18 – Planning for National Freedom Day

The beginning of the year is an important time to bring awareness to human trafficking. Sandra Morgan, the Director of the Global Center for Women & Justice and Dave Stachowiak, one of the Center’s board members, discuss some of the federal efforts to recognize the human trafficking issue in early 2012.

Key Points

  • Three models as in individual living in your community, as a professional, and a member of a faith community.
  • January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
  • February 1 is Freedom Day.
  • Collaboration has to be a part of your vocabulary.

Resources

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Transcript

Dave: Sandie, we had forgotten to do this up front on the last show so I’m going to say it up front 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 HT, welcome. Were so glad to have you. Were glad you took a few minutes here to tune into us. We hope that this time will be very valuable to you in learning about this issue of really studying this issue, being a voice, and ultimately making a difference. As you’re listening I think you’re going to have questions that will come up and we take questions all the time. We want to encourage you to reach out to us with questions. And of course, if you have things you’d like us to cover in the future or things you have questions on from pasty episodes, you can reach out to us any time in 3 ways. You can reach out to us by email at gcwj@vanguard.edu or you can call the center directly and either talk to Sandie live or you can leave a voicemail.

Sandie: That’s right. 714.556.3610 x2242

Dave: And the 3rd way is for those of you who love Facebook, you can go onto Facebook and just do a search for global center for women and justice. You can like us on Facebook. If you do that, you’ll actually get a couple things you can do. 1 is you can ask questions on the page and interact with us. You’ll also get all the announcements about different shows and when they post. And in addition, a whole bunch more too. What the center is 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. Today, we are actually going to be talking about some things that are in place nationally to raise awareness around HT and at the end of the year here were looking forward to January and February because this is a big time of the year for those that feel 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 because you’re much more of an expert on this than I am so I’m looking forward to learning from you.

Sandie: I always plan for January 11 because it’s National HT Awareness Day (NHTA.) And, as you know Dave, I came back from living overseas. When I discovered HT was right here, I was very happy when they passed the resolution that we would actually have a day where we’d look at HT in our own country. Jan 11, here in OC we started calling it OC 1-11. And it’s a big event. Everybody plans it every year. We ramp up our faith based groups, our NGOs, and our schools to talk about what is HT and our media covers it its really been a very powerful and mode of awareness but I think in listening to people over the last year we want to do more than awareness. I’ve been thinking how do I phrase that? I think I want to do Jan 11: National HT Awareness 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 someone else to put on an event that I can go to. so that’s kind of where we are with this podcast today. You’ve got time to put together something either for January 11 which is NHTA Day or we also have an event that is related, February 1st which is freedom day and this is related to when Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Many of the faith based organizations take the Jan 11th date and run awareness events including a prayer calendar all the way through to Feb 1st. If you get your calendar out, here’s 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 I’m going to call in on that day or I’m going to go to something. You can actually plan your own awareness event and engage your local community.

Dave: This is a really good time to be thinking about this. Not only because of the dates of the awareness events themselves, but of course were in the midst of the holiday season now but in a few short weeks we’re going to be into the first of the year and it tends to be a time that a lot of us what can I do better what’s something I can do to help out the world and give back to the world what I’m going to do that year and my life plan and how I’m going to utilize my time and resources and do some planning now on how you can reach out and do something that not only makes you feel good but also does something meaningful for the world and people whose lives can potentially be changed in a positive way

Sandie: I want to give 3 different models. You as an individual in your community, 2nd, you as a professional you as a member of a faith community.

Dave: Me myself and I

Sandie: I have participated in some really creative ways of doing awareness in communities. I was talking to someone recently about the case of Shiyma Who was an Egyptian child slave in a beautiful home in a gated community right here in oc. And she was rescued because a neighbor reported this

Dave: I remember you telling us

Sandie: So, my friend I was talking about this said well can you come to my house and tell that’s story. I live in a gated community. I said yes I can. And so here she lives in a gated community she had 10-12 people come over I took the resources that you can order for free on rescue and restore.org hotline number so if they saw something they could report it. Everybody isn’t going to see a Shiyma. But when someone sees a Shiyma and they know what do that’s what makes a difference. She had a neighborhood awareness event in her home for 10-12 people and that was just wonderful.

Dave: May not have heard anything about this before but boy if someone did, they would have the resources, the knowledge and the understanding to know what to do. You have the ability to understand the world around you and that’s a great example of it

Sandie: In the general conversation we talked about things like fair trade products and we started educating that little community and that community grew beyond, so it becomes a ripple effect

Dave: It becomes a great dialogue to educate people and inform people about many of these issues

Sandie: Some of them were service providers in our community so the next thing that happened was one of those attendees said well can you come to this place where I work and do a presentation with professionals another friend after they heard this presentation said I don’t want to scare people with this information I want to do something that is fun. And I thought HT isn’t fun. What am I supposed to do?

Dave: One of the struggles we have in this show so I can appreciate that

Sandie: My assistant at the time said oh I have an idea she out together a chocolate house party 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 you can send us an email and we will send you the PDF kit to have a HT chocolate tasting party. It’s really kind of fun because Alicia did a fabulous job of putting this together even talks about how to pair the things that you serve with the chocolate. And what happened to those case and gives you a chance to share with your friends and neighbors the 888.3737.888 number to have a NHTD A event in their own home

Dave: gcwj@vanguard.edu and that’s for the GCWJ

Sandie: Now when we move to the 2nd group because in your homes you’re going to find professional people that are involved especially in the service industries

Dave: Yes curiously, many of us work. Many of us don’t work too so that’s important for us to remember

Sandie: I’m a nurse I was always looking for someone to do an in service for my staff. This is a great in service to do and actually HT rescueandrestore.org for you to do at your place of this is a great resource you can also order brochures all ready to do at your place of employment at that same website and of course that website is on we always 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 especially if you listen to last times podcast it become even more important that retail centers have training for so they need an awareness package that shows them what HT is I think this is the next level and community engagement to make sure we do those kinds of outreach efforts as well

Dave: We talked last time Sandie about how organizations at least in CA looking at this large organizations are putting together resources to do this but let’s say I’m a smaller organization or a one store retail location what would be the way that I’d want to reach out the center or you or resources helpful in putting together

Sandie: Well I have all kinds of ideas that are great you can go to our website we have a resource list links to videos. We have the cost of demand which is just 4 minutes we have about a 15min lesson on what HT is that tells the story of Shiyma which is the story I was talking about from a gated community. There also resources to internet safety to the rescue and restore website as well as to the State Dept. When you’re a small company the word collaboration has to be part of your vocabulary. Wouldn’t it be great if all the business owners in a strip mall handed out the number so people knew what to do if they saw something that wasn’t right it would also be great, I was invited to a business owners association and all the owners came and we walked through what does this mean to you?

Dave: One thing, Sandie mentioned to is To go to a business association is to find the places where those meetings are already happening rather than trying to create a to engage looking to learn the more we can look for resources lie that to partner with the existing organization the faster the news gets out about this

Sandie: You can look on your Local community calendars many communities have an even here in OC it’s a collaborative effort with a lot of NGOs in the OCHTTF. At vang8uad we will do a freedom day event on Feb 1st and you can go to our website to find out more info about hat

Dave: With people who also care about this issue and as you build those relationships then you open up doors to do even more locally

Sandie: 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 perceptive on HT

Dave: Let’s talk about the 3rd one in faith-based communities do to reach out in this way

Sandie: In the faith based communities we have a natural setting where people are already meeting so having a segment in your Sunday worship service that addresses HT. when we created the coast of demand video we were very intentional to make sure that it wouldn’t have glaring abrasive content where the kids are around so cost of demand really focuses on the whole idea of supply and demand and social responsibility its 4minutes you can get the link to download a high resolution copy from our website. if you have a Sunday school class or a youth group or a wed night home group you can take the Shyima video and walk through that actually was produced by compass cinema and it was funded out of the heritage foundation but they worked in partnership with the OCHTTF LE, assistant US attorney that processed the case. you hear all of those voices about the bigger picture around what This, but you also hear Shiymas voice. if you have a youth group the seek social justice website actually has a downloadable study guide to go with the video what is our responsibility as believers in responding to that. so those are just do some of the tools. There are so many resources out there. you would just be amaze. We will continue to post anything new that we find on our website I also encourage you to look at posting a prayer calendar. one of the things that we’ve done in the past is we’ve shared prayer calendars with other groups but we’ve also encouraged students to make their own some of the groups send out a thought a day maybe you’re going to send out a thought to your group on this.

Dave: One of the things that I really appreciate 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 be the prayer breakfast people in all faith communities care about this issue. This is not just a Christina issue, a Jewish issue, or a Muslim issue. it is a human rights issue so it was really just so heartwarming for me to be at that prayer breakfast all faiths gathered together, united in a desire and a want to do things to end this horrible thing we call HT all of the practical things that go along with putting things together just the feeling you get of people connecting and unifying in a way like that I think it’s really powerful

Sandie: I agree with you. That was my very first oc1-11 when we did the prayer breakfast. 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 HT on their own. There are so many people who don’t even know what it is. we did a little research project within a half mile of our university and asked any business that sold coffee or chocolate. They didn’t boycott, they didn’t say its bad that you don’t know about his they increased the knowledge around our community significantly by asking that question. Another group went to a mall on Jan 11 and passed out the 888.3737.888 number and asked don you know what HT is? That kind of community engagement builds a climate where slavery cannot exist because if we know what it looks like 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. It has to be out in the entire community

Dave: It takes time and effort for sometimes many years and I think back to the health issue with smoking 40-50 years ago people believed smoking was not harmful at all and in fact some people argue that it was good for you and that everyone should smoke. the evidence that mounted how detrimental and yet it took ma long time to change public perception because people were very uniformed about it the real risks about smoking where it’s generally very understood even amongst people that smoke that there’s major health issues I certainly don’t mean that comparison at all but I think the efforts at getting the word out are comparable 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 we do a lot how many time you sometimes have to teach someone how to do a new skill or develop a new habit. Very rarely they do it successfully or they remember. Its repetition over time and changing the dialogue over time

Sandie: That’s such a good point. Saw me walk I the door and shouted my name and I didn’t write down that number and I needed it and she said I’m putting it in my cell phone. So it takes a while to learn those things. Be proactive put that number in your cell phone, 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 non-profit you can call the NHTRC 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 case manager you want to have a first-hand report at your event they can help you find that person. The only time you could use that number but really that number has a much larger resource things people are doing in your local community so it’s great that we have that resource available to us. Jan 11 2012 to Feb 1 2012 make plans to do one thing to raise awareness, engage your community, and do something to end HT. It’s just around the corner here speaking of 2012 we mentioned we are going to have the upcoming conference coming up here in costa mesa CA on march 2nd and 3rd we talked about detail last time so I won’t go into detail this time but you can find the information on our website and the topic for the conference is standing together to end the of girls this is a huge issue and for $99 you can attend a day ½ long conference here in SC at a pretty yucky time of the year everywhere else in the country and really learn a lot were going to have so many speaker, resources, workshops, any interaction this is a place that you want to be. It’s a community health issue. If we are going to have healthy kids we need to be a part of learning how to keep our community safe to do that is keeping in touch with us because we’re here as a resource for you around education and resources to help you end HT not just around the world but in your community as well you can reach out to us with questions or you can call the center at

Sandie: 714.556.3610 x2242

Dave: Last episode of 2011 thanks for a great year and looking forward to 2012 here in just a few weeks

Sandie: See you next year!

Dave: Have a great new year!

Sandie Morgan

Sandie Morgan, PhD, RN is recognized globally for her expertise in combatting human trafficking and working to end violence against women. As Director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women & Justice (GCWJ), she oversees the Women’s Studies Minor as well as teaching Family Violence and Human Trafficking.

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