Be Here Now Initiative Launches Online
Call to Action: Join the Fight to End Modern-Day Slavery
OAKLAND, Calif., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Made In A Free World (formerly Slavery Footprint), a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending modern-day slavery, today announced a new initiative aimed at engaging more Americans in the ongoing fight against human trafficking.
The Be Here Now video campaign references moments in history when people stood up against injustice and encourages people to stand up today for the more than 27 million men, women and children currently living in slavery. The series of short, 30-second videos pose this key thought: If you think you would have taken a stand against oppression in the past, prove it and Be Here Now.
Demi Moore , co-founder of Thorn: Digital Defenders of Children and an anti-trafficking advocate, provided the voiceover for the videos.
"One of the greatest battles for human rights rages on, and we want people to know that everyone plays a part in the fight for freedom," said Justin Dillon , founder and CEO of Made In A Free World "There are more people enslaved today than at any other time in history."
Made In A Free World produced the Be Here Now campaign as part of a unified coalition with Polaris Project and International Justice Mission funded by Google in 2011. The Google commitment is one of the largest corporate initiatives ever to fight slavery.
"Be Here Now is based on the premise that throughout history it has taken groups of individuals – coming together and standing up for what is right – to end injustices." Dillon said.
"Though most of us don't know it, everyone is touched by slavery – whether that's through the clothes we wear, the electronics we use, or the food we eat. That's why we're inviting people to Be Here Now in the meeting hall of the 21st century – the Internet," he added.
Each video encourages the viewer to draw inspiration from human rights heroes of the past and discover how they can take action now – by personalizing the video, sharing it with their friends and asking them to do the same. Individuals will be directed to a new website, beherenow.org, where they can choose to take one of three actions:
- Signing a petition asking President Obama to launch a comprehensive anti-slavery initiative;
- Calling on Members of Congress to double funding dedicated to anti-human trafficking efforts, or;
- Supporting local legislation that protects child victims of sex trafficking.
"It is time for us to re-commit to a simple ideal: that no one should be enslaved, that no one should be bought and sold. Let's educate ourselves about this problem and commit to doing something to stop it," Dillon said.
The three moments in history highlighted in the campaign are:
- Tiananmen Square Massacre, June 4, 1989 – Video footage and photographs of a lone man standing in front of a column of military tanks in Beijing's Tiananmen Square immortalized the non-violent, pro-democracy student protest-turned-massacre.
- Fall of the Berlin Wall, November 9, 1989 –The destruction of the wall that separated West Berlin from East Berlin – and the rest of East Germany – created a unified German state.
- Selma to Montgomery March , also known as Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965 – The first of three marches from Selma, Alabama to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama, the march marked the political and emotional peak of the American civil rights movement.
"Many of us say we would have marched for civil rights in the 1960's or stood with the students in Beijing. With this campaign, we aim to encourage, motivate and inspire a whole new generation of people who can do something to make a difference today," Dillon said in introducing the videos on beherenow.org.
Each member of the Be Here Now coalition works to target distinct aspects of this issue:
- International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that rescues victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to secure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to ensure that public justice systems – police, courts and laws – effectively protect the poor.
- Polaris Project is a leading organization in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-373-7888), conducting trainings and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project is transforming the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking in the U.S. and globally.
- Made In A Free World (formerly Slavery Footprint), based in Oakland, California, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending modern-day slavery. Made In A Free World is building a coalition of consumers, businesses and governments to disrupt the system in which slavery thrives. It produces innovative campaigns, front line projects, consumer engagement tools and marketable business solutions to get slavery out of our system, once and for all.
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SOURCE Made In A Free World
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