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The New Faces of IJM Advocacy
We have a small confession to make: we owe you a few introductions. Over the past few months, we’ve welcomed three new colleagues to the Advocacy & Mobilization team. You may find them in your city, on your campus, or in your inbox and we think it’s time you’re introduced.
Today, we’re doing a Q&A with Joash Thomas, Lauranne Boyd, and Dan Mackett. Amongst other topics, you’ll hear a glimpse of what uniquely brought them to this work and what’s exciting them about the season ahead.
Joash Thomas (left most), Lauranne Boyd (center), and Dan Mackett (right)
Where are you from? What inspired you to work at IJM?
Joash: I spent my childhood in Mumbai, India before my family moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta has been home ever since. I first learned about IJM as a teenager growing up in India when someone gave me a copy of Gary Haugen’s The Good News About Injustice. I’ve wanted to work for IJM ever since. Spending a year with the IJM Delhi Field Office 2015-2016 was only an affirmation that I should be a part of this work long-term.
Lauranne: I was born in Florida but consider the great state of California my home. In college, I met several individuals dedicating their lives to the betterment of others – it opened my eyes to what was possible for my career. Shortly thereafter, I learned about IJM while reading Nicholas Kristof’s Half the Sky. Working with vulnerable women in northern Uganda, seeing the lack of access to justice, the need for IJM’s work became real to me. I never imagined years later, I’d be coming up on my three-year anniversary with IJM.
Dan: I’m from Wisconsin. As a student, I spent several years leading leading an IJM campus chapter on my university campus. I hoped one day I’d work at IJM because I long to see college students respond to God’s call to justice, experiencing deeper intimacy in their faith as they do.
Where will you be focusing your efforts on the team?
Joash: I’m the Regional Mobilization Manager for the Southeast region. I’ll be growing and investing in IJM’s new Volunteer Teams across strategic cities in nine states: Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland -- and Washington, DC.
Lauranne: I’ll be serving as our Communications Manager for Advocacy & Mobilization, bringing years of experience in recruiting and hiring people to join the IJM team. I’ll help Joash, Dan, and the team as we invite new people (like you) to build a movement of volunteer leaders to end slavery in our lifetime.
Dan: In my role as the College Mobilization Manager, I’ll support and coach our National Student Leadership Team who oversee nearly 75 IJM Campus Chapters around the country. They’re incredible leaders proving that universities can play a significant part in IJM’s prayer, fundraising, and advocacy efforts.
What’s most exciting to you about the next year?
Joash: I’m really excited to partner with our supporters across the Southeast. We’re building a movement together and I love getting to connect with people face-to-face. Our advocates, volunteers and volunteer teams across my region are truly amazing.
Lauranne: There is so much that’s possible. With our volunteer program kicking off around the country, our most committed IJM friends and supporters can carry our story further than ever before. I can’t wait to help our team accelerate into this new season and tell stories in new ways.
Dan: I can’t wait to launch our “Freedom Fast” campaign. The concept is a day without food for a future without slavery. The big idea is to invite our friends and supporters to pray for 24 hours and give $24, collectively raising $100,000 for IJM’s work. Aside from funding 13 rescue operations, my hope and prayer is that this campaign will invite students to be more tangibly engaged with this work and grow their faith as they learn to go without for a day.
Outside of the office, where can we find you?
Joash: I’m a huge foodie so chances are I’m probably at an Indian buffet, a Mediterranean Grill, a Mexican Taqueria or a Pho restaurant.
Lauranne: Catching up on new episodes of the Great British Bake-Off, riding bikes with friends around Capitol Hill, and trying out some sort of new creative endeavor.
Dan: You can find me at the Wydown or Blue Bottle coffee shops -- or biking on Mount Vernon Trail.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get involved?
Joash: Just jump in! There’s plenty of work to be done and always a need for more capable hands. My journey with IJM began as an IJM Student Leader at Georgia State University. After spending a year in the field as an Intern, I served on the IJM Atlanta Volunteer Team before coming on staff. The more I got involved, the more fulfilling it’s been.
Lauranne: We’re looking for ordinary, passionate people to partner with us. What excites you? Do you want to rally your communities to the fight? Host a fundraiser to provide rescue. Do you want to use your voice to move people in power for good? Advocate with us this October in Washington DC. God is on the move and we’re witnessing a pivotal time in history.
Dan: I’d ask “what is your greatest passion?” Find a way to creatively integrate that into supporting this work. You can pray, you can fundraise, you can advocate with us.
We're counting down the days to our 2017 Adcocacy Summit. If you're looking for ways to get involved, join us. It's not too late.