Following my first trip to Kenya and Tanzania in 2003, I returned home with a deep sense of purpose. I wasted no time in figuring out how to graduate high school early in order start attending college. Having seen first-hand some of the struggles and the resiliency of people in developing countries, I wanted my studies to be internationally and cross-culturally focused. So, at sixteen, I graduated and started going to Hope International University. During my time at Hope, I also began volunteering at an after-school program, working with first- and second-generation immigrant kids in a low-income neighborhood.
Upon graduation from Hope and at the recommendation of my academic advisor, I began attending Fuller Theological Seminary. It was there that I became further acquainted with social justice and more specifically, human trafficking. This particular injustice struck a chord with me, because it was at the cross-section of all of the other issues that were already close to my heart: poverty, race, culture, gender, immigration, and children at risk.
My interest in human trafficking culminated in my Master’s Thesis entitled: “The Sex Industry in Costa Rica and its Impact on Those Who Have Been Prostituted, Trafficked, and/or Sexually Exploited and Trauma Workers: Best Practices for Working with Traumatized People.” Since graduation in 2010, I have never stopped educating myself on the issue of Human Trafficking. This led me to work at the International Institute of Los Angeles (IILA)’s Anti-Human Trafficking Program in May 2013. My continuing work is on preventative and collaborative measures within the anti-human trafficking community.
So, why the blog?
To educate and to advocate. Since I have become known as the social justice guru amongst my friends and family, I want this blog to be a place where I can archive some of the information that is coming across my desk: policy changes, documentary screenings, volunteer opportunities, etc.
My friends and I often talk about these very issues and although I wish I could key you in every conversation that we have, this blog will have to suffice! I truly believe that we’re better together and much of what I’ll be writing about will have been deeply influenced by these conversations with my fellow freedom fighters.
To inspire. This blog will also be a place to share about my own social justice journey. Social justice, like faith, is not just cause. It’s a way of life. And as with anything in life, there are bumps and bruises along the way, but there are also a lot of beautiful victories. I look forward to sharing all of that with you!