Student Organizations Spend 27 Hours Standing for Freedom
Earlier this month, several student members of the International Anti-Slavery Campaign teamed up with the Rensselaer Christian Association to stand for 27 hours for the 27 million people still enslaved around the world. The students set up an information table in front of the Russell Sage Dining Hall patio area with signs encouraging members of the campus to “Stand for Freedom,” and also sign their online petition.
The event—created by the International Justice Mission—was part of a national movement involving college campuses across the nation.
“The International Anti-Slavery Campaign is still in its developing stages,” said Dannah Laguitan, a member of the Class of 2016, who also serves as the club’s treasurer. “The club was founded by Kadin Norder ’11,” she said. “We have been meeting twice a month since October 2012. Right now, we are working to raise awareness on a local and international level toward the current existence and the reality of slavery, which can come in many forms, such as human trafficking, child labor, and war labor.”
Laguitan noted that her reason for participating in the club stems from her passion and empathy to support the cause and make a difference in people’s lives. “During my senior year in high school, I was part of a group called the Globechangers and our specific mission was modern-day slavery,” Laguitan said.
“During that time, our group partnered with the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation and we had the chance to meet its founder, the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass himself. We were also invited to participate in a conference about human trafficking at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and we also met activist and actress Ashley Judd. That experience was amazing.”
Laguitan also noted that prior to coming to Rensselaer for the fall 2012 semester, her group won the Gold Medal at the Jefferson Awards, “which is about the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in Public Service” for their efforts against modern-day slavery, she said.
“For me, I see the hurt of people my age and younger,” Laguitan added. “I see the hurt of parents and friends, and I understand the pain. I want to be a part of something greater than I am, even if my role in the matter is public awareness. Intelligence is one of the first things you need to prevent a catastrophe like modern-day slavery.”
For more information about the Rensselaer Anti-Slavery Campaign, contact Kadin Norder at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Jordan Earle, club president, email@example.com.
For more information about the Anti-Slavery organization, visit www.antislavery.org.