Wow! All I can say is that this has been a week to remember. I have learned so much, been challenged like never before, and even slept an hour or so. This week, I was able to attend the Not For Sale Abolitionist Investigator Academy taught by Don Batstone and Dennis Mark. The purpose of the San Francisco Abolitionist Academy is to “educate individuals about the global, national, state, and local problem of human trafficking and modern-day slavery”. 40 hours of intensive training that teaches you how to investigate, research, document, and map human trafficking, all around us. I never knew that there was so much to learn past what I had already known about human trafficking.
It is easy to say that human trafficking is in our own back yard, but there is so much more to that. Human trafficking can literally be across the street in your neighbor’s home, your favorite diner, or even at your local hair salon. At the academy, we were taught to look for the “low hanging fruit” all around us in high Probability locations. We were also taught to look for obvious red flag behaviors for human trafficking and taught how to deal with the information that we receive. Together the information that we learned this week can truly help us to be more than just an abolitionist…we can now be smart activist with the tools to actually help fight human trafficking in the community around us.
The 40 hours of intensive training truly took a toll on each one of us. Each day, we would come home and just crash for the night. So much information being absorbed all week and I know my body just needed a break at the end of each day. All I can say though is that it was completely worth it and I am truly thankful that I got the chance to experience it. If you really want to do more with the movement and you really want to make a difference, I suggest attending one of the Academies offered by Not For Sale. Not because I am biased but because you will actually love it and be able to use the tools and knowledge that they give you! Check it out: www.NFSAcademy.org.
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