Mata Traders: Celebrating the Female Creative Power

We come in contact with clothing every day of our lives. From the pajamas we wear to bed, to the dresses and heels we wear when we go out on Friday night, our clothing is a way to express who we are. So wouldn’t it be great if there was a clothing company that not only cared about the end product but was also deeply connected and involved with the entire production process? An organization that would produce clothing pieces that you not only look amazing in but that you can feel amazing about wearing, because you know exactly who made them and where they came from? One company that does just that is Mata Traders.


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We Can Take Action to #FreeCyntoiaBrown. Here's How.

Chances are, you’ve heard the name Cyntoia Brown in the last year. With the help of celebrity buzz from Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, LeBron James and others, public awareness about an old yet seemingly unjust court case has sparked a social media movement crying for justice for Cyntoia. The 2004 trial that sentenced 16 year old Cyntoia to life in prison has people outraged, and rightly so. Here is everything you need to know about trafficking victim Cyntoia Brown, and what you can do to advocate for her early release.


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An Interview with Joy Collins Brodt from Treasures

Joy Collins Brodt first heard about human trafficking in college when a group hosted a showing of the documentary “Not My Life”.

“I went because I wasn’t sure what it was about”, Joy said, “and at the time they were calling it modern slavery and I was like, ‘Well what does that mean? I thought slavery was abolished years ago.’ So I went and I watched this film and my heart was torn wide open. At that moment, my heart was lit on fire and I knew I had to join the movement to combat this.”

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Organizations Prioritizing a Survivor-Centered Approach

In the past several years that I’ve been researching about human trafficking and working in the field with survivors, it’s been encouraging to find several organizations that prioritize space for survivors to express themselves and be actively involved in the fight for freedom. It’s critical that we recognize survivors holistically, acknowledging that they are multi-faceted individuals with more to offer than simply their first-hand knowledge of trafficking. Here are just a few organizations doing incredible work for and with survivors.

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Fighting When You Feel Small

The truth is that advocating for the freedom and dignity of all can be so overwhelming at times that we feel extremely small under the weight of it. It can feel like we’re trying to stop the ocean by building a barrier out of the sand, and it’s easy to get discouraged when we can’t see the effects of our words and actions. There were countless times during the recent Dressember campaign that I felt like my voice didn’t really matter.

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A Look Inside the Cotton Industry

Over the past several months, though, I have learned about fast fashion, which is the term used for all the stylish pieces and designs that are constantly being pushed out by retailers for our consumption. The output is largely composed of cotton. Despite the increasing world consumption of the fiber (reaching around 100 million bales in 2016 alone), cotton producers feel enormous pressure to compete with lower-priced synthetic fibers. Therefore, they constantly search for cheaper labor to remain competitive in the market.


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'Liberated: A Sexual Revolution' - A Documentary Review

Liberated: A Sexual Revolution. Liberated follows a group of college guys and two college girls on their spring break trips. These students allowed the documentary team to film them as they attended clubs, hung-out on the beach, and engaged in casual sexual encounters. The documentary focuses on America’s culture of casual sex and tackles what it means to be masculine and feminine in today’s society.


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The Root Collective: Walking out Vision in Deeply-Rooted Shoes

Bethany Tran, Founder and CEO of The Root Collective (TRC), wasn’t planning on using shoes to make a difference in poverty in the slums of La Limonada in Guatemala City. She just saw a problem: a seemingly unbreakable cycle of poverty and gang culture in the slums, with no one doing anything to solve it. In La Limonada, boys are often primed for gangs when they are young--sometimes younger than 10 years old--and it is almost impossible to leave a gang once you have joined.

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Meet Amanda!

Amanda Kinney grew up in the small town of Shoreview, Minnesota. Her active participation in her community, as well as her devotion to a wide array of interests, have shaped her influential, compassionate character. From her skilled spaghetti squash cooking to her traveling band performances, Amanda is a woman of many passions and talents. She loves to travel and has visited Haiti, Ireland, Portugal, Sierra Leone, France, and Spain. One of her truest passions, however, was not discovered until she moved to California two and a half years ago. 

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What is Organ Trafficking?

When we think about human trafficking, we often think of crimes like sex trafficking and labor trafficking but if you're like me, you haven't thought much about organ trafficking. Organ Trafficking is one of the lesser known forms of trafficking mostly because there is a lack of reliable information about it. In the U.S. there has been only one man convicted of this crime back in 2012.  "Despite the general interest in the issue, the crime remains a hidden, underground activity and seems to be greatly underreported," says the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. This type is one of the most difficult to investigate and prosecute because vulnerable victims are oftentimes complicit in the transplantation. 

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The Shuie Family - Running for a Cause

Running for a cause is not something the Shuie’s were planning on doing, it just kind of happened. I was able to connect with Glenna Shuie, wife to Peter Shuie and mother to Taylor (13) and Christian (11). Glenna is planning on running a half marathon and was looking to run in a 5K to help reach her goal and also to find motivation to train. After searching online, she found out about Dressember and the 5K we are hosting this month! In Glenna’s own words, “After doing a little research, I found that the Dressember story and mission very much appealed to me. Sadly, I am well aware of human trafficking, especially here in California.

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Sudara: Opportunity for a Beautiful Life

Since 2006, Sudara has employed over 2,000 women through their sewing center partnerships throughout India and several nearby countries, empowering former sex workers and high-risk women with a means to support themselves and their families. The name Sudara is inspired by a Sanskrit word that means “beautiful” and describes what the lives of the women and their families are able to become.


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Meet Gaochen!

A DIY queen, hopeless romantic, and strong wife and mom of four children named Tyler, Titus, Tayli, and Treven (that’s right, they all start with “T!”), Gaochen Xiong is a force to be reckoned with. As one of our passionate Editorial Interns, Gaochen hails from Minnesota and has lived in this beautiful state her entire life. From spending childhood days in Brooklyn Park to currently living in a peaceful Dayton neighborhood, Gaochen now writes passionately to fight for justice across the globe.


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A Word from Blythe Hill on National Foster Care Day

In the five years since Dressember became a campaign aimed at dismantling modern-day slavery, I’ve learned so much—we’ve learned so much as a society.  Human trafficking impacts every corner of the globe. It happens in every city, around major sporting events, at truck stops, massage parlors, on busy streets and busy websites. In spite of what the 'Taken' franchise would have us believe, we know now that a very small percentage of trafficking recruitment happens through kidnapping. Here in the US, there is one startling recruitment method that has taken us far too long to realize: foster care.

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Top 8 Apps for the Anti-Trafficking Activist

Perhaps you remember when mobile applications on smartphone devices were new enough that people - especially in advertisements, but also my dad - would say “Oh, that thing you just mentioned or that problem you have - there’s an app for that!”                           

At any rate, there are indeed apps that can help us advocate for the end of human trafficking. In fact, there are so many that I have done the hard work for you. Here are 8 apps that promise to make advocating easier. Think of them as your MySpace Top 8, if you want.

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