End It Day shines light on modern day slavery

Megan Phillips
Staff Writer

The Global Slavery Index has estimated that there are 29.8 million slaves worldwide.
The big red ‘X’ on the quad today is there to bring awareness to this travesty.
Today, Feb. 27, is the official “End It” day where organizations like the International Justice Mission (IJM) and ten of its sister nonprofit anti-slavery organizations in partnership with another anti-slavery organization here on campus, Stella’s Voice, have come together to raise awareness and support for an official end to slavery worldwide.
“Our groups are not necessarily connected, but we feel very close,” said Courtney Patterson, a senior multimedia journalism major from Hartselle.
Patterson, who is secretary of Stella’s Voice, said that she is driven to support the End It movement because “there are more slaves than ever today, and people just don’t see that.”
“Through the End It movement, I hope that we can raise awareness because that is the first step to doing something about it,” Patterson said.
Stella’s Voice is a nonprofit organization whose emphasis is on sex slavery in the country of Moldova, where they work to end the problem by building orphanages in hopes that they will be able to provide a safe home for children that may otherwise be funneled into the sex trade.
For today, Stella’s Voice has provided the big red X that sits on the quad, as well as ten signs found throughout campus with shocking facts and statistics, to show students just how real slavery has become.
“I wanted to get involved with Troy IJM because so many people go everyday of their lives without a voice; they never find justice,” said Angie Lewis, a freshman criminal justice major from Troy.
IJM is an organization focused on ending slavery wherever it may rear its ugly head, and the organization is a constantly growing force. With lawyers, investigators, and aftercare professionals at their disposal, the organization is really making major advances in their fight to end such crimes against humanity.
“I chose Troy IJM because I believe in what they stand for. I believe that we need to first seek God and then through him seek justice for the poor and oppressed, and I feel that IJM has given me the opportunity to do that,” said Mac Delorme, a sophomore human services major and president of IJM from Atlanta.
On the quad, these two crusaders will join forces, marking hands with a big red X to help students show the rest of the world that they care and that they, too, are on board with ending slavery today.
IJM will be selling T-shirts for $15 each, all proceeds will be going to end slave trafficking, and any interested parties should see the table set up in Trojan Center, or the big red X on the quad.
Students are encouraged to come and take pictures with the X, the clubs only ask that when posting these pictures on social media, students hashtag them with #enditmovement to help get the word out.
Any parties interested in joining the fight are more than welcome to come to a meeting of Stella’s Voice Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in TC Room 224 or to the next meeting of IJM on March 20, at 6:30 p.m. in TC Room 212.
Both groups are on Facebook and Twitter, and encourage students to join them to keep up-to-date with what the club is doing and to stay informed for the next steps in ending slavery today.

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