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
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