18 – Planning for National Freedom Day

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At the beginning of the new year are two important awareness days: January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day and February 1 is Freedom Day. Sandie and Dave provide tips, resources, and encouragement for you to make plans at the beginning of the year to raise awareness about human trafficking, engage your community, and do something to end human trafficking.

Key Points

  • There are three models that you can use to raise awareness in your community:
    • as an individual living in the community,
    • as a professional,
    • and as a member of a faith community.
  • For businesses, collaboration is key to finding resources and making connections in your community.
  • Human trafficking will only end once the community as a whole understands what it is and knows what to do when they see it.


[Note from the Ending Human Trafficking podcast team: This episode was recorded in 2011 so the contact information provided is no longer accurate. Please refer endinghumantrafficking.org/contact for the correct contact information to get in touch with the EHT podcast.]

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Dave [00:00:00] You’re listening to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast. This is episode number 18, recorded in November 2011. Welcome to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast. My name is Dave Stachowiak.

Sandie [00:00:28] And I’m Sandie Morgan.

Dave [00:00:29] And this is the show where we empower you to study the issues, be a voice, and make a difference in ending human trafficking. And Sandie, we had forgotten to do this upfront on the last show, so I’m going to say it upfront right away that if you’re tuning into this episode for the very first time and checking out this to learn about how to end human trafficking, welcome. We’re so glad to have you. We’re glad you took a few minutes here to tune in to us and hopefully that this time will be very valuable to you in learning a bit more about this issue of really studying this issue, being a voice in ending it, and ultimately, making a difference. And if as you’re listening, I think you’re going to have questions that will come up and we take questions all the time, Sandie. And so we want to encourage you to reach out to us with questions. And of course, if you have feedback on the show, things you’d like us to cover in the future, or things you have questions upon from past episodes, you can reach out to us any time. Actually, three ways you can reach out to us by email at gcwj@vanguard.edu. Or you can call the center directly Sandie and either talk to you live or you can leave a voicemail.

Sandie [00:01:45] 714-556-3610, extension 2242.

Dave [00:01:51] And the third way is, for those of you who love Facebook, you can go on to Facebook and just do a search for Global Center for Women and Justice. You can like us on Facebook, and if you do that, you’ll actually get a couple of things. One, you can ask questions right there on the page of us and interact with us. You’ll also get all the announcements about different shows when they post in an addition, a whole bunch more too that the center’s up to and resources and links. So there’s a great conversation that’s going on there with lots of information for you. So I encourage you to check that out as well. And today, Sandie, we are actually going to be talking about some things that are in place nationally to raise awareness around human trafficking and it being toward the end of the year here now of we’re actually looking forward to January and February because this is a big time of the year for those of us who care strongly about advocating against this issue, because there’s a lot of awareness activities coming up that we want to educate this audience about. And also, I want to be educated about too because you’re much more an expert on this than I am. So I’m looking forward to learning from you.

Sandie [00:02:53] Well, I always plan for January 11th, because January 11th is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. And as you know, Dave, you know, I came back from living overseas and when I discovered human trafficking was right here, I was very happy when they passed the resolution that we would actually have a day where we look at human trafficking in our own country. So January 11th. And here in Orange County, we started calling it O.C. 111. And it’s a big event. Everybody plans it every year and we ramp up our are faith based groups, our NGOs, our schools to talk about what is human trafficking and our media covers it. It’s really been a very powerful mode of awareness. But I think in listening to people over the last year, we want to do more than just awareness. So I’ve been thinking, how do I phrase that. I think I want to do January 11th, National Human Trafficking Awareness Plus, plus. Do something. Something that would make us all more responsible, would give us a way of taking some sort of action instead of just waiting for somebody else to put on an event that I can go to.

Dave [00:04:14] Sure.

Sandie [00:04:15] So that’s kind of where we are with this podcast today. You’ve got time to put together something either for January 11th, which is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day, or we also have another event that’s related. February 1st is Freedom Day, and this is related to when Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. And many of the faith based communities take the January 11th date and run awareness events, including a prayer calendar all the way through to February 1st. So basically, if you get your calendar out, here is a chance for you to do awareness plus. What I want to walk you through today is how you can do something. Don’t just say, Oh, I’m going to call in on that day or I’m going to go to something. But you could actually plan your own awareness event and engage your local community.

Dave [00:05:15] And this is a really good time to be thinking about this, Sandie, not only because of the dates of the awareness events themselves, but of course, you know, we’re in the midst of the holiday season now. But in a few short weeks, we’re going to be in to the first of the year. And it tends to be a time that a lot of us just think naturally about what can I do better this coming year and what’s something I can do to help out the world and give back to the world? And I know that’s always a component of my thinking around, you know, I don’t want to use the term New Year’s resolutions, but just thinking about what I’m going to do that year and my kind of life plan and how many utilize my time and resources. And this is one thing that you can put into that plan of thinking how, and do some planning now, of how you can reach out to do something not just that makes you feel good, but also does something meaningful for the world and for people whose lives could potentially be really changed in a positive way. So I’m really glad we’re talking about this today, Sandie.

Sandie [00:06:12] And what I want to do is I want to give two different models. One well, maybe three. One is you as an individual living in your community.

Dave [00:06:21] Okay.

Sandie [00:06:21] Secondly, you as a professional. And thirdly, you as a member of a faith community.

Dave [00:06:30] Okay. Okay. So let’s start with me, myself and I. The three of us, we get together and we decide to do something.

Sandie [00:06:35] I have participated in some really creative ways of doing awareness in communities. I was talking to someone a few years ago about the case of Shyima, who was an Egyptian child slave in a beautiful home in a gated community and right here in Orange County. And she was rescued because a neighbor reported this.

Dave [00:07:02] Now, I remember you telling us the story before.

Sandie [00:07:04] Oh, it’s a great story. So we have to intervene.

Dave [00:07:06] It’s a good ending the story.

Sandie [00:07:08] Because it’s a happy, happy ending.

Dave [00:07:09] The story ends well.

Sandie [00:07:11] So my friend, I was talking about this, I said, well, can you come to my house and tell that story? I live in a gated community. I said, Yes, I can. And so here she lives in a gated community. She had ten or 12 people in her neighborhood come over. And I took the resources that you can order for free on rescueandrestore.org, took them with me, passed them out so that everybody had the 888-3737-888 hotline number so that if they saw something, they could report it. And, you know, everybody isn’t going to see a Shyima, but when someone sees a Shyima and they know what to do, that’s what makes a difference. So she had a neighborhood awareness event in her home for ten or 12 people. That was great. It was just wonderful. Now, I had–

Dave [00:08:08] And that’s ten or 12 people that may not have heard anything about this before. And like you said, Sandie, it’s not that they’re all going to run into these situations, but boy, if someone did. Then they have the resources, the knowledge, and the understanding to know what to do. And of course, not that we’d ever be trying to, you know, go out in the world and scare people about about things. But if you have education and you have knowledge, you have power and you have the ability to understand the world around you. And that’s     what a great example.

Sandie [00:08:35] Of course, you know, in the general conversation, we talked about things like fair trade products. And so, you know, we started educating that little community and of course, that community grew beyond. So it becomes a ripple effect.

Dave [00:08:49] Yeah, that’s great. And because those other issues then come up in those conversations. And so it really does become a great dialogue to educate people and inform people about many of these issues.

Sandie [00:09:00] And then here’s the other thing that happens. The people sitting in that living room, some of them were service providers in our community. So the next thing that happened is one of those attendees that day said, well, can you come to this place where I work and do a presentation with these professionals, which we’re going to talk about that in the second section. Let me finish the individual.

Dave [00:09:25] Sure.

Sandie [00:09:25] What you can do at home. Another friend, after they heard this presentation, said, well, I don’t want to scare people with all this kind of I want to do something that is fun. And I thought, human trafficking isn’t fun. What am I supposed to do? But my–

Dave [00:09:43] Well, it’s one of the struggles we have with the show, is you know, how do we how do we keep this upbeat? You know, it’s a really a tough topic, so I can appreciate that.

Sandie [00:09:49] Well, my assistant at the time said, oh, I have an idea. And so she put together for the Live2Free Club a chocolate house party. And in fact, if you want to have a chocolate tasting party that emphasizes understanding how fair trade is a way to vote at the register for slave free products, then you can send us an email and we will send you the PDF kit to have a human trafficking chocolate tasting party. And it’s really kind of fun because Alicia did a fabulous job putting this together. Even talks about how to pair the things that you serve with the chocolate. And then it has everything you need to tell five or six stories, very briefly, of trafficking cases and what happened to those cases and gives you a chance to share with your friends and neighbors the 888-3737-888 number. So that’s another way for an individual to have a National Human Trafficking Day awareness event in their own home.

Dave [00:11:07] And the email, again, for those who may want that document to reach out to us is gcwj@vanguard.edu, and that’s for the Global Center for Women and Justice.

Sandie [00:11:17] It’s fun. Chocolate.

Dave [00:11:20] You can’t wrong with it. Lots of people like chocolate. You can’t go wrong with that. That attracts a crowd.

Sandie [00:11:25] Now, when we moved to the second group, because in your homes, you’re going to find professional people who are involved, especially in the service industry. So how did they take this to the next level

Dave [00:11:38] Yes, curiously, many of us work. And of course, many of us don’t work, too. So it’s important for us to remember. But yeah.

Sandie [00:11:42] I’m a nurse and I was always looking for someone to come in and do an in-service for my staff. This is a great in-service to do. And actually, the rescueandrestore.org website has tool kits for health care professionals, for law enforcement professionals that have a PowerPoint and everything all ready to go for you to do at your place of employment. This is a great resource. You can also order brochures for health care providers, for social workers, and for law enforcement at that same website. And of course, that website is on our gcwj.vanguard.edu website as well.

Dave [00:12:28] I was just going to ask about that.

Sandie [00:12:30] We always have all the links, we have all the links. But there are other frontline service providers that we don’t traditionally think of as needing to have this kind of awareness training. So what I would like, especially if you listen to the last podcast about the new law that goes into effect in January for supply chain transparency, then it becomes even more important that retail centers have training for their workers on what is human trafficking. They need to understand, so they need an awareness package that shows them what human trafficking is. And I think this is the next level of awareness and community engagement to make sure we do those kinds of outreach efforts as well.

Dave [00:13:20] So we talked last time, Sandie, about how organizations, at least in California, are going to be required to do more disclosure and really more looking at this. Large organizations are putting together resources to do this. But let’s say I’m a really small organization or just a one, you know, maybe a one store retail location. And I’m looking for ways to educate people, what would be the way I’d want to reach out to either the center, Sandie, or you or resources that would be helpful in putting something like that together.

Sandie [00:13:51] Well, I have all kinds of ideas when you asked that question. That’s great. First of all, you can go to our website and find resources. We have a resource list and in fact, we have links to videos. We have the Cost of Demand, which is just 4 minutes. You can do that in a briefing at the beginning of your day. We have about a 15 minute lesson on what human trafficking is that tells the story of Shyima, that which is the story I was talking about from a gated community. There’s a link for that. There are also resources to Internet safety to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, to the Rescue and Restore website, as well as to the State Department. And I think when you’re a small company the word collaboration has to be part of your vocabulary. Wouldn’t it be great if all of the business owners in a strip mall got together for their employees and just showed the Shyima video and handed out the 888-3737-888 number so people knew what to do if they saw something that wasn’t right. It would also be great. I was invited to speak to a business association and all the owners came and we walked through what does this new law mean to you? And this was a year ago. So they want to be ready to respond appropriately.

Dave [00:15:16] And one thing, and Sandie mentioned this too, is to go to a business association. One piece of advice for those who are looking to reach out to organizations is to find the places where those meetings are already happening. Rather than trying to create a whole lot of new effort around creating a meeting around it. Find where is the opportunity potentially? It sounds like, Sandie, you need to engage people at, you know, where they are and where they already meet and where they’re already looking to learn. And the more we can look for a resources like that to partner with the existing organizations and professional organizations, probably the faster the news gets out about this.

Sandie [00:15:53] And you can look on your local community calendars. There are a lot of events now nationally on January 11th. Many communities have an event here in Orange County. It’s a collaborative effort with a lot of NGOs and the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. At Vanguard, we will do a Freedom Day event on February 1st, and you can go to our website to find out more information about that.

Dave [00:16:22] So a lot of different ways to get engaged with people who also care about this issue.

Sandie [00:16:29] Absolutely.

Dave [00:16:29] And, of course, as you build those relationships, as we’ve talked about many times on this podcast, then you open up doors to do even more locally.

Sandie [00:16:38] And creating a collaborative effort for community engagement is so critical to awareness. Just having a few posters up is helpful. But when people really learn what to do when they see something and how their everyday actions impact and change the global perspective on trafficking, that’s what’s really important.

Dave [00:17:06] Very cool. Well, let’s talk about the third one. So what people can do in faith based communities that or in what the faith based communities due to reach out in this way?

Sandie [00:17:18] I think that in the faith based communities we have a natural setting where people are, like you said, they’re already meeting. So having a segment of your Sunday worship service that addresses human trafficking. When we created the Cost of Demand video, it’s 4 minutes and we were very intentional to make sure that it wouldn’t have a glaring, abrasive content that could not be shown in most public situations where the kids are around. And so Cost of Demand really focuses on the whole idea of supply and demand and social responsibility. It’s 4 minutes. You can get the link to download a high res copy from our website, and that can be included in a Sunday morning worship service very easily. If you have a Sunday school class or a youth group or a Wednesday night home group, you can take the Shyima video and walk through that. And that actually was produced by the company is called Campus Cinema and it was funded out of the Heritage Foundation. And so but they worked in partnership with the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. So law enforcement, the assistant U.S. attorney that prosecuted the case. You hear all of those voices about the bigger picture around what human trafficking is. But you also hear Shyima’s voice and if you have a youth group, the seeksocialjustice.com website actually has a downloadable study guide to go with the video. And that’s also a helpful opportunity to use for your youth group to walk through what is human trafficking and then what is our responsibility as believers in responding to that. And so those are just some of the tools. There are so many resources out there, you would just be amazed. But we will continue to post anything new that we find on our website. I also encourage you to to look at posting a prayer calendar. One of the things that we’ve done in the past, we’ve shared prayer calendars with other groups, but we’ve also encouraged students to make their own and walk through the things that they want to do. So then they kind of keep a journal and some of the groups send out a thought a day. So if you’re in a place where it’s snowing and people are not going to go to an event, maybe you’re going to send out a thought to your group, your youth group on this.

Dave [00:20:13] And one of the things that I really appreciate, Sandie, that I know has been done locally and I’ve been to one of these events in the past that you had invited me to is the prayer breakfast. And I don’t remember if it was part of this time of the year or not. But, you know, one of the things I think is really important is that, you know, people in all faith communities care about this issue. This is not just a Christian issue. It’s not just a Jewish issue. It’s not just a muslim issue. It is a human issue. It’s a human rights issue. And so it was really just so heartwarming for me to be at that prayer breakfast and to see people of all faiths gathered together, united in a desire and a want to do things to end this horrible thing we call human trafficking. And I think that in addition to all of the practical things that go along with getting people together and as we’ve talked about, kind of putting on the armor of empowering people, just the feeling you get of really people connecting in unifying in a way like that is just is I think it’s really powerful.

Sandie [00:21:26] I agree with you. That was my very first OC 111 when we did that first prayer breakfast.

Dave [00:21:33] Okay. So this was the same.

Sandie [00:21:35] Yeah.

Dave [00:21:35] I thought so.

Sandie [00:21:36] Exactly the same. And the ability to bring everybody together because we all agree that slavery is wrong. This is so important because no one is going to end human trafficking on their own. And yet there are so many people who don’t even know what it is. And we did a little research project here at Vanguard a few years ago where students just went around within a half a mile of our university and asked any business that sold coffee or chocolate, do you have fair trade? They didn’t boycott. They didn’t say, you know, it’s bad that you don’t know about this. They just asked a question and they increased the knowledge around our community significantly by asking that question. There are so many ways that we can begin to ask those questions. Another group went to a mall on January 11th and passed out the 888-3737-888 number and would ask people, do you know what human trafficking is? And they would stop and explain it to them. That kind of community engagement builds a climate where slavery cannot exist because if we know what it looks like, if we know what to do when we see it, if we know what causes it, so we can stop doing the things that cause it, that’s how we’re going to end it. And that isn’t going to happen by a small little group of people working on it by themselves. It has to be out in the entire community.

Dave [00:23:06] And it takes time for that to happen. And effort and sustained effort for sometimes many years. I think back to, and I don’t know if this is the best analogy, Sandie, but just the one that’s come into my mind is, you know, the issue with health issues, with smoking, you know, 40, 50 years ago. People believed smoking was not harmful to you at all. And in fact, some people argued it was good for you and that everyone should smoke and the evidence that mounted was substantial over the years of how detrimental smoking was and is to your health. And yet it took a long time to really change public perception about it because it was so much, you know, people were very uninformed about the real risks about smoking. And now we live in a society, at least here in the states, where it’s generally very understood, even among people who smoke, that there’s major health issues with that. And I don’t at all mean to compare smoking to human trafficking. They’re two completely separate things. And I certainly don’t mean that comparison at all. But I think the efforts at getting the word out and educating people in some ways are comparable in that it does take time and effort. And just because you don’t see progress immediately doesn’t mean that you’re not getting things done. And, you know, I’m going off on a tangent a little bit here, Sandie, but I think about this, you know, we do a lot of work in our business around educating people and educating adults and training people. And you know, how many times you sometimes have to teach someone how to do a new skill or  develop a new habit. And it very rarely is it that you teach someone something new or train something on a new skill and the first time they do it, they do it successfully or that they remember it. It’s repetition over time and changing the dialogue over time. And I think that that’s very much the case here.

Sandie [00:25:01] That’s such a good point. I went to a meeting and someone I hadn’t seen for a long time was saw me walk in the door and started shouting my name and waving and everything. And so I got over to them and I thought, Oh, they’re so happy to see me. It’s like, Oh, I’m so glad to see you. I didn’t write down that number and I needed it. And so she had her phone out. I’m putting it in my cell phone. 888-3737-888. So it takes a while to learn those things and be proactive, put that number in your cell phone so that you know what to do. That number is also useful because it is the National Resource Center on Human Trafficking. They answer questions. They tell you who is doing something in your community. So if you are a community organizer and you want to do something in your church or in your nonprofit, or if you’re a service organizer, you can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and find out who the leaders are in your community. So you’re looking for a speaker that’s a task force administrator or a law enforcement officer or a case manager. And you want to have a firsthand report at your event. They can help you find that person.

Dave [00:26:15] And I’m glad you mentioned that and reminded us of that, because I know I had that misperception, Sandie, that the only time you could use that number is if you were calling to report something you had seen. But really, that number is there for as a much larger resource of, as you said, resources, connections, things people are doing in their local community to support these efforts. So it’s great that we have that resource available to us.

Sandie [00:26:37] Exactly. So, January 11th, 2012 to February 1st, Freedom Day 2012. Make plans to do one thing to raise awareness, engage your community, and do something to end human trafficking.

Dave [00:26:54] And speaking of 2012, it’s just around the corner here, so it’s probably not too early to say Happy New Year, almost Sandie. And speaking of 2012, we mentioned this on the last episode that we are going to have the upcoming conference that the Global Center for Women and Justice is sponsoring at Vanguard University coming up here in Costa Mesa, California, on March 2nd and 3rd. We talked about it in detail last time, so I won’t go into detail this time, but you can find information on our website at gcwj.vanguard.edu, and the topic for the conference is standing together to end the exploitation of girls. And so this is a huge issue. It’s an important thing for us to educate ourselves. And of course, it relates to human trafficking, unfortunately. And for $99, you can attend a day and a half long conference here in Southern California at a pretty yucky time of the year, everywhere else in the country, and really learn a lot. You know, we’re just, like we said last time, tip of the iceberg here as far as what we’re talking about the podcast, we have so many speakers, resources, workshops that will be tremendously valuable to you. And if you are anyone that has any interaction with young women and girls especially, this is a place that you want to be.

Sandie [00:28:11] It’s a community health issue. This is something that if we are going to have healthy kids, we need to be a part of learning how to keep our community safe and help raise awareness and understanding of everybody in the community to do that.

Dave [00:28:29] And one way that you can continue to learn about keeping your community safe is keeping in touch with us because we’re here as a resource for you around education and resources to help you end human trafficking, not just everywhere around the world, but in your community as well. And so you can reach out to us with questions at gcwj@vanguard.edu, or you can call the center at–.

Sandie [00:28:52] 714-556-3610, extension 2242.

Dave [00:28:58] Hey, Sandie, last episode of 2011. Thanks for a great year and looking forward to 2012 here in just a few weeks.

Sandie [00:29:05] Okay. We’ll see you next year.

Dave [00:29:07] Hey, have a great new year.

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