Human trafficking does not discriminate: What I learned about human trafficking in my county

Riverside County, the fourth largest out of all fifty-eight counties in the state of California, is home to approximately 2.4 million people. Recently, it became an increasingly popular place of residence for its convenience to places like: Big Bear Mountains, Palm Springs desert area, the Southern California beach cities, and Los Angeles. Known for its centralized location, Riverside County seems like the place to be.

What could ever be wrong?

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How I used the Cladwell App for Dressember

Last fall, I was introduced to the Cladwell App (only available on iOS). If you've never heard of the Cladwell app it is like having a stylist in your pocket. And as a stylist, I appreciate not having to overthink my own outfits and wanted a fun and interesting way to put Dressember outfits together all December long.

Here are a few of my favorite looks from this last Dressember, some were suggestions from Cladwell, others I changed for a Custom Outfit mostly to accommodate for the cold weather:

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A guide to raising little advocates

Preschoolers are often overwhelmed. They cry when their friends cry and they laugh uncontrollably when their friends tell a joke - and most times they don’t even know why. Children are filled with empathy; they engage in the feelings of others, they sympathize quickly, and they are incredibly observant. These are all the qualities of a fierce advocate - people who see others and people who care. There were days, though, when I wondered how to practically encourage advocacy within them.

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How Buying for Babies Can Be Good For Mothers

2019 will be my first Mother’s Day as a mother, which I’ll celebrate with my husband and newborn. As I prepare for my infant’s arrival, I am grateful for ways to support mothers throughout the world whose work allows them to provide for their children and take care of themselves, as well.

Below are three companies whose creations I’m dreaming of having in my nursery.

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A Letter from the Dressember Team on Foster Care Awareness Month

I don’t know about you, but May is always a whirlwind month. It’s a grand flurry of graduation parties, Mother’s Day, and spring cleaning. But for the Dressember team this year, May has brought us to a pause and taken on a new meaning; and it has to do with something we typically don’t think about in connection with human trafficking; Foster Care.

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Your Kids Take Everything In -- And with You as a Mom, That's a Good Thing

We are raising our children in a time of change — a time when injustice, abuse of power, and exploitation are coming into the limelight. We can no longer escape the reality of how normalized these atrocities are. Young and old, rich and poor, average and powerful — we have seen that any person can use any ounce of power they have to dehumanize and abuse.

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Foster kids are at a high risk for trafficking, but there's something we can do to help

How many young people who are exploited by human trafficking and slavery can relate to the feeling of their whole world being turned upside down? Those who exploit the innocent know how to prey on the vulnerable. Young people in the foster care system are primed to fall victim: no one looking out for them; moving from place to place; and feeling like their value is in the money the government pays to those who are to be caring for them. Their lives can be filled with trauma. They don’t know anything different.

But what if it could be different? How are these young people to protect themselves and overcome the obstacles in their path? Here is the first hand account of one such warrior.

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KnowTheChain: The Importance of Knowing the Supply Chain in a Company

KnowTheChain is a project undertaken by Humanity United in partnership with the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Sustainalytics, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and Verité that acts as a valuable resource “for companies and investors to understand and address forced labor risks within their global supply chains.”

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From Survivor to Thriver: How Point Loma Nazarene University is helping survivors thrive

She’s standing outside in the hustle of the city. She is wearing a short red dress––thin and tight to her body––and the wind causes the hairs on her arms to rise. Or maybe this is the nerves. There are men who caress her figure with their eyes. She feels dirty for simply standing. She feels stuck in this grime. She feels that she cannot run or scream, because her voice will merely melt into the night. And then a miracle happens: it takes only one second, and one man is asking if she is alright, is telling her that he is a policeman here to bring her to safety. She goes with him, and thus begins her years of recuperation.

She is a survivor.

But what happens next? Where will she work? How will she fit herself back into society? How can she feel human again?

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A Spotlight on Fair Trade Company: Matr Boomie

Matr Boomie translates to “Motherland” in Hindi. With that being the name of their organization, they very clearly value their motherland, and show that love by honoring their roots through connecting people in order to make sustainable, unique and ethical items for people all over the world. Matr Boomie is a Fair Trade brand that strives for a more compassionate, kind and connected world through empowering and educating disadvantaged artisans. Not only do they pay fair wages, but they also invest in development projects, healthcare, education, skills training, loan programs and scholarships for women, minorities and people with special needs.

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How is climate change contributing to human trafficking?

What do you think makes a person vulnerable to human trafficking? My initial thoughts are situations like monetary stress, previous abuse, homelessness, and personal crises. But there is one large contributor to human trafficking that is often overlooked: Climate change.

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A Review of DoneGood: A One-Stop Shop for Ethical Shopping

DoneGood was born out of the idea that this purchasing power could be harnessed and used to create good for people and the planet. Through aggregating data from ethical certifiers like Fair Trade and B Lab, as well as conducting research of their own, DoneGood discovers ethical brands and features them and their products on the DoneGood platforms. Schwarz says their goal is to “create a one-stop shop” where consumers can go to find an ethically-produced version of whatever it is they’re looking for. In the four years since DoneGood started, they’ve partnered with over 300 ethical brands and helped divert over $500,000 of consumer dollars to them.

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How to talk to Your Kids about Stranger Danger without Freaking them Out

This concept is often called “stranger danger,” but as I prepare for these conversations with my son, I’m realizing the importance of teaching a more nuanced approach than just avoiding unknown people. After all, some strangers are safe, while, unfortunately, some people our children could come into contact with are not. As I’ve researched and talked to friends, I’ve learned a few tips to help empower our children to keep themselves safe around adults, both known and unknown, who might not have their best interests at heart.

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