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DC Stop Modern Slavery Newsletter September, 2011

From: Rachel
Sent on: Sunday, September 11, 2011 11:03 PM



On October 22, 2011, thousands of people will gather on the National Mall for the annual DC Stop Modern Slavery Walk, a united effort to celebrate human rights, raise awareness about the crime of human trafficking, and raise funds for organizations that are working to end human trafficking. We hope for full participation from the SMS community.


If you are interested in joining the walk planning team, email [address removed]

NEW - Did you know that women and girls with disabilities face unique vulnerabilities to being trafficked?

You can learn more about this topic at a Monday panel discussion hosted by the Center For Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and Disability Rights International that will examine conclusions reached by a new report, “Abandoned & Disappeared: Segregation and Abuse of Children and Adults with Disabilities in Mexico.”

When: Monday, September 12, 4:30pm - 6:00pm

Where: American University Washington College of Law, 4801 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Register by emailing Melissa del Aguila at [address removed]

IMPORTANT - Ready to enjoy a unique, social-oriented SMS Meetup?

While Irene flummoxed our plans to meet in late August, we are not deterred and have rescheduled our Meetup at Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park for next Sunday afternoon when the park will once again play host to a diverse gathering of drummers, dancers, picknickers and other revelers. SMS members will be meeting UNDER AN AQUA UMBRELLA to listen to the music and promote/get pumped for this year’s Stop Modern Slavery Walk.

Please bring friends, snacks for sharing, blankets, balls, Frisbees, etc. 

When: Sunday, September 18, 3:30pm - 6:30pm

Where: Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park (park entrances at Euclid or Kalorama from the direction of Columbia Heights Station) or 15th or 16th St. NW (from the direction of U Street)


NEW - Want learn about the parallels between the struggle of University of Maryland workers and apparel factory workers in the Dominican Republic to attain basic humane treatment at their jobs?

Come to a panel discussion hosted by the UMD Black Student Union that will examine the ongoing fight for labor rights by UMD workers and the struggle by garment factory workers in the Dominican Republic who were finally able to secure living wages after resisting scare tactics and intense intimidation by their managers.

When: Monday, September 19, 6:00pm

Where: Nyumburu Cultural Center, Multi-Purpose Room, Campus Drive, University of Maryland, Collegel Park

REMINDER - Love happy hour? How about raising money for a really important anti-trafficking cause?

Swing by the L2 Lounge in Georgetown on September 22 for a happy hour fundraiser for the Bridge to Freedom Foundation. All proceeds will go directly to BTFF’s efforts to support human trafficking survivors as they work to build sustainable, thriving livelihoods.

When: Thursday, September 22; 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Where: L2 Lounge, 3315 Cady’s Alley, NW

Donation: $15 at the door

NEW - Want to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of an organization that has aided thousands of foreign-born survivors of violence and trafficking in settling into life in the United States?

FIRN serves immigrants from more than 75 nations and is well-known in central Maryland as a go-to resource for the foreign-born. It has helped more than 15,000 new Americans assimilate into life in Howard County by providing direct client services such as crisis intervention, immigration counseling and other vital resettlement issues.

In celebration of FIRN’s decades of hard work, the Musicians of Mercy orchestra along with guitarist William Soul will hold a concert and fundraiser on September 25 in nearby Columbia, Maryland. The price of admission is a monetary donation of your determination that can be made beforehand by visiting and clicking on the ‘General Donation’ button.

When: Sunday, September 25, 7:00pm

Where: Christ Episcopal Church, 6800 Oakland Mills Rd., Columbia Md.


REMINDER - Curious about where your home state ranks on human trafficking laws?

The Polaris Project policy team has finished their yearly evaluation of state laws from all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on the presence or absence of 10 key provisions that are critical to building a robust national anti-trafficking framework. In 2010, the bottom tier of states was labeled the “Dirty Dozen,” a group of twelve states with only 0 to 2 statutes addressing human trafficking. Notably, this year, only nine states remain in this bottom tier -- the “Nine Lagging Behind.”

Check out where your state ranks by clicking here,

If you are a resident or have personal ties to one of the states in the “Nine Lagging Behind,” Polaris Project has organized resources for you to create and send a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper to encourage them to cover human trafficking with the aim of making this a key issue for the state legislature. You can visit the campaign site here,


NEW - Interested in taking your involvement and leadership with DC SMS to the next level?

Consider applying to be our new liaison to the DC Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force where you’ll connect on a monthly basis with law enforcement officials and victim service professionals working on human trafficking concerns.

Benefits to you: Leadership and speaking skills development, learn more about trafficking from a law enforcement/victims services perspective. Benefits to DCSMS & Movement: Facilitate partnership between DC SMS members and the law enforcement/nonprofit groups. Responsibilities: Attend task force meetings every third Tuesday at 10:30 am near Judiciary Square (and make periodic announcements at these meetings on behalf of DC SMS,) develop ideas regarding opportunities for collaboration, and facilitate communication between both groups.

Interested parties should email Danielle Wipperfurth at [address removed]

REMINDER - Would you like your voice to be heard on a short documentary on human trafficking?

Local DC filmmaker and SMS member Dexter Sumner and the Hague Files crew are looking for anti-trafficking activists to provide 30-seconds or so of soundbyte outtakes on their feelings about modern-day slavery. Participants do not have to be an expert to talk about the issue though experts are welcome to contribute soundbytes!

Soundbyte topics the documentary is focusing on are:
• Runaways and the lack of shelter(s) to house them.
• Debt bondage practices with a particular interest in the experience of Korean women trafficked into the United States.
• Voices for the voiceless -- who speaks for trafficked victims, particularly children?
• Violence -- what kind of violence would someone who is trafficked face?
• The real reasons why individuals enter the sex trade and public misconceptions about those reasons.

Participants are also welcome to comment on other human trafficking issues not addressed above. To get involved, email, [address removed]

REMINDER - Love event planning? Have ideas for DC SMS Meetup locations, speakers, or activities?

As DC Stop Modern Slavery is a community group, we all have the opportunity to shape our gatherings. If you have a knack for event planning and/or have ideas for meetup locations, speakers, or activities, please email [address removed].


REMINDER - Have you heard about the New Underground Railroad?

It’s a web-based portal where anti-trafficking activists across the globe can link up to share information about campaigns, one-time events, important legislation, internships and job positions. Create your own FREE account with End Slavery Now -- the world’s largest database of volunteers, organizations, facilities and service professionals fighting to stop modern day slavery.

To sign up, visit

REMINDER - Interested in reading news articles gathered from around the country and the globe that cover human trafficking crimes and efforts to eliminate modern-day slavery? Sign up to receive The Abolitionist’s Digest -- produced by DC SMS members and emailed each Wednesday morning.

Sign up to receive the weekly digest here,

Thanks to those who provided submissions. Future submissions and any feedback on how this newsletter can be improved should be sent to [address removed].

If you wish to no longer receive mail from DC Stop Modern Slavery, you'll need to leave the group on To do this, go to the DC Stop Modern Slavery page, click the members tab, select "my profile," and click the "leave this Meetup Group" link. We'll miss you!


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