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Hoping to ‘End It’
LC students participate in human trafficking awareness day
A campaign known as “End It Movement” is encouraging people to shine a light on modern day slavery. On Feb. 27, the campaign asked people to draw a red X symbol on their hand and post a picture on social media to raise awareness for the estimated 27 million people in slavery worldwide.
In an interview with CNN, End It Movement’s spokesperson Nate Buzolic said the coalition is a grass roots effort working with several non-profit organizations to expose the slavery that is taking place today in 161 countries. Buzolic said the campaign’s strategy on Feb. 27 was to raise awareness by “starting a conversation” – primarily on social media – about what’s going on.
Louisiana College sophomore Zach Fleming knows firsthand the difference awareness can make. Fleming said his girlfriend became involved in LSU’s student organization, Tigers Against Trafficking, and she introduced him to the seriousness of slavery happening around him.
“I didn’t know much about trafficking, especially that it went on in America,” Fleming said. “God used hearing the things that she had been learning from those involved in Tigers Against Trafficking to burden my heart for those victims and open my eyes to the reality of it.”
Fleming is now one of the student leaders of the Louisiana College organization, Cats Against Trafficking, or “CATS.” Thursday, they were among those “shining a light” on slavery day. The group set up a table outside Guinn Auditorium after chapel to provide information about human trafficking and to talk with students.
CATS began in the Fall 2013 semester, and its members meet once a month to discuss ways they can raise awareness and provide help to other organizations they partner with.
“Our group is about awareness,” LC sophomore Zach Fleming said. “We can’t go out and do hands-on stuff because were not equipped to… but there are partners that we are connected to that can… our place is to serve them.”
On March 10, at 6 p.m., in the student center, CATS will host two speakers who have helped the effort to stop trafficking in Cambodia. In addition to more campus events throughout the semester, the group plans to visit Baton Rouge to help The Hope House of Louisiana with their annual fundraiser and participate in the Tigers Against Trafficking Annual 5K Run.
Fleming said that as a student and club member, he feels his biggest responsibility is to spread awareness so others are moved to action.
“There might be someone who doesn’t know the reality of [modern day slavery], and once we tell them some facts, they might be the next person who starts an organization or does a hands-on thing - just because they were made aware of it,” he said.
According to another LC sophomore, Kathrynn Duberville, having a friend who is passionate about the cause made her interested in ways she too could be involved. Duberville said she believes the problem can’t be fixed unless people know it is there.
“I think that it’s important to make people more aware of this movement because without awareness, there won’t ever be a solution,” she said.
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