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WALK FOR FREEDOM
JOIN US IN THE FIGHT AGAINST SLAVERY
With the holiday season fast approaching, we as a firm wanted to shine a light on an important organization giving back to our community. “A21” is a charity doing a lot of good around the world and here in Williamsburg. In fact, our own case manager and intake specialist supervisor Brandy Guererro volunteers with the nonprofit, helping organize their biggest local event, the Walk for Freedom. Since this annual demonstration will be held on Oct. 19 this year, we wanted Brandy to share the importance of the work A21 does and how you can make this year’s walk a success!
In order to meet the challenge of confronting the global slave trade, A21 partners with churches, schools, and other community groups to form “A-Teams” responsible for organizing local initiatives. I joined one of these teams through my church three years ago and have been passionately involved ever since. These teams do everything from educating people on how to avoid being lured into slavery, to working with law enforcement to identify and rescue victims, and, of course, supporting the healing of those who escape slavery. But we can’t make these efforts happen on our own. The Walk For Freedom is a global event designed to raise awareness about human trafficking and to raise funds to fight it. Our local walk will be happening on Oct. 19 in colonial Williamsburg. If you are interested in helping this important cause, visit A21.org/content/walk- home/gpsgiw and sign up! We want this year to be our biggest ever and hope for at least 500 walkers to come out with us and take a stand against slavery. We’ve even partnered with local restaurants, who will donate a percentage of the proceeds of your meal to A21 after the walk — just show them the flyer you’ll receive when you show up! There will also be a raffle basket available for participants. That humans are still being bought and sold into horrifying conditions in this day and age is unacceptable. I hope you’ll join us on Saturday the 19th as we take the next step to stamp out slavery in Hampton Roads and the world.
The A21 Campaign is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to ending human trafficking and slavery. The name “A21” itself comes from its mission to abolish injustice in the 21st century, and from the airport terminal where Christine Caine, the founder, was first inspired to create such an organization. It may surprise some readers that slavery still exists in the 21st century, but, the truth is, it’s more prevalent than ever. According to the UN’s International Labor Organization, 40.3 million people are in servitude today. Of these victims, 71% are women and 25% are children. It’s an insidious criminal enterprise that is alive and well, and it’s closer to home than you may think. As the Virginian Pilot reported in March of last year, the greater Hampton Roads area is a “hub of human trafficking,” with 152 cases being reported in 2016 alone. A21 may be a global organization, but their aid is desperately needed here in our own community. Thankfully, the organization uses a very localized approach.
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