Amy Lauver, Layout Editor
Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
SNU’s Speak theme house is a part of the fight to end modern day slavery. The speak theme house has doubled in size this year. Instead of one Imel Townhouse being dedicated to Speak girls, both Imel 4 and Imel 3 are housing the 20 girls who have joined the Speak movement. The Speak theme house has been working to raise awareness about sex trafficking since it began in 2011. This year students are taking a local initiative by partnering with a local non for profit called No Boundaries International (NBI). Students will be raising money to help NBI buy a food truck to use as a tool for creating relationships with those involved in human trafficking in a nonthreatening way. The campus ministries council will also be working closely alongside Speak this year as they try to meet their goal.
As the previous Resident Director of Imel/Asbury, Misty Jaggers has been the advisor of Speak since it began. Katy Bradley is joining the Speak family this year as the current RD of Imel/Asbury.
When asked about the history of Speak, Misty Jaggers said, in regards to Imel housing, “We wanted it to be used for a more positive purpose. We have had a different boys theme house for every year, but Speak has carried on for three years now.”
Speak’s passion has grown over the past two years. “It started out with ten girls that had a passion for eradicating human trafficking. They then encouraged ten more girls. Now it’s twenty girls, with campus minististries working with us and outside partners,” said Jaggers, “My hope is that with twice as many girls we can accomplish twice as many things. I am excited that we can become a more known organization on campus and establish more outside contacts, while continuing to generate energy for years to come.”
Last Monday, thirteen of the current girls visited the No Boundaries International firehouse, their community center. It is located on Robinson Street downtown, which is the track in the OKC ring. It was extremely eye opening. Students had been told how serious this issue is with how I-35 , I-40 and I-44 cross each other, serving as a pipeline in OKC as these highways stretch across the country, but the truth of it was never fully understood until Speak girls were in the midst of the area.
Speak’s partnership with NBI this year came about through a grant writing class last semester. Grace Williams, a member of the Speak house this year, was in the group that created a grant for NBI. “Zach Bond, Kendra Meek and I decided to be in a group for our big grant writing project. Zach had learned about NBI and told us about them. So we contacted them, and they told us about their mission, the idea for the food truck and thought it would be a really great project to get involved with,” said Williams.
Speak will be working to help NBI raise money for their food truck initiative. “We found a funder that would not purchase vehicles but will purchase other things, so we requested that they buy all the equipment and materials, pay for the installation and licensing/legal costs. So the speak theme house will raise the cost for the physical truck. Shane Mutz, a food truck builder who buys and outfits new and used trucks said he could get a truck for around $7,000,” Williams explained.
If you want more information on how to get involved with the Speak house and the fight to end modern day slavery, contact Misty, Katy or any of the girls involved with Speak, and look for our upcoming events to show your support!