So another week has come and gone, and with it the Not For Sale Campaign Investigator Academy! These past two weeks have been absolutely incredible, and I have loved the entire experience. The caliber of presenters and the relevance of the information presented has been amazing. I’m convinced I’ve learned more is these two weeks about the complexities of modern-day slavery than I did in my 6 month Masters Level Human Trafficking course! More importantly, I’ve been given tools I can use to effectively fight it.
I’ve really loved this week of the Academy. Kilian has done a fantastic job of putting together a teaching that addresses the hows and whys of researching supply chains and how we as consumers can effect change in business practices. It’s been a desire of mine for a while to become a smarter consumer and so this week has been beneficial for me personally as well. It’s so great having a resource like Free2Work to gain really valuable insights into some of our favorite companies and how they score when it comes to their supply chains and labour practices.
We heard from amazing speakers this week, and took a field trip out to Sonoma – a wine region here in Northern CA. We visited a group called La Luz who provide services for vineyard workers who need food, medical care, accommodation and legal services. Our host was a man named Mario who told his own story of being smuggled over the border from Mexico when he was 14 and how he not only survived, but fought for an education and now spends his life giving back to his community. It was incredibly inspirational and really highlighted the vulnerabilities of people who are, often times, essentially stateless and have no access to services others of us take for granted.
We also heard this week from Dan from ‘As You Sow’ – a Not for Profit organisation focused on addressing corporate environmental and social responsibility. He spoke to us about the issue of the cotton trade in Uzbekistan, and issue I had no idea about before, and was so shock at the conditions of the Uzbek people. There are some great videos out there outlining the whole issue and if any of you are interested in finding out more, I suggest you start here.
One of the other highlights of this week was getting to know a really great bunch of people who were doing the academy with me. They came from all over America and some even came from other countries. Again, it’s a real testament to the quality of Academy when you see the lengths people go to to get here. I’ve loved meeting them all and hearing their passion and ideas for how move forward in addressing human trafficking.
On the last day, on of the group (who is also a San Franciscan) took us downtown and showed us around a little bit. It was so nice actually getting to explore a bit and we ended up having an incredible meal followed by a walk up to Coit Tower with the most magnificent views over the city and the bay. I absolutely loved it and am loving the fact that I’m getting to see some of this fabulous city!
I’d love to hear from you all, and once again, thanks for your thoughts prayers and donations. Until next time.