The Eighth and Ninth Day of Freedom

8th Day of Freedom: Wear Green as a symbol of hope! Encourage others to do the same! & 9th Day of Freedom: Go to Change.org. Visit the Human Trafficking section and sign one of the various petitions on the issue of human trafficking. Encourage your friends to do the same.

There are so many ways you can get involved in the fight against human trafficking. From wearing green to taking a few minutes to sign your name on petitions, every little bit helps. I decided to group #8 and #9 together because they go hand in hand. Wearing green is a symbol of hope because it is a symbol of protest against allowing trafficking to continue. You might wonder what wearing green or signing a virtual petition might actually do. Wearing green probably isn’t going to magically *poof* all the traffickers, pimps and other criminals into jail cells and whisk those in trafficking to slavery (but wouldn’t that be nice?), but there is a possibility that someone will say “Oh what a lovely green shirt that is!” and to that you can promptly reply, “Why thank you, I’m wearing is as a symbol of hope for victims of human trafficking, you can so that as well!” and now you’ve successfully started a dialogue about human trafficking and have done a small part in raising awareness. Soon enough you might look around and notice a sea of green around your school, workplace, or wherever else you spend your time. It’s all about getting the message out there: We cannot allow human trafficking to continue any longer. Awareness is the key to that. The next step  after awareness is action! and that’s where the petitions come in.

Change.org has thousands of petitions on different issues, many of those being issues of social justice. When you sign the petition you can opt to have your signature shown publicly as well as share the petition on Facebook, Twitter and a slew of other popular social networking sites right from Change.org. Making it as easy as a few mouse clicks to invite others to sign as well. In my experience, petitions have gotten a bad rap. There’s a misconception that all they really are is a piece of paper (virtual or tangible) full of scribbled signatures, some of a person’s given name and others from the comedians walking amongst us, that read “Superman” or “Seymore Buttz” that undermine the validity of what the petition is trying to accomplish. When people say that petitions can’t do anything, that just isn’t true. It’s hard to ignore a subject that is creating outrage in the public. It’s very easy to ignore something that no one is making a sound about. When you go to Change.org you can browse through “popular” or recent petitions or chose to search specifically for an issue your interested in (this would be a good place to type in “human trafficking”). You fill out a tiny bit of information and you’re on your way. I’ve found it can get rather addicting. I’ll see a link in an online newspaper article or a link to a petition for a cause I’m interested in will pop up on my Facebook news feed and before I know it, I’ve just signed 20 petitions ranging from human trafficking to women’s rights to prevention of animal cruelty. As far as addictions go, I feel pretty safe in my assumption that signing petitions for causes I believe in amongst the safer of addictions. School keeps us busy. Jobs keep us busy. Families keep us busy. Lives are busy. But it only takes a minute that can actually make a difference. Maybe not a huge one, maybe not immediately, slowly but surely we will eradicate slavery once and for all.  

 

By: Danae Zimmer

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