There’s 12 week to go until Global Forum people!
While last week was very much ‘out’ of the office, this week was very much ‘in’ the office. We all started to get focused on our chosen platforms, and get to grips with the basics (and in some cases very advanced!) aspects of what we are going to be doing over the next 6 months. But mostly, I spent a lot of time inviting what felt like the world and their dog to Global Forum.
It was while I was listening to NFS Staff presentations at the academy last week, and trying to get all the different initiatives straight in my mind, that I realised ‘Not For Sale’ is really kind of like ‘the grout between the tiles’. If you stand back and look at a finished mosaic, you sometimes can’t even appreciate that the overall image is made up of tiny individual pieces. I think this is the case when you look at modern day slavery – the ‘big picture’ is absolutely enormous. There is no one solution, no one strategy, but many different action plans co-existing, overlapping, and coinciding, each simultaneously chiselling away at the issue.
The thing I appreciate about Not For Sale is that it is not exclusive. It does not try or claim to be single-handedly ending slavery in our lifetime. It is implementing ‘smart activism’ to bring together people and institutions, who are already working towards the same goal. Why re-invent the wheel?
So when I say that NFS is like ‘the grout between the tiles’, I mean, imagine that each individual tile is an element of society: a school, a church, an entrepreneur, a social justice student club, an accountant, a teacher, a group of legal advocates. Although they can all be abolitionists, what if they could work even more effectively by connecting to something larger? What if the church (who took part in Freedom Sunday) could be approached to host the visiting group of students (who are part of the Student Abolitionist Movement), that have accepted the invitation of the teacher (who went toGlobal Forum last year), to give a presentation on slavery to his class of highschoolers? What if the accountant (interested in Free 2 Work) could assist the legal advocates (part of a ZTC) with financial planning to perpetuate their campaign to see their state laws on trafficking updated? Or if a local event manager (interested in Free 2 play) worked with the local kindergarten parents to host a fundraiser (to raise money for an NFS international project)? The possibilities are endless….
From what I understand, ‘Not For Sale’ is aiming to cover all the bases with existing resources, and create initiatives to fill the gaps that do exist. To find representation in all spheres of society, so that all spheres of society can be saturated with the same message:
I am not for sale.
You are not for sale.
No one should be for sale.
Tiles can still be individual tiles if they choose, but they are missing out on being part of the bigger picture.
And so…back to my week…I can honestly say that I don’t mind sending out e-mail after e-mail, and calling people up with the same message time after time to invite them to Global Forum. As time consuming and tiring as it is, if it means that more tiles have the opportunity to be part of the mosaic, then it’s totally worth it.