As the Web Communications Intern for Free the Slaves, I was lucky enough to be featured on MTV.ACT’s “A Day in My Life” series. Of course, it’s not every day that you get to see Jason Mraz sing Freedom Calling in person, but that’s another story. Check out Jason singing for the Freedom Awards here.
“Ever wonder what it’d be like to work for a leading nonprofit that’s trying to end modern-day slavery? We’ve got your backstage pass right here. We’ve asked young people working for some of our favorite organizations to keep a diary of one day in their life – and you’ll be surprised to see what they get up to! This week, Tulika Bose, an intern at Free the Slaves, shares her story.”
The Los Angeles communications office currently needs more interns. Check out our employment page to see how you can help!
On another note, this Holiday season has made me want to get in some last-minute shopping– ethically, of course.
The Guardian recently posted an article about some consumer-friendly apps that make shopping for the holidays rewarding and guilt-free. (As a note, Free the Slaves doesn’t endorse any of these products.)
Take the new GSG Ethical Shopping App by The Ethical Shopping Organization. Comparing over 700 brands and 72 different types of products, the app generates league tables that rate based on a company’s Human Rights, Environmental, and Animal Welfare records.
Or, take the free app Barcoo—a bar-code scanning app that digs up a company’s product history, as well as its social, ethical, and environmental profile.
Another way to help?
The Seattle Times recommends checking to see if a product is fair-trade certified. Fair Trade USA recently launched the Fair Trade Finder—an app that allows a user to find Fair Trade products, wherever they are.
If you’re in business yourself, don’t forget to order a copy of “Becoming a Slavery Free Business” by Free the Slaves!
The Voices for Freedom event to benefit Free the Slaves is sold out of all pre-event tickets!
Some may still be available at the door. But plan on getting there early. We’ll see you there next week!
Today, December 2nd, is the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery- marking the anniversary of the UN’s adoption of the United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others (resolution 317(IV) in 1949.
This day calls for the awareness and eradication of modern-day slavery, including child labor, trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, and the use of children in armed conflict.
It also comes on the heels of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, endorsed by the Human Rights Council earlier this year.
This implementation of the United Nations “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” framework provides businesses guiding principles on how to respect fundamental human rights.
“To eradicate contemporary forms of slavery, we need new strategies and measures that can unite all actors. While Governments bear the primary responsibility, the private sector has an integral role to play. Earlier this year, the Human Rights Council endorsed the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, outlining how states and businesses should implement the UN “Protect, Respect and Remedy” Framework. I welcome the widespread support it has received from the business sector,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his Message for the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery.
It’s closing in on that time of year: the time of year for holiday parties, and end of year giving! You can do both—celebrate, and give back—in one fell swoop on Tuesday, December 6 at L.A.’s legendary Hotel Café.
The Charitable Living group is putting on an amazing show to benefit Free the Slaves. They’re calling it “Voices for Freedom.” Performers include Joe Purdy; Cary Brothers; The Rescues; The Makepeace Brothers; Fay Wolf; Sorry, Nelson; and Buddy. Many of these artists started their careers at the Hotel Café, so the evening is sure to be an intimate one. The host/MC will be the comedian-magician Justin Willman.
Tickets are $22 in advance, $25 at the door.
The show is selling out fast. So buy your ticket today!
“Freedom of Expression” was the theme for The New Hollywood’s Benefit on Sunday for Free the Slaves—and they couldn’t have expressed it better. With rousing tributes to Marvin Gaye, Christina Aguilera, and Maya Angelou, the group sang, danced, and shimmied their way across a performance worthy of Broadway.
Alexis Carra, the director of the benefit and a Broadway veteran herself, told the New Hollywood Group to “sing, dance, be open, love, smile, create, and carry on a tradition of expression as a means of building relationships” as a way to get the audience to take action.
Performances of Chigago’s “Hot Honey Rag” and Alison Krausse’s ”Down to the River” were featured, along with a choreographed medley of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” and Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.”
In addition to exciting musical numbers, the group paid tribute to the names and faces of slavery survivors—such as Maria Suarez, a former slave trafficked to Los Angeles from 1976 (at age 15) to 2004.
“This isn’t a play. This isn’t fiction. This is someone’s life. I want to do her story justice.” said Beth Navarro, a TNH member who gave a stirring monologue about Suarez’s life.
Navarro was also responsible for gathering Free the Slave’s research about slavery for the “facts” section, a spoken word presentation by TNH performers that utilized top 10 facts about slavery in a metaphorical dance routine.
For Navarro, learning about the details of slavery was eye-opening, providing an inspiration for her monologue on Maria Suarez.
“When I saw some of the testimonials on their (Free the Slaves) website I knew I had to tell one of these stories. I pored over videos, their thought-provoking documentary, Dreams Die Hard, and read interviews conducted with freed slaves. I realized how ignorant I was to this issue. I didn’t reaize how wide-spread human trafficking was…and when I read Maria’s story, I had no idea it happened in my own backyard.” Navarro said.
Not all of the evening was somber, however.
There were also times for laughs, courtesy of TNH member Annie Tedesco. Sashaying her way across the stage in a leotard and legwarmers, Tedesco brought comic relief and Flashdance renditions, interrupting Emcees and posing for our camera with a “Freedom Sucks” sign.
Those of us watching the benefit from the Free the Slaves booth were impressed and inspired by the performance, and grateful to the New Hollywood Group for such a fantastic show!
“Hearing the ladies of TNH bring to life the transcripts of slavery survivors was deeply moving to me…it really helped show that the divisions between us and modern day slavery are really thin…and Annie Tedesco’s leotard was a nice touch.” said Anne Keehn, the Web Producer for Free the Slaves.
At the end of the night, the women of TNH invited all of the attendees to join them for an after-hours dance party, celebrating the freedom of expression.
Once again, thank you so much to the lovely ladies of TNH!