescue is utterly life-changing for survivors who are touched by that miracle. But isn’t our real hope that these children, women and men would never be victimized in the first place? As the global church awakens to this massive tragedy being perpetrated on our watch, its 2.2 billion members should form a transformational army that works to prevent the abuse of the vulnerable in the first place. 

In the book you say, “If we are risk averse, we will be faith poor.” What do you mean?

One of the central points in the first half of the book is the idea that faith is made up of two things: Belief and Trust. Most churches I’ve known are great at teaching belief. There are all kinds of resources out there that help us hone our understanding of what we believe about God. But most churches, including churches I’ve led, are not very good at teaching trust—simply because this is much more difficult to teach—and learn. Learning trust always involves risk. This is true in human relationships and it’s true in our relationship with God. As I have taken on appropriate risk and experienced God as faithful and sufficient in it, my trust has grown. Simply put the equation is Faith = Belief + Trust. If we are risk averse, we will be faith poor.

As you’ve engaged with churches, what have you found to be the biggest misconception about how justice and discipleship relate to each other?

I think the extent to which many believers think about justice at all, they think of it as a mission of the church—something that we ought to do for those poor vulnerable people out there who are victimized by others. I do think there’s some truth to that. But what I’ve found over a couple of decades of engagement, is that there simply is no better place for me to be stretched, no better place for me to be forced to rely on the miraculous goodness and grace of God, than in the work of justice. There are so few places where my faith is really tested, where my trust in God is so stretched. This is why the work of justice is some of the richest soil for discipleship I’ve ever known.

You speak about a type of maturity that has a “missional purpose.” Can you expound on this idea?

Sometimes in the church we think of spiritual maturity as simply an end in itself. But the scriptures are clear that God’s work to rescue and redeem us is not only because he loves us, but also because he has a purpose for our lives! We are invited, adopted into, the family of God so that we can join the family business—that is so that we can join God on his mission to planet earth. Our spiritual maturity is for this missional purpose.

You talk about the relevance of “failure points”. Would you describe this concept for people or churches that are passionate about the battle for justice in our time?

For me, this is one of the keys to growing faith. In the book I make the comparison to weight training. In order to strengthen muscles, many schools of weight training encourage us to push our muscles to the failure point—the point at which our muscles cease to function. This was something of an “aha!” for me. For a long time I’d been looking for a way to describe what happens when we faithfully follow God into difficult situations, especially those outside our normal experience. Sometimes in those situations I’ve had the experience of coming to the end of my faith—the place where I was no longer sure that God was actually sovereign. This was especially true the first several times I encountered victims of sexual violence and heard their stories. The stark reality of that kind of suffering was challenging to contemplate, not just emotionally, but theologically. It forced all kinds of questions about God’s sovereignty, God’s goodness. It was again and again in those places, that counter-intuitively that God would actually prove to be both sovereign and good. These experienced deepened my faith perhaps more than any others in my life.  

What if churches were more collaborative in the area of justice, in what ways might that immediately and positively impact communities?

One of the strategies we present in the second half of the book is the idea of churches doing a thorough “Community Justice Assessment.” (IJM has a tool, a guide for this that is available for free.) One excellent collaborative strategy is for several churches in the same area to work together on conducting this assessment. Together they become the experts on issues of violence in their communities as well as the gaps in service/opportunities for ministry that exist.  

The term “social justice” has become a common expression. Do you believe there is a difference between social justice and biblical justice?  Please Explain.

For those of us who take the scriptures seriously, there can be no doubt that God cares about justice. To quote scholar Christopher Wright (in his endorsement of The Just Church): Justice, “is something that every biblical genre talks about somewhere – in the law, the narratives, the prophets, the Psalms and wisdom literature, the gospels and epistles.” When people use the term “social justice,” they are generally referring to people acting justly in their interactions with each other and the world.  We can pursue social justice for a variety of different reasons, including as a response to God’s call to justice. The distinctive of biblical justice, perhaps, has to do with motivation. We engage in justice not merely because we are kind people wanting to alleviate the suffering of others, but because we are disciples of a just God who hears the cries of the vulnerable and longs to mobilize his body to bring rescue. God calls us to this mission, but God also underwrites the mission. God meets us in this mission and God transforms us through this mission.

Have you experienced any personal “aha moments” of revelation or discovery while in the process of writing The Just Church?

The wonderful experience of getting to write this book was that it was the summary of about 10 years of work with my former church, The River (to whom the book is dedicated) and here at IJM. It was the opportunity to finally put into words some things I’d been learning on this journey with God and some good friends into the work of biblical justice.

People often say that they are “only one person,” and they don’t know how they can make a difference. What advice would you give them about stepping out and getting started?

According to the CIA Fact Book, there are 2.2 Billion Christians in the world. In the US alone, there are over 300,000 churches. Together we are more than a quorum. We are the hands and feet of the God of justice. And we are waking from our slumber. Let’s work to rouse the particular limb to which we are attached and shake off the cobwebs. This body is on a mission.

What key takeaway do you hope will make the biggest imprint on the mind and heart of the reader?

IJM learned early on that getting churches riled up about slavery, sex trafficking and other forms of violent oppression was not difficult. The hard part is coaching those churches to meaningful, enduring action. It’s not that churches lack the desire to act. What we’ve found over the years is that most churches simply lack a proven strategy to get them through the complexity, pain and darkness involved in engaging violent oppression. This book offers that proven strategy based on more than a decade of experience with churches who’ve found deep and lasting engagement.

Author, Jim Martin

Learn more about how your church can partner with IJM on the frontlines and in your community. Purchase Copies of The Just Church, visit www.ijm.org, or follow IJM on Twitter @IJMHQ.  Click Here to invite Jim Martin or another IJM expert to speak at your church or event.

 

If you’ve read this book and it’s made an impact on you, or you’re working to promote justice in your church or group, leave a comment below and share with others on the same journey! 

Related Articles:

New Book by International Justice Mission: The Just Church

When We Call Evil Good

International Justice Mission: Making Public Justice Systems Work for Victims of Oppression 

Bay area churches called ‘justice-seekers’ in book from anti-trafficking leader 

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

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

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Half the Sky Hosts Twitter Chat with Somaly Mam on Modern-Day Slavery

 

Half the Sky is hosting a Twitter chat with Somaly Mam, and… You’re Invited! 

Somaly Mam was sold into sexual slavery at a very young age. She was raped and tortured on a daily basis, and even forced to watch her best friend being brutally murdered. Today, she is one of the world’s leading activists against sex trafficking and advocates for the victims and survivors of modern-day slavery. She has teamed up with Half the Sky for a Twitter chat. “It’s time for a 21st-century abolitionist movement,” says Nicholas Kristof, Half the Sky Co-Founder. 

What: Twitter Chat with ex-trafficking victim and survivor Somaly Mam, hosted by Half the Sky.

Why: Because 30 million people are trapped in human slavery today, more than any other time in history (via sex trafficking, forced labor and debt bondage… and that’s completely unacceptable!)

When: Wednesday, July 18th at 2:30PT / 5:30ET

Where: Twitter!

Tweet your Questions to: @SomalyMam and @Half using #endslavery

The Half the Sky Movement is about igniting the change needed to put an end to the oppression of women and girls around the globe. It was inspired by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book of the same name, “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide”.

The Somaly Mam Foundation is a nonprofit charity committed to ending modern day slavery and empowering its survivors as part of the solution.“She vowed never to forget those left behind and has since dedicated her life to saving victims and empowering survivors.” Read her book, The Road of Lost Innocence: The True Story of a Cambodian Heroine. 

“He Who Allows Oppression Shares the Crime” -Desiderius Erasmus

Join me on Twitter: @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™ – “Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”
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NOT FOR SALE: Moving From Awareness To Action Against Modern-Day Slavery

“No longer can we stand by while 30 million people are enslaved”. Thinking about positive change is a beginning—like the planting of a seed. Talking about positive change is taking that idea to the next step, like watering it. But it is not enough to make a lasting difference.  Good ideas, like knowledge and awareness, will never affect true transformation. Like the seed that is planted and watered, without the light of truth and effective nurturing, it cannot thrive and gain the momentum of progressive evolution toward a solution. Not For Sale believes it’s time to shift gears by marrying movement with intelligent action.

So what is Not For Sale’s commitment to breaking the cycle of vulnerability and creating change at the root level of human trafficking and slavery? It is to provide a platform and issue a collective challenge for modern-day abolitionists to rise up and stand with those who are enslaved. To educate, inspire and invite people to move from the awareness phase to the action phase. They join forces to equip abolitionists in their quest to empower those who are enslaved to realize their freedom. That is success—remarkable, measurable success.

“We cannot act solo if we want to make an impact” -David Batstone

What does that collective challenge look like on the ground? Not for Sale combines technology, intellectual capital, abolitionist groups and a growing network of individuals working together for one purpose: to bring an end to human trafficking and modern-day slavery. To creatively, intelligently and strategically work together to literally set captives free.

We are living in a moment in time where the world’s interest and conscience are piqued by the topics of human rights and modern-day slavery. That’s why we cannot allow the sheer breadth and depth of its ugly and enormous reality cause us to become paralyzed to the point of inaction. It will take many moving parts working toward the same goal.

As Not For Sale rightly points out, “We live in a time and place where people are restless to do something”. Their approach promotes a holistic response that will best serve that collective goal. That’s why NFS presents us with opportunities that will bring students/universities, athletes, musicians, artists, communities of faith, justice, technology and business minds together. In order to bridge knowledge to action, they understand that, “The greatest of challenges demand the boldest and most creative initiatives.”

“Ending slavery in our lifetime depends on open-source activism” –David Batstone

Do you consider yourself a modern-day abolitionist? Do you and/or your peers want to learn more about human trafficking or find creative ways to “activate your activism”? Check out the Free2Work, Free2Play, and Free2Walk initiatives. Download the app to find out if the food you eat and the goods you buy are produced by slaves.  If you’re not sure how to apply your interests and skills in the movement, NFS has created an easy online tool to help point you in the right direction.  Consider taking an educational and life changing Immersion Trip, or sign up for The Academy, an abolitionist think-tank where NFS “incubates ideas to create solutions”.   

Hear the heart and journey of David Batstone, banking investor, educator, journalist and President/Co-Founder of Not For Sale in his own words.  

We cannot live in our present time and space and not be aware that human trafficking and modern-day slavery exists to some degree. Neither can we afford to live with our own conscience now awakened, yet stuck in the place of awareness… and do nothing.

How are you moving from awareness to action as an individual, organization or community?

Related Article: The Top Ten Rules for the Lifelong Effort to Become a Smart Activist

Buy the Book: “Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade–and How We Can Fight It” by David Batstone

Connect with Not For Sale on Facebook, online, by email, or follow @NFS 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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8.4 Million

Did you know that Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world today?

8.4 million children are trapped in slavery, trafficking, debt bondage, prostitution, pornography, and other illicit activities. (2003 International Labor Organization Report report, Facts on Child Labor)

“The danger is, that we can look at the enormity of this issue and we can fall into this tragic rationale that says if you can’t do everything, you can’t do anything, and as Mark Labberton writes, we become paralyzed and inert.  The truth is, you can’t do everything, but you can do something. You can do something to make a difference. You can do something to take these children who’ve been enslaved and help them to become forever found.” –Pat McCalla, Co-Founder, StreetLight

We want to turn away, but we can’t because it’s not a story… it’s real.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Get Involved.

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

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