Sexually-based human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children is happening in our community and it’s important we know how to recognize it, prevent it and STOP IT! (Trigger Warning)

Happy Soul Food Friday for the Week of UN Day,

The 71st anniversary of the United Nations as a force for global peace and progress.
http://www.unfoundation.org/

The UN has done so much to advance human rights. Their new global goals for sustainable development could transform our world by 2030, from ending poverty to empowering girls and women to promoting peace to protecting the planet from climate change.

Speaking of empowering girls and women, this week’s Soul Food Friday is dedicated to just that- with one specific and horrific issue- Sex Trafficking

Sexual exploitation in the form of sexually-based human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children is happening right here in our community, (and probably yours) and it’s time we know how to recognize it, prevent it and STOP IT!

This is sexism at its worst and gender based violence that is simply intolerable…

This past weekend, The Alliance 4 Empowerment and UC San Diego hosted the Global Empowerment Summit 2016 to generate awareness for, and to identify effective solutions to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation both here in San Diego and beyond.

De-stigmatizing this issue in the same way the AIDs movement or the Breast Cancer movement have done with previous social justice and public health issues will be critical to creating any real and permanent change and will require all of us!

Sadly, each year, over 20 million people are victims of human trafficking, forced labor or sexual exploitation.

It’s a $150 billion industry and every dollar is fueled by someone’s pain. That is someone’s daughter, sister, mother or friend.

Incredibly, the most likely abuser is someone in the victim’s trust environment, not some random stranger unless purchased sex is part of the equation.

Don’t be fooled. This can happen to anyone
Here are some of the stories beyond the statistics…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sb5DsZ_O-NQ

10-28-16-1
Sign on a street corner in Copenhagen

We have to address the demand side of this issue.
If there were no buyers, this would end.
This means a wholesale systems change and new social narrative that stops blaming girls and making excuses for boys
Buyers Beware… There are stings in place to catch you

Education is key, beginning with effecting parenting and extending throughout our lives.
We need to raise decent men while empowering women.
Let’s come up with a replacement word for bystander. There is no by-standing for that implies tolerating and that is unconscionable…
Wake up, Speak out, Make your community aware of this issue- today!
Through teaching we can touch eternity…

For more on San Diego’s local efforts to address this issue head on, learn about The Ugly Truth campaign.
Please share this with families, friends and neighbors:
http://theuglytruthsd.org/
Call 1-888-373-7888 or Text BeFree (233733)

Campus Climate:
College campus statistics on this subject are sobering and not part of the educational experience we want for our kids.
Here is what UC San Diego is doing with the Its On Us White House Champion of Change Initiative
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlVDQf23bzY

A World Without Exploitation:
The movement to end human trafficking and sexual exploitation is a powerful resource if you want to help catalyze a change
http://www.worldwithoutexploitation.org/
Read their stories…
http://www.worldwithoutexploitation.org/stories

Note: Local Leaders are working on Legislation
The first round was recently vetoed by the Governor of California but there is an advocacy movement underfoot that will not be denied.
Stay current on the legislative opportunities to support this cause…

For more on the Alliance 4 Empowerment Summit:
The Alliance 4 Empowerment (A4E) is a non-profit organization created to empower underserved people with the universal opportunity to live with dignity, self-esteem, respect and love, in the San Diego region and beyond. Our goal is to create inspired, innovative & inclusive communities that are sustainable economically, socially and environmentally, and to develop platforms for full participation of women and youth globally.

A4E provides a hand up instead of a hand out, ensuring recipients thrive through the power of Social Credit loans, rather than a historical dependency on charity.  This unique model strives to overcome poverty at the root level through a more efficient use of capital and innovation. Our primary focus is building financially inclusive communities, by helping hard-working individuals develop their existing skills into profitable, self-sustaining small businesses, in a nurturing, loving and supportive environment.

To attain this goal, A4E partners with existing community organizations. Instead of working in silos, A4E  collaborates with other effective nonprofits to identify as well as work with qualified social entrepreneurs to leverage global connections with the expertise to enable them to maximize their impact, increase employment and use resources sustainably. Knowing that access to affordable quality health care is essential for communities to thrive economically and socially, A4E advocates for community access to quality healthcare and wellness programs, that contribute to long-term growth and prosperity.
Consider joining or making a contribution…
http://www.alliance4empowerment.org/event/global-empowerment-summit/

Now the other myth that gets around is the idea that legislation cannot really solve the problem and that it has no great role to play in this period of social change because you’ve got to change the heart and you can’t change the heart through legislation.

You can’t legislate morals. The job must be done through education and religion. Well, there’s half-truth involved here. Certainly, if the problem is to be solved then in the final sense, hearts must be changed. Religion and education must play a great role in changing the heart. But we must go on to say that while it may be true that morality cannot be legislated, behavior can be regulated.

It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless.
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me but it can keep him from lynching me and I think that is pretty important.
So there is a need for executive orders. There is a need for judicial decrees.
There is a need for civil rights legislation on the local scale within states and on the national scale from the federal government.
–Taken from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s address at Western Michigan University, December 18, 1963

Our hearts goes out to the incredibly courageous and resilient women who shared their stories and transmuted their pain into learning for us all to address this important issue.
You raised us up!
You Raise Me Up with Manny Perlman:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEyQAfHXgdA

From last year’s Summit…
Ode to Empowerment, Owed to the ‘Heart-ist’ in YOU
Inspired by the Presenters at A4E

It’s not important what you look at,
What’s important is what you see,
See me, respect me, remember me. 

What good is sight, if you have no vision?
Realize, with re-a-l eyes,
There is no division.

Know your vision and stay true to it,
Through passion, purpose, and strategic partnership.
 Empower a compassion-based, kind comm-unity
Ennoble self-efficacy with universal access to opportunity 

See me, respect me, remember me,
My demography won’t determine MY destiny!

Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo
Our world so needs the transmutation in you.
To hide your pain is to hide your power,
This might be your finest hour.
That’ MY sister, MY daughter, MY kin, MY wife,
Love it. Own it. Elevate Your Life!

You are the change we wish to see,
Let’s manifest it thru A-4-E.
Remember lasting change comes from within,
I will stop now as time is running thin…

Your soul speaks.
Are you listening?
Your soul speaks.
Am I listening? 

Is your heart singing yet?

Thanks this week go to all who speak up for the disenfranchised, including the A4E team!

Pay it forward
Love,
Neville

In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then… they came for me. ..And by that time there was no one left to speak up. –Rev Martin Niemoller, January 1946

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