Why We Walk

In preparation for the big DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk, I received a story this week in my inbox. It was labeled “Why We Walk,” and was meant to give some encouragement to the event’s many participators.

I’m including the story below, with one addition: There is another reason why I would walk to end slavery, and plan to do so at the DC event later in October. It is to join physically with the many men, women and children who are currently wandering against their wills.

While we walk the streets getting somewhere important, window shopping, working out, goofing off, or even raising money for a great cause, we often forget that wandering for pleasure is a luxury.

In walking for marginalized people, we can act out with our bodies the migrant life.

The following story was taken from interviews conducted by the organization Free the Slaves:

Rose* is a former slave who is now free. She grew up in Cameroon, Africa, and when she was 14 she left her family to come to the United States, with the promise of education and opportunity.

In reality, she was forced to work as a domestic servant and nanny in the DC area without any pay or respect. For two and a half years she endured physical and emotional abuse from her captors.

Some people in the community even knew of her situation and did nothing to help her. They said they felt sorry for her but didn’t want to get involved.

One day in November she couldn’t take it anymore and decided to make a run for it. She thought she had to hide from the police because her captors told her that American police were corrupt and that she should never call them. Although she almost lost hope, she held on.

Today she is living her own life as a free individual. Rose’s story is filled with heartache and suffering, but ends with hope. Her captors were prosecuted and plead guilty, and they both received nine years in jail.

Rose is living proof that though modern-day slavery exists, there is hope.

*name changed to protect identity

Bedouin children walking in desert – photo by Hendrik Dacquin

If you are interested in supporting a walk to end slavery, or if you would like to participate in one in your city, a simple online search can render a lot of information. Currently a walk is scheduled for NYC on October 9 and for DC on October 23.

Do you have a walk, bicycling event, or run that you participate in for a cause?
Do you tend to give to walks/runs when people you know are taking part?

4 Responses to “Why We Walk”
  1. Darrell says:

    I don’t know of any walks in the Memphis area that are scheduled but that is a great way to call attention to the problem; that is by doing what the refugees are forced to do. Maybe we could combine a freedom walk with an anti Federal Reserve walk and protest the debt slavery of the world at the same tome.

  2. Anne says:

    Thanks for sharing these stories! Free the Slaves has collected dozens of stories such as these, in our research and documentary filmmaking. Slavery is not just a third world issue—it happens right here in the U.S. We are connected to it through the clothes we wear and the food we eat.

    You can learn more about our work through our website and blog (the original story of Rose can be found here: http://ftsblog.net/2010/09/09/survivor-stories-rose-and-christie-enslaved-in-the-us/)

    • Darrell says:

      Anne: Thanks for your comment and the work you do. Would it be fair to say that the concept of globilization, i.e. the off shoring of virtually all manufacturing including heavy manufacturing, textiles, and even agriculture encourages slavery in the third world and forces wages down here as good paying jobs are going away. Is this simply the new world? Is this just something we should get used to or is there an answer?

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Castle Miller, on her blog Marginalized People wrote a piece today about why she plans to walk against slavery: “It is to join physically with the many […]

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