February is Black History Month in the United States. Honor this holiday by understanding how human trafficking affects communities of color.
Volunteer Opportunities: Yes
Many people view slavery as a past atrocity. We are rarely exposed to the horror of human trafficking and only seem to notice its true existence by chance. For ninth grader Allison Nasson, Human Rights Club was that chance. The club was learning about modern-day slavery and organizations that combat it, specifically Free the Slaves which was founded by Kevin Bales. Allison was inspired by Bales; he claimed that hope came from determination and emphasized the importance of raising awareness. In 2011, Allison Nasson formed the Anti-Slavery Committee at St. Mary’s Academy. Although the Committee was united by passionate people, their efforts fell through when their first community event - the 2012 Walk to End Slavery - didn't go as planned due to an overly optimistic timeline for attaining permits. At this point, the Committee faced two options: disband or try again. Although the failure behind their first event made the former option tempting, human trafficking was not going to end itself. So they reevaluated their goals and started over. The Board of Directors became official and, in June 2012, the Anti-Slavery Committee evolved into Youth Ending Slavery. In 2014, the organization became an official 501(c)3 nonprofit.
To combat modern-day slavery by raising awareness about its prevalence and empowering youth to be advocates for change. Educating youth about the existence of slavery is crucial because the rising generation has both the opportunity and responsibility to create a world where unjust practices in the name of profit are not tolerated.