I spent this past weekend at one of the most encouraging and fantastic conferences I have ever had the opportunity to attend, Not for Sale's Backyard Academy. It was incredible, I would highly recommend it.
Not for Sale is an abolitionist organization that seeks to end human trafficking and modern day slavery in a variety of ways. My biggest take-away from the conference was Not for Sale's belief that ANYONE can be an abolitionist. I had the opportunity to meet many people taking part in the movement to end slavery. This is a huge social issue that will take all of us to truly end its atrocities. Its not just overseas, its not just in the inner cities, it's everywhere. There are twenty seven million slaves in the world. This number was first published by Kevin Bales in his book Disposable People, but you can find that number from a variety of sources, including resources published by Not for Sale. This organization truly has something for everyone. There is something you can do, regardless of your age, education, and experience.
I've spent years being a 'slacktivist', thinking that I needed to have an advanced degree and tons of experience before I could truly take part in this movement. I subconsciously allowed my 'goals' to paralyze me from truly taking action. Granted, I signed petitions, followed and advocated legislation, educated those in my sphere of influence. I've read over ten books on this issue and could rattle off more statistics than the average person. I've researched and written papers and incorporated my school work to educate myself and others on this issue. I've traveled to several places where I interacted and attempted to help groups vulnerable to exploitation. I spent countless hours educating (or annoying) my friends. But I don't believe I've fully used all my gifts and passion to truly take action. Now I have my advanced degree and my several years of experience, and I still feel like I'm searching for the 'next thing'.
Not for Sale has something for everyone. There is something you can do, regardless of your age, education, and experience. I'm going to take this week and highlight the many different ways this exceptional organization wants your involvement to make a difference. Topics will be coming soon, but I hope to cover a variety of ways you and I can make a difference. I'm finished sitting on the sidelines, using my 'next thing' as my excuse to not be fully invested in abolishing slavery and other social ills. We have a responsibility to make a difference, and we CAN make a difference.
I really can't wait to explore this with you. Stay tuned.