Prayer Matters (And Advocacy Does, Too)

Ashlee Stafford

The theme for IJM’s Global Prayer Gathering this year was “Prayer Matters.” It was a beautiful testament to God’s work through prayer, and I was entirely on board. I always have been, as imperfectly as I’ve acted on my belief in prayer. IJM doesn’t stop there, though, and in a few months, it will host its annual Advocacy Summit. Its unofficial theme could be “Advocacy Matters.” I’m on board with this too, but I haven’t always been.

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"Offsetting" Slavery

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: #EndSlaveryAct, Holly's News, End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015 July 9, 2015
Holly Burkhalter, Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy at IJM

We at IJM are thrilled about the introduction in the Senate of S.553, the End Modern Slavery Initiative (EMSI.) Thanks to the leadership of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN), EMSI quickly collected bipartisan support in the Senate and was reported out of the Committee unanimously in February. We’re happy to report that 18 Senators are co-sponsors.  Many of them heard directly from anti-slavery activists in their states in support of the bill.

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UPDATED: Our take on the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: July 9, 2015
The 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report

UPDATE: On Thursday, August 06, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held an oversight hearing to review the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report. You can watch the full hearing here.  

"The 2015 report causes me concern. It causes me concern. And I want to get answers today about the 2015 Report. There are upgrades in this report that are hard to understand and I put Malaysia number one on the list." (Senator Cardin, D-MD, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee)

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Today is Juneteenth: keep up the fight to end modern-day slavery!

by Clara Campbell / Topic: EMSI, #Stand4Freedom, #EndSlaveryAct June 19, 2015
Juneteenth, #EndSlaveryAct, #Stand4Freedom

Today is Juneteenth! What, you may ask, is that? Juneteenth is the oldest-known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

In 1865, people didn't find things out instantly by reading a blog post, checking the trends on Twitter or watching a CNN iReport. News traveled slowly. So on June 19 of that year, when Maj. General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston, TX, he was the first (!) to announce that the Confederacy was defeated and all slaves were officially free. (A note for context: this was 2+ years after the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation.)

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What we know about development — and what we need to learn

by Erica Boonstra / Topic: #EndViolence, Sustainable Development Goals, The Locust Effect May 11, 2015
Help protect the poor from violence.

The global fight against poverty gained an unprecedented level of attention in 2000 when the United Nations—and all its member countries—established the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The MDGs were our global roadmap; our plan for creating a future in which men, women, and children worldwide could thrive.

Over the course of the past 15 years, we’ve learned a lot about development:

·       We’ve recognized the importance of empowering women, who “hold up half the sky.”

·       We’ve witnessed “the girl effect” and have come to understand the necessity of investing in girls’ education. 

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Standing for freedom - Texas style

by Seth Wispelwey / Topic: #EndSlaveryAct, #Stand4Freedom April 28, 2015
#EndSlaveryAct and #Stand4Freedom in Texas

The cliché practically writes itself at this point:  Everything is bigger in Texas. But they’re often clichés because they’re true! And when it came to #Stand4Freedom, Texas truly did it Texas-style. 

On Friday, April 10, IJM campus chapters from Texas A&M, Baylor, and University of Texas descended on the Capitol steps in Austin for an extra, collective #Stand4Freedom rally to cap off their individual campus efforts across the state the week prior. They were joined by other Lone Star abolitionists from Waco, Dallas, Burleson, San Antonio, Houston, College Station and Austin.

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Why global poverty still exists: the new TED talk to watch

by Eileen Campbell / Topic: The Locust Effect, Sustainable Development Goals, poverty, everyday violence April 20, 2015
Gary Haugen, Founder and CEO of International Justice Mission, TED Talk 2015

You can give all manner of goods and services to the poor, but if you don’t restrain the violent bullies from taking it away, we are going to be disappointed by the long-term impact of our efforts.

Gary Haugen gives his first TED talk:
The Hidden Reason For Poverty The World Has Overlooked

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It is TIME to take your #STAND4FREEDOM

Stand For Freedom

This week (April 6 to 10), thousands of advocates around the world and across the U.S. are taking a #Stand4Freedom and asking their members of Congress to help end slavery by supporting the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015 (or EMSI).

Join in the action and #Stand4Freedom!

We need to tell our elected officials how important ending modern-day slavery is. Help us send the message loud and clear.

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A conversation on the future of fighting human trafficking

by Lacey White / Topic: modern slavery, Human Trafficking March 11, 2015
Holly Burkhalter and Cindy McCain

As a somewhat new member of the Government Relations and Advocacy team at IJM, I am still enchanted by the fact that I get to help fight for freedom on behalf of thousands every day. Social justice has always been a cause to which I have gravitated, and as someone who has been given a voice, I would like to use it in defending others. As a person of faith, a millennial and college student who studied politics and policy, I would say that I was bound to end up fighting for human rights at some time or another. As a young person (or a human being,  in general!), it can be easy to get involved in a cause and then become disenchanted or disinterested after things don’t progress as we would like them to, but human rights and human freedom cannot be won and maintained with that mindset.

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The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015 and its journey to become law

by Holly Burkhalter / Topic: EMSI, modern day slavery, abolition, Human Trafficking, Congress March 2, 2015
End Slavery Initiative Act

The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act of 2015 (S.553; EMSI) provides a bold, bipartisan opportunity to advance the very best of American ideals to end modern-day slavery. From many years of working in the human rights field, I can tell you it is painfully rare to see opportunities like the one this bill represents: a way to spring forward and fight injustice on a new level. Senator Corker’s bill will make a big difference in the fight to end modern slavery and human trafficking – if it becomes law.

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