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Religious organizations partner to raise awareness

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Members of Campus Crusade for Christ partnered with the International Justice Mission for Injustice Awareness Week, from Oct. 17 to Oct. 21.

Cru members Lee Davis and Zach Goldsberry illustrate human bondage by being bound in chains and duct tape. Photo by Erica Whittemore.

IJM is a human rights organization that strives to rescue victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression, according to the organization’s website.

Throughout the week both organizations held various demonstrations to represent the injustices of human trafficking and the rising awareness on the issue of injustice.

CCC members placed flags in the grass by the Library and Academic Resources Center, which represented the 800,000 men, women and children involved in the human slave trade. The three different colors were red, orange and blue. Red flags represented men, blue signified women and orange represented children.

“Each flag symbolizes 2,000 people involved in bondage and human trafficking,” said Zach Goldsberry, a member of CCC.

Giant chalk tables were placed outside the Occhiato University Center, Oct. 18, which gave students the opportunity to write down their definition, feelings and knowledge of justice and injustice.

Demonstrations that were held Oct. 19 symbolized the captivity that individuals suffer on a daily basis. Goldsberry was bound with duct tape to represent the bondage of an individual in captivity that is unable to do what the person desires.

Another member spent the day in a cardboard box to illustrate what girls and women in brothels endure.

“Many of the women in these situations are kept captive in a small room,” said Clint Whitmore, a member of CCC.  

Oct. 20 marked the conclusion of the week’s activities, with a presentation by Libby Swenson, an employee of IJM, in the Life Science Auditorium.

“The human slave industry is worth $32 billion,” Swenson said. “This number is more than the net profits of Nike, Google and Starbucks combined.”

Swenson spoke about IJM’s four objectives, to rescue those held captive in brick factories and the sex trade, to bring the criminals to justice, to work with local governments and establish legal systems to prevent further criminal activity, and to provide rehabilitation services to the rescued individuals and reintroduce them into society, she said.

“One out of every 225 people of the entire world’s population is a human slave,” Swenson said.

IJM was established in 1997 and has 14 offices located throughout the world.  IJM’s justice professionals work in communities within 13 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to secure tangible and sustainable protection of national laws through local court systems, according to IJM’s website.

Swenson encouraged the crowd to use their degrees to make a difference by using those degrees in various fields to bring justice to those who are suffering, she said.

“I plan to use my degree to host free trade clothing fashion shows,” said Morgan Sanford, a fashion major and intern for IJM. “These fashion shows can raise awareness of the injustice of modern human slavery.”

CCC plans to start an IJM movement at CSU-Pueblo. The movement would include a continuation of the week’s activities and combine other ways to raise awareness of injustice and to provide support for the mission.

For more information on how to join the IJM movement, contact Nick McRee at nick.mcree@gmail.com.