NFS News Archive April, 2012
Do you believe that companies should be socially responsible? Would you be willing to pay somewhat more for a product produced by a company committed to offering decent working conditions? Would you be willing to forsake your favorite brand in favor of a brand that actively works to address the issues of forced labor and child labor? Many people would probably instantly and spontaneously answer yes to these questions. However, if you are among those answering yes, consider how often you in practice haven chosen to buy a more expensive product because it is a product produced by a company committed to social responsibility. How often have you in reality chosen to buy a less familiar brand in order to support a company actively fighting the crimes of involuntary labor and under aged labor?
Current fellow Matthew Collard joined the Fellowship looking for his role in the movement to re-abolish slavery. “When I first applied to the Fellowship all I knew was that I felt like I had a purpose in combating human trafficking and working to end modern-day slavery, but I didn’t know what my exact role would be. I thought the Fellowship would be a good chance to find out where I fit into the movement, where I could offer the most, and it has.”
Not For Sale’s latest Free2Play athlete is marathon runner Ahmed Geutari. Geutari, the Sr Director WW Sales, Edge and Aggregation Domains at Juniper Networks, participated in the Virgin London Marathon on April 22, 2012. His goal: to raise $10,000 in donations for Not For Sale and selflessly run 26.2 miles in support of the 30 million people living in slavery today.
“Today more than ever, society has come to recognize that the anthropogenic destruction of our planet’s sustainable biodiversity negatively impacts humankind, placing human life at risk. The cause-and effect relationship that exists between environmental collapse and the subsequent risk to our existence can no longer be ignored.” – Romina Picollotti, Linking Human Rights and the Environment
Rebecca discovered Not For Sale through Twitter in 2009 and was immediately drawn to the entrepreneurial focus as well as the plethora of actionable platforms and tools that Not For Sale offers. Moreover, Rebecca also found it appealing that she could fight modern-day slavery within her own community. Instead of relocating to Washington D.C. or Europe, Rebecca became involved as a Community Abolitionist Leader for her local Not For Sale chapter in Georgia.
In the United States, we eat tomatoes, strawberries, and blueberries that may have been harvested by slaves. We wear clothing and use technology that comes from places where slavery is producing consumer goods. Seventy percent of the world’s chocolate comes from a region where there’s slave labor. And this brings me back to the matter of personal righteousness versus social righteousness: we can’t say that we love Jesus and that we’re going to follow God while not caring about the economics surrounding our lives or about how we live our lives. The good news is that when we make a stand, a handful of people become an army of people one day at a time, one issue at a time. If everybody stops eating slave-harvested chocolate, the people who sell that chocolate are going to change their ways because they want to make money. And so while we all contribute to modern-day slavery, we all have an incredible opportunity to change it.
“95% of chocolate on store shelves today has been sourced unethically*,” says Kristen Carr, Director of Not For Sale Houston. “But here in Houston, we’re lucky enough to have a chocolate company called Araya, which has chocolate that is not only delicious, but ethically-made as well.”
Freedom Shabbat 2012 was celebrated by more than 125 Jewish communities in nine different countries. Once enslaved in Egypt, Jewish people were reminded on Freedom Shabbat that with freedom comes responsibility and the opportunity to help repair the world. Just prior to the meal, the prayers for the wine and the matzah remind us all that everything that comes to us is a gift. We should therefore use these gifts in freedom and for freedom. Synagogues, Jewish Schools, Hillels, Jewish organizations, and family units across the world celebrated Passover, freedom, and justice.
Academic Activism aspires to create justice holistically by empowering individuals to use their education as their advocacy. This is exemplified by the work of Not For Sale Australia and the University of Technology Sydney who are featuring two unique avenues of academic engagement: the Sydney Supply Chain Academy and the Free2Work Research Fellowship.