What happens when you combine wanderlust, a love of Mexican food, and creative talent all in one person? You get Holly Dunn of course. She’s a post-production specialist by day, and Dressember editorial intern by night. When she’s not hiking the local Santa Monica trails or painting with watercolours, she’s using her stellar writing skills to share stories and raise awareness about the weighty subject of human trafficking. After seeing her friend participate in a Dressember campaign two years ago, she looked into what Dressember stood for and quickly knew that she had to become a part of this amazing movement and organization.
This past year was her first time participating as an advocate, and it was seeing the underwhelming amount of understanding about this injustice that sparked her passion for those trapped in human trafficking. So this pants-loving woman packed away her beloved jeans and donned a dress for the 31 days of December. Through all of the innovative accessorizing, and continual laundering of little black dresses, the one thing that kept Holly going all month was the realisation that there are real people affected by human trafficking every day. They aren’t just statistics or numbers on a sheet; they are living, breathing people with a name, a heart, and a story. With this in mind, she wore a dress every day and endured slight discomfort for that one little girl out there who is experiencing something no one should ever have to. Through humbling and eye-opening conversations with friends and strangers alike about human trafficking, Holly not only brings attention to this often overlooked cause, but she passes on her passion and fervour to every person she comes in contact with.
Through all of the innovative accessorizing, and continual laundering of little black dresses, the one thing that kept Holly going all month was the realisation that there are real people affected by human trafficking every day.
While many people are mildly aware that human trafficking occurs in other parts of our world, many are astonished that it happens right here in our own backyard. Most people would feel crushed by the overwhelming silence surrounding this atrocity, but it’s that silence that fuels Holly’s passion for justice. During her time participating in the Dressember campaign this past year, she said that oftentimes when she would talk to people about trafficking they quickly equated it to the movie Taken. However Holly wanted them to know that it’s not just a plot device but an industry that racks in billions of dollars annually and that it’s a crisis that needs to be spoken about.
When you meet Holly there’s no doubt that she is passionate about shining a light in the darkness and helping people open their eyes to the injustices happening in their own backyards. From joining in at the Dressember kick-off party, to advocating all December long, to using her creative talents to bring awareness to others as an intern, Holly puts her heart and soul into everything that she does.
She admits that the fact that “We are in the 21st century with smartphones, Netflix, and self-driving cars yet slavery still exists. I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea that people out there deem this as acceptable.” Rather than standing by and waiting for someone else to take a stand, Holly hopes to inspire others to speak up for those who have been silenced by taking the first step herself. She has a strong desire to encourage others to not just wait for something to happen but to join in and make waves, even if they start as ripples.
“We are in the 21st century with smartphones, Netflix, and self-driving cars yet slavery still exists. I just can’t wrap my mind around the idea that people out there deem this as acceptable.”
During her time so far as an editorial intern, Holly has brought light and truth to the injustice of human trafficking. The fact that millions of people are currently enslaved no longer daunts her, instead it pushes her forward in her advocacy. She confesses that “It’s easy to feel like as one person, change is impossible. This internship has taught me that if you just reach one person, then you are taking steps towards a brighter future. We can’t put survivors or victims into numbers and statistics. They have a name, a story, a life and a purpose.” Rather than shy away from this dark topic, Holly runs towards it bringing light to an otherwise hopeless situation. And through her light others are able to see and join in the fight to end modern-day slavery as well.
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About the Author
Katherina Toews sees the world mostly from between the ears of a horse, and wouldn’t want it any other way. She believes that there is nothing that can’t be fixed by sharing tea, chocolate chip cookies, and a good black and white movie with friends. Katherina is currently working outdoors helping people realize their full potential with the assistance of horses.