May is National Foster Care Awareness month, and with over 423,000 kids in foster care, you may wonder, can one person make a difference in the life of a foster youth? Is there anyone advocating for them? Is their best interest taken into account? How are their voices heard? Who is speaking on their behalf?…
April 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, though the advocacy for awareness and change runs much longer and deeper. Current statistics state that 1 in 4 women are impacted by sexual violence before the age of 18. And while you may not have personally been the victim of sexual violence, it…
I received my master’s degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology in the winter of 2019. I remember feeling so fired up and ready to put my knowledge to use. Human trafficking was not at all a foreign concept to me, as it had been discussed extensively in a number of my courses. I knew about the buyers, the trade, and to what extent traffickers would go in order to avoid law enforcement. I had learned of policing tactics, correctional strategies, and criminological theories that explained what would influence an individual to engage in an illegitimate business.
It’s no surprise COVID has changed every way we (at Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking) operate this last year. From personal to professional, a great deal of change has been forced on most of us in more ways than we anticipated. This has been abundantly true in my experience, as well. In a field where face to face interaction is about 90% of your work, not being able to meet with clients in person was definitely one of the greatest challenges I faced in 2020.
A couple of weeks ago, our team (at Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking) received word that a young woman we had served earlier this year had died. We’ve been taking time to process; to grieve. And we want to honor her memory by giving space and recognition to her life. We wish you could have…
Enjoy the little things. One day you’ll look back and realize they were big things. ― Kurt Vonnegut
I always hesitate when other people refer to me as a “runner”; a weird reaction for someone who runs 4-5 days per week, and has performed relatively well in any of the competitive events I have participated in. To me, “runner” is a reference to those professional athletes who compete in events and are basically superhuman. My personal running adventure will likely never get to this level of intensity, but my relationship with running helps shape the person I am, and in doing so serves as my own personal superhero weapon. Over the course of the next few weeks, to celebrate Share your Strides, I will share insight into my own personal world of running. I have no particular expertise or professional experience—but I can offer you several years’ worth of wisdom based on hundreds of miles of experience. Today I will start at the core—why do I run?
Alexis, you see, made many strides to reach freedom, and eventually opportunities for a new life. In the beginning, her strides were shaky and didn’t get her very far: she faced many complicated barriers, including isolation, manipulation, fraud, abuse, systemic breakdowns, and lack of resources. But she did not give up in her pursuit of freedom and justice.
“Stride.” Literally, to stride means to take a long decisive step in a specific direction. Figuratively, it means to step or make progress toward an aim or goal.
While this hashtag may have started out with good intentions to spread awareness about human trafficking, many popular social media hashtags and movements can devolve into perpetuating something more mythical than grounded. Some of these movements can sometimes cast a shadow over the truth of the survivors we have the privilege to serve. It is a smokescreen for human traffickers. This is dangerous.