What got me involved with human trafficking?
I have always loved Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I grew up in a very small homogeneous lake community town in New Hampshire. I remember as a young girl reading about the civil rights movement and just in awe in so many ways and on so many different levels. People’s courage, determination, tenacity, unification, and most importantly their optimism. I recall asking myself, I would have had the courage to choose a side and stand up against the majority and the norm for the greater good; all the while knowing that my efforts may not be rewarded within my life time?
When I became aware of human trafficking I realized that we are at another civil rights movement. The civil rights movement for our generation is abolishing human trafficking. We are addressing the issue of slavery again- within our communities and on the global level.
It’s overwhelming when we think of this issue because we are dealing with transnational organized crime. However, I have witnessed firsthand the power of uniting together against the issue. Last year at this time it was difficult to find legitimate information, there were no laws within Ca, and when I asked people if they had ever heard of human trafficking they thought I was referring to the 405. This year there are 6 pieces of legislation being introduced, there are more web pages and organizations then I can find the time to read, and Berkeley’s Human Rights Center has released 2 reports on the issue. Most importantly when I tell people what I am working on they say, “yeah I’ve heard a little about this, tell me about it.”
There’s another quote by activist Aung San Suu Kyi that is also one of my favorites. She challenges: “Those fortunate enough to live in societies where they are entitled full political rights can reach out to help those less fortunate in other parts of our troubled planet.”
I feel indescribably lucky and privileged to have all that I do. I also strongly feel that we are very connected to people globally. I feel that if something is happening on one side of the world it deeply effects us all. The more I learn, the more questions I have; the more I become involved, the more I realize there is much work to be done; and the more that I meet people, the more I realize how strong we can be.