I have experienced mixed feelings about the End It Movement. On the one hand, I love that it is raising awareness for human trafficking and slavery. Also, I love that it fundraises for AMAZING organizations that are on the front lines fighting slavery and providing after care. My hesitation to get behind it stems from a feeling that it may lull people into “clicktivism”, a pejorative word that describes people using social media to to promote a cause, potentially without a lasting effect. Posting a selfie with a red x on your hand is not enough if you want to end slavery. So, this week’s suggestion of how to change the world is yes, get behind the End It Movement if you so choose… but don’t stop there. Raising awareness is needed, but so are you. Therefore, here are a few action steps that you could use to take END IT beyond a hashtag:
1. Donate money, either to End It or to one of their many coalition partners… or another organization that is fighting slavery. Do your research and pick one that you can really get behind.
2. Only buy products not produced through slavery. It is a well-known fact that most chocolate that you see at the store has a high likelihood of having connections to child slavery on the Ivory Coast. And, chocolate is not the only thing you consume that has these connections. Buy products that are fair trade certified to ensure that slaveholders are not profiting through your purchase
3. Honor women. Sex trafficking is a rampant and profitable industry in large part because enough people in our society see women as commodities. Even if you wouldn’t group yourself in with them: consuming sexualized images, going to strip clubs, or even using pejorative language all contribute to a culture that tells men it is Ok to buy women to use for sexual gratification. [Side note: trafficking of males occurs as well, but a majority of sex trafficking victims are female]
So, I hope this helps you go beyond End It friday, and allows you to be a part of a permanent solution to the problem of slavery. We can end slavery in this generation… but only if you’re on board.