TED Talks that Voice the Problem of Modern Slavery

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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 on your journey of advocacy.

1. Blythe Hill, Founder of Dressember

“How a dress can change the world”

Of course we had to start off with a message from our founder herself. In this talk, Blythe talks about why she started Dressember, how a fashion challenge turned into a campaign, what Dressember has become and what it is doing to help fight human trafficking. 

2. Sunitha Krishnan, Anti-Trafficking Crusader

“The fight against sex slavery”

In this talk, Sunitha Krishnan talks about three separate impactful stories, including her own story of sexual assault. She has since dedicated her life towards ending sex slavery— she is the co-founder of Prajwala, a non-governmental organization that rescues victims of sex slavery, and works with them after the rescue to rehabilitate the victims. Krishnan wants to provide a human approach to rescuing women and children, as well as rebuilding their lives. 

3. Kevin Bales, Co-founder of Free the Slaves

“How to combat modern slavery”

Bales talks about his experiences with on-the-ground research and the business of modern slavery. By doing so, Bales uses the stats and numbers to convey the importance of fighting human trafficking and the price of freeing all slaves right now. 

4. Noy Thrupkaew, Global Journalist

“Human Trafficking is all around you. This is how it works.”

Thrupkaew takes a different approach in explaining slavery, and focuses mostly on labor trafficking. She talks about the ways that forced labor is hidden to keep our prices low as consumers. She pushes the audience to look at our daily lives --our manicures, food, etc.,and really challenge ourselves to look at where these products and services come from. 

5. Sheryl WuDunn, author of Half the Sky

“Our century’s greatest injustice”

In this talk, WuDunn specifically looks at the oppression of women globally. Women in third-world countries have less access to education and financial freedom, and Wudunn is raising awareness to help with the issue through her book, Half the Sky. WuDunn specifically tells stories of China, India and Saudi Arabia to paint a better picture of the injustices in the world. 

6. Jacqueline Novogratz, Investor and Advocate

“An escape from poverty”

In this talk, Novogratz talks about poverty— specifically in relation to a former prostitute, Jane, in a Nairobi slum who turned out to be HIV positive. Jane’s story of hardship and overcoming her traffickers, speaks for the countless number of others who hold on to dreams of escaping poverty and having a better life.

7. Lisa Kristine, Photographer

“Photos that bear witness to modern slavery.”

Kristine uses photos she has captured in over 70 countries to share the injustice happening throughout the world. She has visited miners in Congo, bricklayers in Nepal, children carrying stones in the Himalayas, and more. She shares the photos in an effort to put faces to the millions of individuals enslaved today.



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About the Author

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Miranda Lintzenich is an analog girl stuck in a digital world. A little quirkier than most, Miranda enjoys 70s music, odd clothing styles, working at her school newspaper and serving pizza on the side.