On October 14th, 2017, thousands of people around the world marched silently to bring awareness to all types of human trafficking. A-21 is an organization that is working to put an end to modern day slavery everywhere, and the walk is a yearly event that they hold to raise awareness.
Today, slavery is something that affects people of every gender, age and social standing on our planet. However, it is usually an uncomfortable topic for most people and so it goes on ignored. The statement this event makes on the topic of slavery is almost impossible to ignore.
The organization asks that participants wear all black and that they remain silent throughout the event. If interested, the participants may download a podcast and listen to three stories of survivors while they march.
Each person walks in a single file line, and if willing, wears a bandana covering their mouth. Once the walk is completed, they have their “Celebration of Freedom” where they can then remove the bandanas and wear them around their heads instead.
The walk in Oklahoma City began in Regatta Park, off of South Lincoln Boulevard, and circled around Bricktown before returning back to the park.
I had the opportunity to attend the walk that was held in Downtown Oklahoma City with some other students from SNU.
Abbey Roxby, a junior Nursing major at SNU, also attended the walk.
“I loved the fact that the walk was a silent march. Silence speaks the loudest and when it’s hundreds of people coming together in silence and somber, it screams,” said Roxby.
Emilee Copeland, a junior Psychology major from SNU, said “I think it was really powerful to get together and simultaneously listen to the stories of survivors as we walked down the streets of Bricktown.”
“It’s a unifying feeling to be there and experience that with all these people fighting together for this one cause,”stated Copeland.
A-21 is an organization that offers more ways to get involved besides the Walk for Freedom. They are introducing a new outreach called “A-Teams” where you can be more involved in putting an end to slavery in your city.
“It’s a problem that is right here in our backyard, and I think that working and volunteering with an organization helps in being active in the fight against human trafficking,” said Copeland.
For more information about how to get involved in the fight against slavery, visit a21.org.
[author image=”http://echo.snu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_4213.jpg”]Courtney McDaniel, Staff Writer
Courtney is junior majoring in Nursing. Courtney grew up as a Navy brat but now her family currently resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is apart of the SNU Speak House on campus that works with an non-profit to end sex-trafficking in Oklahoma City. Courtney loves listening to some Judah & The Lion, going to hit some dingers at the batting cages, and hanging out with people. She hopes to be a Nurse in the US Navy after graduation and to continue serving others through her profession. [/author]