Student volunteers hosted a table in Springs on February 27th for “End It: Shine a Light on Slavery Day.” Passing students could take a moment to have their hands marked with a red X to raise awareness and learn more about modern-day slavery.
For those unaware, slavery is still a problem affecting many across the globe, including the United States. It can take several forms: domestic servitude, forced labor, descent-based slavery, bonded labor, child labor and human trafficking. Human trafficking along alone is a $32 billion annual industry.
Junior Parker King organized the event after attending Passion, an annual Christian conference for college students. Typical turnout for Passion is around 60,000 students.
“The End It Movement started last January, it was launched at Passion by the International Justice Mission,” King said. After she returned from the trip she established the IJM chapter here at PC.
Sophomore Katelyn Ford, a fellow volunteer said, “It has become a very big part of our lives.”
In addition to PC, hundreds of others of colleges and universities are currently holding events to raise awareness for the End It Movement.
Student turnout, according to King, was “really good…we’ve had a steady flow of people coming through and they’ve been asking a lot of questions.”
Willing students could have the back of their hands marked with a red X to raise awareness and show that they stand against modern slavery. They are then encouraged to take a picture of the X and post it on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag “#enditmovement.”
As of Feb. 27, #enditmovement is the second-highest trending hashtag on Twitter.
Students could also sign and send a letter to the South Carolina Congress, urging them to develop bipartisan legislation to combat slavery.
The IJM Chapter is planning another event in April called “27 Hours: Stand 4 Freedom.” The 27 hours is symbolic of the 27 million people currently enslaved around the word.
“We’re going to have a tent and have a lot of information…people can stand for one hour or all 27,” King said.
Last year, 400 people signed a letter during the event that was sent to President Obama, asking for specific legislation to target trafficking.
For students who missed the event, there are still ways to get involved and help. “You can really get involved in fundraising…also, a really key component is contacting your local government officials…asking for legislation,” said King.
To learn more about the issue of modern-day slavery and on how to get involved, students can visit the International Justice Mission’s official website, ijm.org, and enditmovement.com.