This is where you can get any information from our past meetings. If you missed any meetings, read our meeting summaries and look at our pictures here!
Dear HRF community,
This past Wednesday, November 9th, we have our third full Forum meeting. As it was the day after the elections, everyone was still digesting the results.
We started off our meeting talking about the election and our thoughts. Our members expressed their reactions and how they feel going forward. Diana and Emily shared their experiences as first time voters, saying how they tried to keep up with the election process by watching the debates and reading articles because they knew they would vote.
I tried to be a light. Personally, the election shocked me in a way I couldn't have predicted and I am still recovering. I came to school on Wednesday feeling very discouraged and depressed. But as they day went on and the HRF members shared their thoughts, I realized that our passion for our work should only be stronger. Our work is more important than ever. It is our job to continue to speak up for those whose voices aren't heard and for those whose rights are threatened. We also need to remember to respect opinions different from our own and to engage in peaceful conversations with people, to avoid inflicting more hate. I ask you to keep moving forward and fighting for what's right.
As our theme was human rights issues in the USA, we talked about a problem that is actually quite difficult to discuss: human trafficking, also known as modern slavery.
Human trafficking victims have no freedoms of their own and are considered the property of their traffickers. There are more than 20.9 million victims of this worldwide. Texas is the state in the US with the 2nd most reported cases of sex trafficking. This stuff happens VERY close to home and you should all be aware of it!
In fact, a few weeks ago, Carrollton police caught a sex trafficking suspect at the InTown Suites less than 5 minutes away from our school! Here's the news article to that if you want to learn more: http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2016/10/26/police-shoot-kill-suspect-in-carrollton/
Please be aware of the signs of a potential victim so that you can report him/her to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Or text HELP to: BeFree (233733). Victims usually don't leave home or go around as they please; they may appear malnourished or show signs of physical/sexual abuse; and they may lack a knowledge of their whereabouts.
Please know that you cannot just approach a potential victim because they will be subject to more violence if they try to escape their servitude. The safest thing to do is to report them.
Also, you can be an informed and conscientious consumer. Maybe companies employ slaves to do their work. You can use http://www.slaveryfootprint.org/ or the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor to learn more.
We did a really cool activity at the end of our meeting where everyone wrote their favorite right or created their own right on scroll cutouts. A collage of our work can be found along with other pictures from the meeting below.
Also, if you want a shirt, let us know now! Design can be found here.
Your fellow warrior, Lamisa Mustafa