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A bittersweet goodbye to IJM Organizing Director—East, Seth Wispelwey
Goodbyes are hard, which is why I’m completely avoiding this one.
February was my last month with IJM. The ending was bittersweet, and came faster than anyone would want at such a lovely, transformational place, but good things are ahead. Starting in March, I took on a new executive role in my hometown of Charlottesville, VA serving survivors of labor and sex trafficking—I’m still in this fight! And so I get to still write this …
I have had the great privilege and honor of interacting with many of you over the past four years. Many of you I still don’t know. But whoever you are, I felt you alongside me and the Advocacy team here at IJM each and every day. Indeed, you were and are the core reason we know it is possible to wrangle meaningful change out of Congress for the sake of the poor and oppressed. I’m grateful now to be able to write this note to you looking back at my effort as Organizing Director at IJM.
These past four years with International Justice Mission have been so incredibly inspiring, rewarding and change-making personally and professionally, and all of that is because of the relationships grown over that time. Seriously, the work of ending modern slavery and making freedom real for millions is a pipe dream without all of you caring enough in your everyday lives to speak up and advocate, give money to fund the fight, and pray this mission into reality. YOU make IJM’s work happen. YOU have made your members of Congress care about the least of these.
The great news is that this movement continues and that I’ll get to still be a part of it. The End Modern Slavery Initiative Act (EMSI) is a very real game-changer of a bill—if it passes. Please make sure it does! I’ll still be advocating here in Virginia.
I’ve had the privilege of getting to visit IJM field offices in India and the Dominican Republic and heard frontline stories like you have from all of our other offices. The work—the rescues, restorations, convictions, the justice transformation—is all VERY real, done by very real, committed colleagues of mine doing what they can to protect the poor from violence. Please continue sharing and supporting the work in funding and in prayer. Recruit a friend to be a Freedom Partner today and help bring rescue. With all of the above, I’ll be right there with you!
Let’s stay in touch–see you at the Global Prayer Gathering, at the next Advocacy Summit or lobby day, or online, raising your voice. I’ll be there too. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Advocacy & Mobilization team for resources, inspiration, and actions–they’re the best. (You can email them at [email protected].) And they’d love to hear all about your resources, inspiration and actions!
IJM Advocacy Staff, 2012-2016