CU IJM Club to hold events March 11-15 in fight against human trafficking

CU IJM Club to hold events March 11-15 in fight against human trafficking

March 5, 2013
For Immediate Release

By Samantha Stevenson, student news writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.-- Campbellsville University’s International Justice Mission Club has organized a week, March 11-15, dedicated to standing up against modern-day slavery and sex trafficking.

The International Justice Mission is one of the coalition partners for the End-It-Movement, a campaign to help raise awareness and end slavery and human trafficking.

On Monday, March 11 at 7 p.m. in the Ransdell Chapel will be a Call to Prayer. The audience will hear from people who are already active in the fight against slavery. There will also be a time of prayer for the slaves still trapped in sex trafficking and slavery. There are 27 million slaves who do not have a voice.

John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, will be one of the speakers at the 7 p.m. session.

Chowning, who said this is the first time the IJM Club has done a full-fledged awareness campaign, said the awareness week is intended to help raise the overall awareness and concern about the issues and to help people understand the stark nature of human trafficking and slavery.

He said human trafficking and slavery are not only going on in different areas of the world, but also here in the United States.

“Students, as well as members of the administration, faculty, staff and coaches, and the public, will be encouraged to participate and to become more aware of the reality of human trafficking and slavery,” Chowning said.

“Students are encouraged to participate in the awareness week activities and also to become more concerned about, and aware of, these issues throughout the year,” he said.

On Wednesday, March 13 at 8 p.m. in Ransdall Chapel, there will be a call and response video documentary about the current abolitionist movement. Call+Response is the name of the documentary, which will use music as a modern day abolitionist movement.

On Thursday, March 14, “The Stand” Event will take place starting at 2 p.m. at the clock tower. Everyone is encouraged to stand for 27 hours to represent the 27 million people still held in slavery. Live music and refreshments will be provided.

Everyone is encouraged to come as much as possible, if they can’t stay for the entire 27 hours. The Stand runs from 2 p.m. Thursday through Friday, March 15 at 5 p.m.

Friday, March 15 at 4 p.m. starts the closing celebration for “The Stand.” “The Stand” will end at 5 p.m. on Friday.

“The CU International Justice Mission is challenging all campus clubs, groups, and teams to stand with us in the fight against human trafficking,” Dr. Allison Timbs, assistant professor of criminal justice, who is a co-sponsor of the organization, said.

A booth will be set up in Winters Dining Hall Tuesday, March 12 and Thursday, March 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, email IJMCU@yahoo.com.

The International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. The chapter at Campbellsville University is committed to upholding these same standards and to informing the student body about the dangerous realities of sex trafficking and forced labor slavery.

Chowning said the formation of the IJM Club, in part, stemmed from a visit by Dr. Wayne Barnard of the International Justice Mission who visited the CU campus a couple of years ago, and the passion and concern of a group of students, with leadership from Rita Creason, director of student records, and which resulted in the formation of the IJM Club at CU.

Chowning commended Rebekah DeVore, a senior from Campbellsville; Leslie Harper, a sophomore from Clinton, Ky., and other members of the IJM Club for their leadership and commitment to raising awareness on human trafficking and slavery.

“With the assistance of Mrs. Creason and Dr. Allison Timbs and with help from other student groups (e.g., the CJ Club), they are encouraging the larger CU community and the Campbellsville-Taylor County community to learn more, to pray, to take a stand and to get involved.”

Chowning said the End-It-Movement is a movement involving a number of organizations and groups including the International Justice Mission.

“The IJM organization is involved in the rescue of individuals who have fallen victim to perpetrators of human trafficking and enslavement. There are more than 27 million people held in human slavery around the world today! That is shocking in 2013, and so many Americans simply have no realization of these conditions that exist,” he said.

Chowning said CU’s IJM Club has been involved in raising funds for the IJM organization to help with rescues around the world.

“A part of the awareness week is to focus a time of prayer and learning and to build awareness of these issues - and to enlist more people in prayer, financial support and learning about how widespread these conditions are,” he said.

The International Justice Mission’s investigations have resulted in the freedom for more than 1,000 girls and women trapped in the commercial sex trade, and over 4,000 forced labor slaves, and has provided long-term care for them and their families.

There are over 2 million children in the commercial sex trade, and over 1 million children are victims of forced labor, according to UNICEF. According to the U.S. Department of State, approximately 80 percent of human trafficking victims are women and children.

According to the United Nations, human trafficking is estimated to have a market value of over $32 billion and growing.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.

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