In two days, on January 11th, it’s National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. What are my students doing for it? They’re wearing a barcode. Yep, you read that right. My students decided to wear a simple barcode off a household object to represent that people should not be bought and sold, to start conversations with those around them that slavery still exists, and as a visual symbol that our work is not done.
We ask that you join us on January 11th to raise your voice that slavery is not okay. Start a conversation in your classroom, send out tweets using the hashtag #slaverystillexists, blog about it, or join us in wearing a barcode. If you’re looking for resources to use my students have created a few.
One of my students sent me an article today. President Obama has declared January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. People are starting to become aware that slavery exists, but awareness isn’t enough. We need to do something. Do I believe wearing a barcode will end slavery? No.
But I believe teachers and students have the power to bring about radical change in this area. It’s time we stand up and make our voices heard. We need to join together. How? Social media. It has the power to change the world. We’ve watched it bring down governments and help survivors in earthquakes. With enough voices, companies like Hershey, Nike and Disney will need to change their practices. In fact, a recent social media protest forced Kroger to cough up a $10,000 dollar prize.
Let’s join together in the fight. Let’s show kids that what happens in school does make a difference. Let’s change the world.
You must be the change you want to see in this world – Gandhi