I am a wife and a mother who simply has a desire to see freedom and justice for all.
How did you become interested in social justice?
I watched a DVD for Willowcreek’s Leadership Summit where President and Founder of International Justice Mission, Gary Haugen, spoke. As He was sharing about God’s heart for justice and inviting us to be part of their work, he showed photos and videos of the violent oppression and injustices all over the world, and within seconds, they no longer became somebody’s family member, their clients became my family and my friends- it became personal. As he shared how IJM is seeking justice in the poorest regions of the world and securing freedom and justice, I knew that engaging with them would be my first step in working towards our family’s life mission of seeking freedom and justice for all.
What inspired you to found Slavery No More?
I had been a volunteer with the LA Metro Task Force Against Human Trafficking for a number of years, and I was able to learn more about the role of law enforcement and NGOs (non-governmental organizations). My husband, who is the Co-Founder of Slavery No More with me, and I never wanted to start “just another NGO” because we saw how under resourced the existing ones were, and the great work they were doing. Instead, we were more of a Community Based Organization, hosting and organizing events and forums to bring about awareness and inspire mobilization. Our events were getting larger and we wanted to reach out to more and more people, churches and community groups, but we found that most churches and groups were less likely to join a “movement” without a substantiated foundation. We also saw that there were things we could do to assist a number of Aftercares and Safe Homes by organizing volunteers and collections, but we needed to have a non-profit status in order to move forward in a significant way.
What sets Slavery No More apart from other anti-trafficking/slavery organizations?
Our hope is that people see Slavery No More as a bridge builder between the public, law enforcement and NGOs. We are here not to start something new or separate, but to be inclusive and support and resource the great work that is being done to abolish slavery. We can’t all do everything, but we can all do something, and when we do it together, the goal becomes bigger than any one person or organization.
Why would you encourage people to get involved in the movement in addition to/in lieu of making a donation?
My husband and I weren’t sure what our first steps were, so we decided to become monthly givers to IJM at first. We believed in their mission, and while we explored our other options, we didn’t want it to delay our support. Human Trafficking generates more money than Nike, Starbucks and Walmart combined. It is the second largest organized crime after illegal drugs. There is no question that resourcing is hugely important so that experts can continue to do their work and have the equipment and support they need to act quickly. There are a number of avenues one can being their advocacy, it’s simply about deciding on one to start with and following thru. Where you start usually brings you to your next step. You make time for what you make time for. It’s about truly understanding the nature of these horrific crimes and knowing that every petition, phone call, volunteer opportunity you commit and follow thru with can literally be a building block that rescues a young girl from being forced into prostitution, frees a family working under horrific conditions, and being part of the reason why one who was a slave is now free.