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They've Got Mail: 100 Postcard Challenge on Capitol Hill
For many of us, justice is more than just some abstract societal good or virtue—it is a conscious decision, a sense of calling to tangibly better the lives of others. What’s more, justice only comes about when ordinary individuals come together to create positive change.
This past Friday, my fellow IJM interns and I saw how powerful such advocacy can be in the heart of our nation’s capital. Braving the heat, we met on Capitol Hill to deliver advocacy cards to our country’s legislators on behalf of thousands of people who had taken action by signing a card - and some of you may be reading this post! We delivered your postcards from the 100 Postcard Challenge to over 200 Congressional offices, urging them to act to end modern-day slavery. We amplified our voices on Twitter, storming the digital world with these same calls to #EndSlavery.
Not only have many of you decided to advocate online through the Freedom Commons, you have even called others to join in the movement, through the 100 Postcard Challenge. Through this Challenge, many people have recruited their family, friends, and community members to also petition their legislators through IJM. As our fellow advocates for justice, the cards we delivered were the fruit of your labor. Thanks to such support, our Senators and Representatives will see for themselves how many people are lending their voice to end slavery and want their leaders to do the same.
As we walked through the halls of our legislators’ offices that day, we began to understand the power for change that comes through collective advocacy. As cool as it was to walk into our Senators’ and Representatives’ offices, it was even more meaningful to feel connected to our country’s democratic process. More than simply petitioning on behalf of IJM, we were connecting people across our country, who have decided to actively help end injustice against the poor, to their own elected leaders. We were a part of the process by which people committed to the work of justice by using their collective voice to impact our laws. Change materializes when we translate our convictions into action.
For me, this past Friday reflected the essence of IJM’s mission: that anyone can act to pursue justice and protect those in greatest need of it. Whether on Capitol Hill or among our friends and family, we can all stand together to advocate for justice for the world’s poor. We each can bring our resources, talents, and influence to the table and fight for those who have been deprived of their voice—the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. This means that you are as deeply involved in this work as we at IJM are. Even an act as simple as signing a postcard can bring relief to the oppressed and downtrodden.
Yet the work is far from done. The need for advocacy is still great. We must to continue to raise our voices to show Congress that the time to end slavery is NOW. That is where you can come in. Raise your voice and sign up to mobilize your community through the 100 Postcard Challenge.Through this Challenge, you bring your community’s voice to Capitol Hill on behalf of those who have been deprived of theirs worldwide.
Because only when we all act in solidarity—when we all advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves—will the story of God’s justice move towards its next chapter.
Meet Ashby Henningsen
Ashby Henningsen served as the Church Mobilization Intern at IJM, helping congregations and ministries to engage the work of justice through concrete action. He recently graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), with Bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Global Studies with a minor in Writing. After his internship, Ashby hopes to volunteer in the Peace Corps before pursuing graduate school in International Affairs or International Development.