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DC Stop Modern Slavery Newsletter September 18, 2011

From: Rachel
Sent on: Sunday, September 18, 2011 10:59 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.

**Early bird registration ends September 30. Prices will go up October 1 so REGISTER TODAY!

If you are interested in volunteering on the day of the walk, please email [address removed].

REMINDER - 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 - Interested in learning more about the nature of human trafficking in the United Arab Emirates?

Attend a lunchtime discussion this Thursday on the new book Gridlock: Labor, Migration, and Human Trafficking in Dubai with book author and Pomona College associate professor, Pardis Mahdavi.

Gridlock draws on four years of Mahdavi's ethnographic research in the United Arab Emirates that examined disconnections between policies on human trafficking and the realities of gendered labor and migration in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The project seeks to illuminate the experiences of migrant women and men in the Middle East and how their stories have frequently been misunderstood by policymakers and activists. The book also offers steps that could be taken to improve policy, discourse and activism.

When: Thursday, September 23, 12:00p.m. - 1:00p.m.

Where: Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

REMINDER - 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.

NEW - Want a simple, tangible way to have significant impact on the success of the SMS Walk?

Come help make walk signs and posters that will help participants find their way around and have an awesome experience at the walk at our organizer, Danielle Wipperfurth’s, apartment . There will be pizza and beer and jams so come hang out and do Thursday night right! All materials will be provided.

When: Thursday, October 13, 7:00p.m. - 9:30p.m. (Come when you can!)

Where: 2601 Woodley Place NW, Apt. No. 615,



NEW - Can you be a part of ensuring a crucial piece of federal legislation that safeguards the rights of trafficking survivors is renewed before it expires at the end of the month?

The 2011 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) was only recently introduced in the House (H.R. 2830) -- so it’s important now more than ever to keep pressure on our representatives to pass this vital legislation! The TVPRA is one of the cornerstones of the United States’ anti-trafficking efforts. Initially signed into law in 2000, the law must be reauthorized every few years. The current TVPRA expires on September 30, and it is critical that the reauthorization be signed before this date to ensure the country maintains a consistent and comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking. The Senate version (S.1301) was introduced this past June.

You can sign the Polaris Project’s petition urging Congress to reauthorize TVPRA here: Once you've signed the online petition, go one step further to spread the word! Tweet about the petition on Twitter. Here's a sample tweet: I just signed this petition on @Change asking Congress to reauthorize the #2011TVPRA #trafficking via @Polaris_Project. Spread the word on Facebook! Here's a sample post:
 Sign the petition on today to ask Congress to reauthorize the 2011 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act! Your signature can make a difference in the lives of human trafficking victims. []

NEW - Do you have a moment to add your name to another petition supporting enhanced border security in Nepal to ensure young girls are not trafficked into India to work in brothels?

An estimated 10,000 girls are kidnapped or coerced across the border into India where they are sold into a life of sexual slavery. Many of these girls are offered a chance to escape from their poor villages, either through a false marriage or job opportunity in the city. Once they arrive they are shuttled across the Indian border to brothels were they are forced to have sex with as many as 40 clients each day.

Tiny Hands is aiming to collect a minimum of 7,500 signatures before November when their vice president of justice operations, Jeff Blom, is slated to bring the petition before the Council Against Human Trafficking in Nepal. You can sign the petition sponsored by Tiny Hands International here:


REMINDER - 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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