Stop Modern Slavery

A few weeks ago I attended my first DC Stop Modern Slavery meeting. I’d been loosely involved for a while, and even did some media work for their annual National Stop Modern Slavery Walk on the Mall last fall, including this video. But I hadn’t been able to go to an official meeting until months later.

At the event, one of the group’s organizers asked if anyone would be interested in helping them get their membership records organized. She explained that it was probably the biggest need in the group at the moment. “Even if it’s your first meeting,” she said, “we’d love your help.”

“Ooo that’s me!” I thought. I talked with her afterwards, and we made plans to get to work.

It’s a few weeks later, and I now head up a vast (one person) membership committee, with the organizer’s generous help. It’s a pretty easy job: I organize membership records and help new members get involved.

A couple of things to take from this experience:

1. If there’s an issue you really care about, a change you want to see happen, show up and do it yourself. I once bemoaned how no one in the group had contacted me in months. Now something’s being done about that.

2. If you need help, ask for it, and ask with complete honesty. You’ll get someone like me who is there for the first time, and who would never have volunteered otherwise.

Now on to the fun part. If you live in the DC area, come join us! (If you don’t, see the note at the bottom of this post). DC SMS is a great group, with a ton of opportunities to get involved. You could show up randomly to the meetings that interest you, or you could start your own team that does a completely new thing to combat human trafficking in the area. It’s really whatever you make it, in a welcoming environment of like-minded people. Here are a few examples of projects happening now or done in the past:

  • The Annual DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk – a huge event needing volunteers of all kinds (10/22/11)
  • Advocacy and policy work
  • Area training to help prevent human trafficking and aid victims
  • Faith-based partnerships
  • Book clubs
  • Monthly meetings with speakers relating to abolition
  • A weekly news digest
  • and more!

So let me know if you’re interested in checking out the group! I know a girl who can get you started…

NOTE: Stop Modern Slavery is an organization started in DC with the ability to expand into other places. There are already groups formed in other states and metro areas. If you live outside of DC but are interested in getting involved with or starting something like this for your city or town, contact me.

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