“Through hosting this event I found out a lot of people are not aware that slavery still exist," explained local A21 member Jamie Hubbard.
It was a wet chilly day October 19, but that didn’t deter Jamie and the rest of the A21 members from marching down Bull Street to shed the light on human trafficking & modern slavery. Although it was somewhat of a small group, numbering to about 12 of them, their message was heard loud and clear. As they marched down the sidewalk holding up signs and handing out wristbands that said “Walk For Freedom”, they couldn’t help but catch the attention of those passing by.
A21 is an organization whose goal is to abolish modern day slavery, they have fourteen offices globally that work in partnership with law enforcements to rescue individuals from human trafficking and help restore their lives to normalcy. The main mission of the Walk For Freedom event on Saturday was to raise awareness that this travesty is still going on.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize the severity, so for me it’s really important to raise that awareness, because it’s still a major problem and I want to get the word out to others in my community and the world," says Shannon Talian.
It’s not that hard to make a difference. Shannon says “every small step counts”, because all of it adds up to help others see the indications that someone might be a victim.
There are about fourteen ways to identify a victim of human trafficking, all of which can be found on A21.org. A few examples are noticing the person is not talking for themselves, not having any identification, and that they seem controlled or waiting for permission to speak.
Jamie, Shannon, the rest of the A21 members, and the community made a difference this past Saturday.