Letter from Masanjia: A Story of Resiliency

Storytelling has long been a part of the human experience. Although the mediums and technologies have changed, their immense power to impact us remains. Documentaries are a particularly powerful form of storytelling. They have the power to appeal to our humanity, awaken our sense of empathy, and touch our souls. Letter from Masanjia does just that.

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"Food Chains" unveils the true cost of fresh food

Food Chains calls us to be a part of the stories of the many hands that go into our fresh produce by not being passive, silent, or ignoring the suffering that they experience. We already are a part of this system that exploits, but we also are a part of a community that can see change happen for the most vulnerable populations of our society.

So, how can we do this?

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Is it better to buy locally or globally?

If I were to have you take a survey that asked you where you buy your products, what would your answers be? Do you buy primarily from local vendors––small boutiques, farms, family-owned businesses––or do you buy products made abroad? Do you find yourself shopping on Amazon for the cutest (and cheapest) styles, or would you rather go to a store around the block from your home? Do you include a mix of both? The deeper question is, which is better?

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Is There Child Labor in the Fashion Industry?

It can be difficult to believe truths that we aren’t familiar with - to accept a reality that seems so far out of touch from our own. When my hands were half of the size they are now, I used them to play basketball with my friends. My small hands guided me in my homework assignments, they supported me while I did handstands and cartwheels and swung on the monkey bars. My small hands did what small hands were supposed to do and for that, I am grateful. Around 170 million pairs of little hands around the world don’t have the same function as mine once did. Almost 11% of the world’s children are involved in child labor.

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Buyers of trafficking victims can be anyone. Here is why we need to hold them accountable.

The law of supply and demand requires both a buyer and a seller in order for a transaction to occur. The same applies in the sex industry.

We’ve already discussed the typical demographic of sex traffickers––romantic partners, deceitful bosses, and anyone that has convinced victims that they can be trusted––but what about buyers of sex? Who are these people that purchase other people for their own greedy, lustful desires?

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Fight & Flight: How Delta is Combating Trafficking

Human trafficking is rife in the travel industry, with airports serving as common hubs for the transport of people for exploitation. Between 2011 and 2017, the National Human Trafficking Hotline received reports of 269 cases of human trafficking which referenced intersections with airlines or airports. Within the last seven years, Delta Airlines has taken action, realizing the role that airlines can play in the fight to end human trafficking.

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The Link Between LGBTQ Youth and Human Trafficking

The United Nations reports that nearly 1.8 million children (individuals under the age of 18) are trafficked into the global sex trade each year. The children enslaved in the human trafficking industry face endless abuse, discrimination, and neglect as traffickers prey on their naiveté and innocence. The numbers of children affected by the sex industry are even more staggering for the LGBTQ community (those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning). LGBTQ youth are disproportionately affected by violence and stigmatization, making them more susceptible to the coercive influences of human trafficking.

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So, What does Slavery have to do with Makeup?

When I shop for makeup, I consider several different things: Is it all natural? Does the makeup company test on animals? However, I never stop too long to think about how makeup is made. If you’re anything like me, you enjoy wearing makeup that may have some shimmer to it. Although it makes us feel pretty and boosts our confidence, most shimmery makeup contains an ingredient called mica - an ingredient often available as a result of labor trafficking.

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Social Media: Making Targeting Easier for Human Traffickers

In our current digital age, social media makes the world go round. There are so many online outlets that are used in order for us to remain in contact with our friends and family like: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. According to the Polaris Project, the internet has dramatically reshaped how we buy and sell things, including each other.

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He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not: The Lover Boy Scenario

He is everything she has ever wanted. Until he’s not. He tells her that she owes him for all of the nice dinners, clothing, jewelry, and their apartment’s rent. He tells her that she has to go inside, give herself up to paying men, and bring him the cash. He threatens to hurt her parents and her little sister if she doesn’t. She is confused and trapped, but she shuffles her feet through the front door, and then the bedroom door, and then her dress is slid up and there’s another man on top of her. It happens so fast. Just a moment later, she’s back in the car with $350 rolled up in her hand. And she and the love of her life drive away.

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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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