Passersby signed the table with reasons why slavery should end.

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An international campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking came to TCU last month giving students several opportunities to understand the effects of contemporary slavery.

Members of the International Justice Mission at TCU promoted the END IT Movement with a week of activities. The END IT Movement is an international coalition of organizations that works to end human trafficking.

An estimated 27 million people live in contemporary slavery today, according to Global Slavery Index. These people are forced into sex trafficking, bonded labor, domestic servitude and forced labor.

On Thursday Feb. 25, the movement called on supporters across the globe to take part in “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” by drawing red X’s on their hands as a means to start conversations.

 

The organization kicked off the week by showing a documentary of the END IT Movement documentary on Wednesday night. The film focused on sex trafficking around the world.

“Before watching, I had no idea prostitution was a form of sexual exploitation,” said Caroline Jones, a first-year student. “[The documentary] does a really good job of talking about things people like to keep quiet by presenting stories that can’t simply be forgotten or glazed over.”

After the screening, IJM executive members asked attendees to participate in the Red Sand Project. The sand symbolized victims of human trafficking who have fallen through the cracks unnoticed, said Madelyn Carter, IJM co-president.

Red sand was put in sidewalk cracks around campus as a part of the END IT Movement.
Red sand was put in sidewalk cracks around campus as a part of the END IT Movement.

The project was started by NYC based artist Molly Gochman, who sent sand after hearing about the campus organization.

“It’s really awesome the Red Sand Project sent us sand to do this,” Carter said. “I’m so pumped to see how students walking around campus react to it tomorrow morning.”

 

On Thursday, students took part in “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” by drawing red X’s on their hands as a means to start conversations.

“Putting a red ‘X’ on your hand doesn’t end slavery, but it starts conversations about the people around the world and in the U.S. who are currently enslaved,” said Claire Carter, a sophomore, who’s a member of the group.

Members of the group also ran in the Cowtown Marathon.

Between the documentary screening, Red Sand Project, END IT movement and marathon races, IJM at TCU members said the week was meaningful.

“It’s about being a voice for the voiceless and acknowledging that everyone deserves freedom,” said Kelsey Ritchie, IJM officer.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated which film was shown by the International Justice Movement. The group screened a documentary about the END IT Movement.