This morning I attended Not For Sale Georgia‘s quarterly meeting. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the three-day conference they hosted just a few weeks ago because it was opposite Orange Conference. But this quarterly meeting was a way to catch up on what’s happening here locally. There was a lot of really great information presented, as always, so I thought I’d recap a few points here for any of my fellow abolitionists who were unable to attend.
- The Global Forum on Human Trafficking will take place on November 1-2, 2012. I’m really hoping to be able to attend this year as I think it would be an unforgettable experience.
- Think slavery doesn’t touch your community? Take a look at slaverymap.org to see cases reported all over the world. Of course, these are only some of the cases that people have taken the time to input. There are thousands of others that go unreported or unrecorded on this map.
- A guest speaker from Tapestri in Tucker spoke on their organization, mission, victim tragedies and survivor stories. It is an amazing organization doing incredible work. I need to look into them a little more. There seems to be a lot of great information on their site local to Atlanta and Georgia.
- Orange Label Denim will be coming to Atlanta this year. It’s a sustainable denim company that will have fair labor practices. I’m excited to hear more about them as they launch. And they need to be at The Orange Conference with us next year!
- There is a Trafficking in Persons app that you can download as an info source. This App is intended to provide training and reference material about the realities of Trafficking In Persons (TIP). This training was created by the Office Under the Secretary of Defense (OUSD) and is intended to increase public awareness of TIP, and to help serve to end it.
- Out of Darkness was mentioned again, and it reminded me to check them out. I absolutely hate that Atlanta and Georgia rank so high in modern-day slavery incidents, but I’m always excited to hear how many organizations we have here dedicated to ending it.
- Buying power was discussed as it has been before. We are all encouraged to “buy differently” meaning to support socially conscious brands. I have been trying to do more of this since working at Captain Planet Foundation but have incorporated it even more after becoming aware of modern-day slavery. One place you can check isFree2Work. Granted it is just getting off the ground so it’s a little limited now, but it’ll grow. Sometimes you just have to do a little leg work and research to trace a product’s supply chain. I have even sent emails to stores I frequent asking about their products and policies, as well as encouraging them to stock more of these items. It takes some getting used to, but it does get easier with time…just like taking your own grocery bags into the store. If you aren’t sure where it comes from and how it’s sourced and made, try not to buy it. It’s always a good rule of thumb to buy fair trade or organic products, though. I realize this action also takes getting used to because it is more expensive. But if it’s cheap, there may be a good reason for it. It could very well be exploiting the laborers. Chocolate is a great example. It’s taken a lot of effort to make this switch in my life because anything that contains cocoa or chocolate may be harmful, and that includes A LOT of items, speaking as a chocoholic. I know I spend a lot of money on groceries and other items comparatively due to these choices, but I really want to not only feel good about the products, clothing, etc, that I use but I also want to do good with it. I want to know I’m not harming another individual’s life due to choices that I can control. My purchase power gives me a big voice.
I also recently finished listening to Not For Sale, the book by David Batstone that launched the organization. You can read an excerpt here: NotForSale_Introduction. It’s a remarkable and eye-opening book. I highly recommend. The organization’s main website also serves as a great resource and also has a small store of products that support them. I’m really proud to support this group, and count myself as an abolitionist among them.
Ok, that’s it! There was more but these are the highlights in my opinion. Read up and get involved! We could use your help!