Freedom Week at UNI: Fighting to End Modern Day Slavery

When we hear facts and figures like “there are 27 million slaves around the world”1, it is our common tendency to write it off. We see these numbers and think “how sad” but then continue on in our daily lives as if nothing is wrong. We believe it has nothing to do with us and there’s nothing we can do about it. We consider the number but never consider the faces behind the number. So what happens when we look at it from a different perspective, realizing that within the statistic is a person with a true and tragic story? There are more slaves now than ever before. People are being abducted and smuggled into foreign countries for sex trafficking and bonded labor. That “27 million” is more than a statistic. It’s real life.

BASIC, theRiver, InterVarsity, and UNI has formed a partnership in hopes to spark action and raise awareness of this issue with an event entitled UNI Freedom Week. Freedom Week consists of a variety of events that will inform students about sex trafficking and bonded labor. Members of the participating student organizations feel very strongly about this issue and want to use this movement to plant the seed into the students’ minds.  

“Modern day slavery is huge and we as campus ministries and the University needed to make students aware of it and give them opportunities to act now,” said Kaitlin Lundeen, a junior leisure youth and human services major and active member of UNI Freedom Week.

One can learn more about modern day slavery by attending the events held on campus during Freedom Week. There will be various opportunities to listen to speakers, including a discussion of the issues with members of Hagar International, a non-profit organization serving women and children suffering from extreme abuse and exploitation cases.There will also be interactive opportunities. From 7:00am to 4:00pm in Maucker Union there will be a trafficking walk-through exhibit and on Monday at 8:30pm there will be a candlelight walk around campus.

All of these activities are to further educate students on the injustice of modern day slavery. Its goal is to inform students that they do have a powerful voice that can make a difference.

“Students should be aware of modern day slavery and sex trafficking because no human deserves to be forced against their will to do things such as these. As highly educated people, it is our responsibility to know, to inform, and to help those who can’t help themselves,” said Raven Snyder, a junior TESOL major and also an active member of UNI Freedom Week.  

Freedom Week begins Sunday, March 25th and continues until Thursday, March 29th. For more information on how to donate or how to get involved, visit the Freedom Week website.