This news has us—literally—jumping for joy this Christmas!

Congress has passed a budget bill that includes funding for the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act!

Hello from Washington, DC!

One of the great holiday traditions in our nation’s capital is Congress waiting until a final deadline to pass an appropriations bill that will fund the U.S. Government for the next fiscal year. Usually, this is within the last day or two before DC becomes a ghost town for the holidays. This year, the tradition continued. Earlier today, as the sand ran out, Congress voted to approve a budget for 2016.

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Things to be thankful for:

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015, EMSI, #EndSlaveryAct, Advocacy November 23, 2015
Thanksgiving thankful list by IJM's Holly Burkhalter

The last couple of Thanksgivings, my husband and our two daughters, Josie and Grace (who are now 18 and 20) have started a new tradition for our big dinner. We threw over turkey, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes and instead had a “Favorite Things” dinner. Everybody in the family, including the dogs, gets to have their favorite thing on the menu. Last year, we had macaroni and cheese, crab Norfolk, homemade whoopee pies, and—my favorite—Pacific Lime Mold, an appalling lime-pineapple-cottage cheese concoction from the 1950’s that my Mom used to make and only I eat today.

I’ve been thinking of favorite things a lot these days. We have so much to be grateful for in the past year.

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Advocating #OnBehalfOf Change: how a Millennial learned to make a change the old-fashioned way

by Meredith Schellin / Topic: Advocacy Summit, #EndSlaveryAct, End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015, Advocacy October 27, 2015
Meredith Schellin shares about IJM's Advocacy Summit

As a millennial, I think I can change the world. My generation knows how to grab attention through Youtube, Twitter and Instagram. We’re used to viral videos, ice-bucket campaigns and instant “likes” to move people to action. And don’t get me wrong, I believe social media really does have the capacity to make an impact. Recently, however, during IJM’s Advocacy Summit, I learned how to affect change the old-fashioned way: through face-to-face conversations. I also learned that sometimes, change is a long, hard road.

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Why the next 15 years will be big for widows in Uganda—and justice advocates around the world

by Erica Boonstra / Topic: Sustainable Development Goals October 12, 2015
IJM delivers petitions to US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power

It’s early September and hot in Washington. I’m standing in the line filing its way into the State Department, digging through my wallet for my license and trying to sweat as little as possible in my black suit. My boss, Holly Burkhalter (IJM’s Vice President of Government Relations) and I are here to meet with Samantha Power, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, to deliver a giant stack of signatures from people around the country who want the United Nations to make sure the issue of violence is integrated into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Get social—before the Advocacy Summit!

by Kate Case / Topic: Social media, Twitter, resources September 9, 2015
A selfie at the 2014 Advocacy Summit Using Twitter to contact your members of Congress is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to send a message to your representatives. 

Social media can play a big role in advocacy. You can spread a message, organize, and contact people who may be out of reach otherwise. Twitter is an especially important platform for advocates, because nearly every member of Congress has a Twitter account. We want to make sure our advocates are well-resourced, so we've created this little guide on how to set up your Twitter account and get in on the conversation.

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Three Things To Know About the #EndSlaveryAct

The 2015 IJM Advocacy Summit A note from our Research and Policy Manager, Tim Gehring:

We are less than two weeks away until IJM's Advocacy Summit, and we know this is a busy time for everyone. As summer winds down and the school year ramps up, hundreds of advocates from across the country are preparing to come to Washington, DC, to meet with their representatives and senators. There are bags to pack, flights to catch, drives to make and various other details to pull together. Why all the bother, even amidst the hustle and bustle of the fall?

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Holly's Top Ten Tips for Lobbying

Lobby Day on Capitol Hill

IJM’s wonderful Advocacy Summit is coming up fast!  We can’t wait to have our friends from around the United States converge on Washington for advocacy training and story-telling followed by a day of meetings with members of Congress, senators and their staff in support of our cherished End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015 (EMSI, #EndSlaveryAct). Many of those coming to the Advocacy Summit are experienced lobbyists, having visited their Senate and House offices many times. But for some, it will be the first time up on Capitol Hill. Either way, we want to make sure our advocates are well prepared.

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Have a great day on Capitol Hill! Three top tips from our senior director of advocacy.

by Clara Campbell / Topic: Advocacy Summit, Advocacy, #EndSlaveryAct September 6, 2015
Lobby Day on Capitol Hill

Here at IJM, the team is getting ready for our annual Advocacy Summit. The event is made up of two parts: on Day 1, we do in-depth training and development of advocacy skills, and Day 2, we head to Capitol Hill and lobby our members of Congress. It's an opportunity to have a great impact in the fight for freedom, so we want to make sure our advocates are prepared to make the most of their time in Washington. Over the course of a long career in advocacy, I've done more than a few lobby days, and spent my share of time on Capitol Hill.

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Grabbing AHOLD of Justice

by Clara Campbell / Topic: Recipe for Change, fair food, labor, Advocacy, modern day slavery August 7, 2015
Coalition of Immokalee Workers Fair Food Program

Three years ago, during the summer of 2012, thousands of you began learning about the very recent history of abuse and exploitation—including slavery—in Florida’s tomato fields. These tomatoes (and the farmworkers who grow and pick them) account for 90% of this country’s off-season (November to May) supply.

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The 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report is here—help spread the word!

by Eileen Campbell / Topic: TIP Report; action; advocacy; media July 9, 2015
The 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report

Today, Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report), a diplomatic tool used to fight human trafficking around the world.

Read our response to this year's report here.

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