Advocate Spotlight: 9-year-old Corah Stephens
Has anyone ever told you that you’re too young to change the world? Let me introduce you to Corah Stephens, the 9-year-old world-changer who is shattering that lie. This is her first year of Dressember advocacy, but she is already making a huge impact through raising $800 in the first 10 days of December, and boldly talking about human trafficking in her daily encounters.
For the past two years, Corah has selflessly wanted to do a service project for her birthday instead of having a party. This year the Dressember Kick-Off Party in Los Angeles happened to fall on her birthday. After learning about Dressember through a friend, the idea of combining fashion and anti-slavery efforts seemed like the perfect project to do for her birthday! She attended the party, and was recognized by the Dressember team and a speaker from International Justice Mission (IJM) for her boldness.
When asking Corah why she joined Dressember, her response echoed the cry of advocates everywhere with a huge heart for change:
Since the start of December, Corah’s days have been filled with picking out cute Dressember outfits adorned with her “ask me about my dress” button, taking pictures to spread awareness, and talking to her classmates and teacher about human trafficking. I giggled when she exclaimed that, when telling her teacher about human trafficking, “I may have ruined chocolate for her when I told her her favorite candy was probably made with cocoa beans picked by enslaved kids.” She is not shying away from the truth, and that’s what makes her Dressember advocacy powerful.
We can learn a great deal from Corah. She takes the issue of human trafficking and looks at it from a realistic perspective. Finding out that girls just like her are facing treatment that they do not deserve inspired her to take action. Human trafficking isn’t an issue that’s isolated to people different than ourselves in some far away place. It’s happening to people just like us, right under our noses. But with some compassion, gumption, and confidence, we can raise awareness and end human trafficking.
Tears came to my eyes when I asked Corah what she would say if she met a girl just like her, who had been a victim of human trafficking. She exclaimed,
At only 9-years-old, Corah has a heart on fire for social justice. It is so inspiring to know that there are people like her in the world. Just imagine what kind of change she will make as the years go on. She encourages others to believe in and be themselves. Her advice is to boldly reach out and tell people what kind of change you want for the world. Many people will see your efforts and provide support.
Corah wants girls to live in a safe world where they feel free to be who they want to be, “where everyone has food, water, a loving family, education, pets, friends that are always kind, dance parties, trips to the beach, ice cream and doctors when they get sick. A world where girls are celebrated, believed and treated with love and respect.”
Amen, Corah. Keep it up, girl!
It is not too late to be a part of the impact!
Right now, thousands of people around the world are taking on the creative challenge of wearing a dress or tie in the month of December. The reason? To bring freedom to the 40+ million around the world still trapped in slavery. Your donation or participation in Dressember 2018 is part of a movement to end human trafficking for good.
About the Author
Anna Stephens is a native Texan pursuing her Master's of Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science at Lund University in Sweden. She has participated in Dressember for 3 years, and plans to continue using fashion as a platform for awareness and eradication of human trafficking. In her spare time, you can find her drinking iced coffee, looking for dogs to pet, or exploring Swedish nature with her friends.