College Station, Texas might seem an unlikely place to begin a campaign against modern day world-wide slavery, but Lake Highlands High School graduate Travis Crawford and his Aggie friends are doing exactly that, and, as their Freedom Movement catches on, students at more than 40 universities around the country are joining their cause.
“What many don’t know is that slavery still exists today and is more powerful than ever,” Travis told me after attending a conference and hearing a woman recently rescued from the slave trade. She was a teenage girl living in Carrollton before she was kidnapped, taken across the country and enslaved as a prostitute. “While this issue seems detached from our normal life in Dallas,” said Travis, “it is a relevant issue happening all around us.”
Freedom Movement will consist of a week-long campus campaign April 23-27 much like a political campaign, athletic promotion or sorority fundraiser, with colorful signs, manned tables and a variety of events throughout the week. Students like Travis, with training and a passion for the cause, will speak to other students in order to raise awareness, raise money and raise opportunities for people to get involved. There will also be extensive use of social media to spread their message: Uniting a generation to demand freedom for the least of these.
If you’d like to support the cause, Travis invites you to purchase a Freedom Movement t-shirt (shown) using this online link. “T-shirt sales will not only help raise money but will become walking reminders of this issue around Lake Highlands and other communities,” added Travis. They’re also selling a CD on iTunes made by college artists called “A Brighter Light.”
There are 27 million slaves in the world today, including an estimated 1.2 million children trafficked each year. About 15,000 people are brought into the U.S. as slaves each year, with 95% of the victims experiencing physical or sexual violence. “It’s our hope that this doesn’t become something that just happens on a college campus and ends,” said Travis, “but is very much a wide-sweeping movement that reaches many people.”