The Second Day of Freedom

2nd Day of Freedom: Let’s start a chain reaction! Tell one person about the issue of human trafficking and how it affects people in the U.S. Encourage that one person to tell another person about human trafficking. Encourage that person to tell someone else. Let’s try to educate as many people on this global issue as possible!

 To me, this is probably the most important tactic in the fight against human trafficking. Similar to the First Day of Freedom (https://fcaht.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/first-day-of-freedom/), this is all about spreading awareness. How are people to fight an issue they may know nothing about? Arming yourself with information and sources of where that information came from will add credibility to case and make people listen. Simply saying “human trafficking is bad” isn’t going to spark interest in trying to stop it. People will just store that tidbit of information in their brain for nine or ten seconds and dismiss it. Now, telling someone that “right now there are approximately 20.9 million people enslaved throughout the world” (stophumantrafficking.org) might be a little more powerful. I’ve found that humans are very responsive to numbers. Amounts of trafficking victims. Ages of victims. Amount of revenue trafficking makes. That trafficking is the 2nd largest criminal industry after narcotics. Numbers give things more meaning, make phrases more concrete and give your point more standing. Humans are notoriously social beings and social networking sites have only perpetuated that, even if those interactions are only digital. So tweet about, post about it, or blog about it. The chance of someone being affected by that is far greater than if you just keep it to yourself.   

If you want to get more involved with the cause, I’m a big believer in starting small. Trying to tackle the entire issue of trafficking is just too daunting a task for a single person and you’ll quickly become overwhelmed at the sheer magnitude of such an endeavor. There’s nothing wrong with starting on a smaller scale. Contact a local organization (you need only type into Google: anti-human trafficking organizations and (your city)) and see how you can help locally. The idea is that if everyone helps out on a small, local scale that we can begin to chip away at the problem in our own country and inspire those in other countries to do the same for their countries. We can of course, focus our efforts globally,, but In my opinion, seeing them make such a small dent or no visible dent at all isn’t going to motivate the same way that seeing a big impact in a small area will. Everyone working together on a small scale is going to be much more impactful.

Here is a list of just some of the coalition partners that the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking has:

  • Alliance with Fundacion Maria de Los Angeles, Tucuman Argentina
  • Alliance with RED Alto al Trafico la Trata, Argentina
  • Amigo’s Center – Bonita Springs, FL
  • Argentina RATT
  • Beacon College – Leesburg, FL
  • Bonita Assistance Program – Bonita Springs
  • Broward Human Trafficking Coalition
  • Cafe of Life – Bonita Springs
  • Caffa – Miami, FL
  • Catholic Charities Of Central Florida – Orlando, FL
  • Catholic Charities Of St. Petersburg – St. Pete, FL
  • Central America Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking (Co-Founders)
  • Child Rescue Network
  • Childrens Advocacy Center – Ft. Myers, FL
  • Christian Care Counseling Center
  • Clay Behavioral Center – Middleburg, FL
  • Coptic Orthodox Charities
  • Courtney’s House
  • Dominican University – Rockford, IL
  • Dr. Luz Estella Nagle – Stetson School of Law, St. Petersburg
  • Eden Fellowship Church – Pensacola, FL
  • Edison Community College – Collier Campus
  • Familia Mora Arriaga
  • Families First – Jacksonville, FL
  • Family Resource, Inc. – Pinellas Park, FL
  • Florida Abolitionist
  • Florida Commission on Human Relations
  • Florida League of United Latin American Citizens
  • Florida Migrant Interstate Program
  • Florida Salvation Army
  • Florida State University Center for the Advancement of Human Rights
  • Floridian Hotel, Inc. – Homestead, FL
  • Free International
  • Fundacion El Otro, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Fundacion Maria de Los Angeles in Tucuman, Argentina
  • Global Child Rescue
  • Gulf Coast Jewish Family Services – Clearwater, Fl
  • Harbor House – Orlando, Fl
  • Inter-American University, Peurto Rico
  • International College
  • Jacksonville Community Task Force – Jacksonville
  • Justice at the Gate – Orlando, FL
  • Klaas Kids
  • Kristi House
  • Marco Island Knights of Columbus
  • Maryknoll
  • Member of Triple S Network
  • Membership: Florida State University Presidents Club, Tallahassee
  • Miami Movement Against Human Trafficking – Miami, Fl
  • Not For Sale Campaign – Los Angeles, CA
  • One Way Out in Ft Myers
  • Organization of the Americas (OAS)
  • Orlando Rescue and Restore Coalition
  • Orlando Youth for Human Rights
  • Project Help – Naples, FL
  • Ricky Martin Foundation
  • San Diego Bilateral Safety Corridor
  • South Brevard Women’s Center – Melbourne, FL
  • South Texas College
  • Southwest Florida Women’s Digest
  • Stand Up for Kids
  • Stop Child Trafficking of Tampa Bay
  • SW Florida Episcopal Diocese
  • SW FLorida Historical Museum, Ft. Myers
  • Tampa Bay Youth For Human Rights – Tampa
  • Tampa Human Rights Walk-a-thon
  • Tampa/Clearwater Rescue & Restore Coalition
  • Tiny Stars
  • Women’s Center Of Jacksonville – Jacksonville, FL
  • World Relief

While not all of these organizations that you can volunteer with, many of them are and it just shows a fraction of how many organizations there are around the country and the world that you can join in the fight. The first step is awareness, the second is getting involved. 

By: Danae Zimmer

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First Day of Freedom

Earlier this year, the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking challenged the public to 12 different activities that coincided with the 12 Days of Freedom. For the upcoming posts, I want to expand upon what each day asks the public to do because freedom shouldn’t be thought about in just those 12 days.

Day 1: Change your profile picture on your Facebook or Twitter page to this icon

Image

Social media is one of the most influential tools that we have access to. We’ve all fallen victim to chain emails, like the infamous “Rick Roll” and we’ve all seen videos go viral, like the new and incredibly bizarre “Harlem Shake” videos that are blowing up on Facebook and Youtube alike. The reason that these seemingly silly videos or pranks become so big is because people copy them. Within one week three major colleges around my area (including my own) all made their own “Harlem Shake” videos to add to the plethora of others available online. Imagine if raising awareness about human trafficking became as popular as sending someone a link to a Rick Astley video? Imagine that instead of everyone copying a weird dance video, everyone made an anti-trafficking picture their profile picture on their social media sites for even just a week? I personally have 509 friends on Facebook (and that’s on the low side compared to most people I know). If even just the Facebook friends of 1,000 people saw the picture and each of those people have 1,000 friends who see the picture, that’s ONE MILLION people. One million people having human trafficking brought to their attention, even for just a few seconds. That might not seem like much, but it can actually make a huge difference. In my case, I had been interested in joining the anti-trafficking movement for a few years but was busy with school and one day I saw about 10 seconds of a television special about brothels in Thailand and I got on my computer, found the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking and emailed them to see what I could do to help. A TV show isn’t the same as a profile picture, but we can’t all go out and make documentaries about trafficking and have them showing on National Geographic. Instead, we can start small, start easy, start with what we have. With a few clicks perhaps you can be the one to inspire someone else to join the cause or be inspired yourself to get more involved. The thing I’ve learned about non-profit organizations is that they’re not the kind of places that ever really turn down an offer to  help. In most cases they will actually work with you however they can (like letting me write this blog from school) because “the cause”, whatever that may be, is their passion too. It’s a small gesture, to change your profile picture (cover photo works too) for a week, or longer if you’re feeling particularly dedicated, but it can make a world of difference. While you’re on Facebook and Twitter changing your pictures, you should go ahead and  follow FCAHT on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Florida-Coalition-Against-Human-Trafficking/177746596520?fref=ts ) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/freeallslaves) and you can always check out www.stophumantrafficking.org for more information and ways to get involved.

 

By: Danae Zimmer