A Ted Talk Review of Dan Pallotta's: The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong

Pallotta is a builder of movements with a goal to change the way Americans think about charitable giving. In “The Way We Think about Charity is Dead Wrong,” Pallotta shares his thoughts on social innovation and social entrepreneurship by providing his listeners and viewers with an analysis of the two rule books he sees in our society, one for nonprofits and one for the rest of the economic world. In his analysis, he discusses the five components that discriminate against nonprofit organizations. Those five components are compensation, advertising and marketing, taking risk on new revenue ideas, time, and profit to attract risk capital.

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A Documentary Review of Finding Home

My parents were Hmong refugees who escaped Laos during the Vietnam War. They lived in refugee camps in Thailand before immigrating to the United States. During that time, they carried with them their only child, a son. Today, they have a total of six children, five of them being daughters. When my father reminisces of life back in Laos and the war, he often tells us of how lucky we are to be born and raised in America. His eyes become teary thinking about the struggle and danger of raising five girls in a war-torn country filled with poverty. So as I’m sitting here watching the documentary, Finding Home, I’m deeply emotional by how close the story hits to home.

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Let's Talk: Legislation

When we think about human trafficking, we often think about rescue aid and prosecution. The media emphasizes raising awareness, recognizing the indicators of trafficking, rescuing victims from slavery and ongoing violence, and locking up criminals. Though talking about legislation does not always seem very appealing, it is a crucial part of advocacy. The truth is, anti-trafficking legislation is a powerful channel for prevention and intervention. Local, national, and global legal instruments are used to address and ultimately combat human trafficking. If effective legislation pertaining to human trafficking is not put in place, public prosecutors have no basis to ensure that local police restrain trafficking criminals or that survivors are represented in court. Today we will be delving into legislation concerning human trafficking that is most pressing today.

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A Canadian's Guide to Advocacy

I’m a proud Canadian. I know my country is not perfect, but I truly am thankful for this place I call home. I love Canada’s mountains, prairies, and beaches. I love that many Canadians speak English and French. I love how multicultural Canada is. I love how beautifully Canada wears all four seasons (okay, I’m not that big of a fan of the winter part). I love that we are known to be polite and welcoming people. I love our access to healthcare and education. I love our diversity, and the fact that most of our grandparents are from elsewhere- Canadians by choice. I love our music, festivals, maple syrup. I love that Canadians are free to express their political and social concerns without fear of reprisal.

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Healing Through Art

Human trafficking survivors often have experienced traumatic physical and sexual violence that can result in layers of hidden wounds after they have left their situation. The emotional and mental effects can be persistent and devastating, raising the challenges in providing adequate mental health treatment and trauma-informed services.

Although mental health care is a complex industry on its own, with limited availability and access to appropriate services, shame and guilt are typically the most common barriers preventing victims from seeking mental health services. To overcome these challenges and the stigma surrounding cultural and community sensitivity, many organizations such as Save the Children and Human Rights Watch are weaving art therapy with mental health care to complement holistic care and healing.

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An Introduction to the CyberTipline

At Dressember, one of our main missions is to raise awareness on the issue of human trafficking, because we know that a large component in the fight to end slavery is to know the signs of trafficking.

In the United States, there is the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Hotline, but another resource to utilize is the CyberTipline, which aims to protect children from the risks that result from the exploitation that exists on the internet. This includes access to illegal content, chat room messages, or unwanted emails.

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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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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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Let's TED Talk: Stop One, Save Hundreds

Wanna learn about space technology? Satiate your curiosity about curiosity (curious isn’t it)? Discover the science of flirting? Get a crash course on the power of vulnerability? Many of us have heard of or seen TED Talks on topics such as the above and on scores more (think gumballs to neuroscience to global issues). Perhaps you chanced on one while scrolling through social media or YouTube, or maybe a friend or family member told you about a TED Talk you absolutely-must-watch-if-it’s-the-last-thing-you-do (or, *cough* me *cough,* you’ve been that friend or family member). In any case, TED Talks often leave viewers with new insight and inspiration, and Richard Lee’s powerful TED Talk on ending slavery proves to be no exception. 

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Bring the Dressember 5k to Your City

For the past five years, the Dressember campaign and thousands of advocates have shown the world you can do anything in a dress. Now, in our first Spring event ever, we're putting our money where our mouth is and running a 5K in dresses (and ties).

If you're joining us in Southern California, we can't wait to see you sporting your dresses and ties at iconic Griffith Park. Be sure to purchase your ticket for the event. Kids under 12 run for free!

If you're not joining us in Los Angeles, then follow these three steps to join us from wherever you are!

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"Call and Response": A Review

Today, thanks to cell phones, we have information in the palm of our hands. Ask a question, and in less than a second, you can have an answer from multiple sources. So why does human trafficking go unrecognized in our world? Justin Dillon wanted to find an answer and took a leap by creating a documentary while utilizing the power of music to connect with the audience. He called it a “rockumentary”.

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Ten Celebrities Using their Voice for Good!

10 million. That's the average number of followers that a celebrity has on just one social media platform at any given time. How often do we look to our favourite actors and actresses, singers, and storytellers for insight into what's going on in the world, for cues and clues as to what we should be watching out for or taking a stand against? If you're like me then the answer is probably every time you scroll through Facebook or Instagram. We live in a socially charged world where people are beginning to say, “We've had enough; this has to stop!” in regards to many human rights issues. That's why it's so amazing to see so many influential people stepping up and speaking out about hard topics such as human trafficking and sexual assault and harassment. Below are 10 such celebrities who are using their voices and fame to bring attention to these issues:

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TED Talks that Voice the Problem of Modern Slavery

Here, at Dressember, we strive to advocate for modern day slavery and empower you, our advocates, with information to help bring this complex topic to light. To do this, we have to educate ourselves on the problem at hand, and one way to do this is by diving into the vast supply of TedTalks. We compiled a list of great public speakers and their messages to help you in your journey of advocacy.

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In It To End It

Awareness is the essential spark that has led to every good step in the fight for freedom. This is a central  attitude driving End It Movement, a coalition of 16 anti-human trafficking organizations that strives to creatively “shine a light on slavery.” The idea is simple yet effective: activists take over the internet on February 22--which has been designated as “End It Day”--every year by drawing a red “x” on their hand, snapping a photo, and posting on social media with the simple message that slavery is real, and they are in the fight to end it.

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Empower Her Network: Supporting Survivors on the Road to Independence

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” -Helen Keller

These words echo in the minds of activists across the globe. They also resonate strongly with Empower Her Network (EHN). Sprawled across their website amidst pink and orange power colors, EHN not only identifies with these words but is living proof of the power they hold. EHN is a testimony that collaboration and heart can achieve the unachievable and ultimately empower the women we are working to liberate from modern-day slavery. 

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Advocating at the Government Level

I'm scrolling the International Justice Mission (IJM) Instagram feed and I see another heart-breaking picture of a survivor of modern-day slavery. These very real, very strong overcomers have been subjected to unthinkable brutality, emotional abuse, and manipulation. Powerful criminals attempted to steal and exploit their very existence and in their cases, justice prevailed. The criminal is now behind bars because someone in the local government and legal system decided to take a stand for what is right. 

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kNOw MORE!: Tackling San Diego's Trafficking Problem through Forum Theatre

No more tears.

No more traps. No more dirty eyes. No more pretending. No more screams at night. No more being controlled. No more games. No more fears. No more wondering why. No more regret. No more pain. No more nasty hands on me. No more getting beat. No more baby girl. No more loneliness. No more sick creeps. No more lost boy. No more lost girl.

No more.

This is the goal of kNOw MORE!, a program focused on teaching middle and high school youth about human trafficking with the vision of eradicating this issue in San Diego County, California. kNOw MORE! is a program of the Center for Justice and Reconciliation at Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), located in San Diego, and developed in collaboration with the San Diego Human Trafficking Advisory Council network.

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An Advocate's Guide to Books

Calling all bookworms! Yes, I am talking to you, the one with 5 books on your bedside table and even more on your “list” waiting to be read. Because you can never have enough good reading material, we have compiled a list of books that are not only great reads but will also help you understand and fight modern slavery more effectively. Whether it’s a  gift for that fellow freedom fighter in your life, or a treat-yourself purchase, these books are must-reads to add to your reading list.

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