Slave Free Austin by Kevin Austin...

by Kevin Austin on July 30th, 2010

This month’s guest blog is by a new friend to Restore Austin and Austin New Church, Kevin Austin. Kevin is the director of the Abolitionist Faith Community, of Not for Sale Campaign. Over the past two months Restore Austin and Austin New Church has spent a lot of time building a partnership with Not For Sale. We are excited to see this relationship develop deeper as we work together for a Slave Free Austin and a Slave Free World!


Here is Kevin’s blog:

There are more slaves in the world today than at any other point in human history. Real slaves – unable to walk away – forced to work under the threat of violence or provide services without pay. Slavery permeates everything from our cell phones, to our clothing, to our coffee, chocolate, and tires. Slavery is not just an “over there” issue of poor Thai girls in forced prostitution or child soldiers in Uganda. It exists in our backyards, in our own cities and suburbs. The U.S. State Department, in their annual Trafficking In Persons Report, states that at least 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States every year.

Slavery certainly exists in and around Austin. What then is to be done?

First, denial of slavery is unacceptable. Equally unacceptable is the thought that we are powerless against it. Slavery exists. The horror of the situation should not leave us numb, shocked out of our senses, but should instead propel us into action. We can do something about it. The abolitionist movement of the 19th century, in one generation, challenged the enormous, entrenched business of slavery and abolished it. We can do the same. We can re-abolish slavery in our lifetime.

Second, learning more and being fully aware is necessary. Visiting a website like the Not For Sale Campaign is a good beginning. There are many good books and sources of information available. Not everyone will want to study and learn everything there is to know, but we do need some who can speak with knowledge about the issues.

Third, being a voice in the community is necessary. Chambers of Commerce, our faith communities, politicians, business leaders, friends, family, and our public schools should all be challenged to explore the issues and take concrete steps to protect the vulnerable, prosecute the perpetrators, create just laws, and unite our entire society against this evil. It will take everyone working together to create new futures for the vulnerable.

Fourth, moving beyond awareness and talk to action is imperative. Talk will not change things. Books will not change things. Statistics are cold and lifeless. Churches preaching and singing, soccer moms casting votes, politicians creating laws, neighbors changing their lifestyles, city counsels providing services – these things create change. Slow but steady change is necessary.

Fifth, meeting with those who are deeply concerned and ready to take action may be the first step of all the steps to take. Faith Communities should be encouraged to create opportunities during the year to gather everyone together and strategize how best to make Austin slave free. What does that look like? How do you do it? When? Who are the major players?

The issue of modern slavery affects us all. Our businesses are deeply impacted, our families are at risk, and our morality is challenged. Slavery is one of the highest money making criminal activities in the world. We are, essentially at war. Having this frame of thought and the actions that accompany it will help us all win the battle. For the sake of our communities and families; for the sake of all God’s created ones everywhere, let us fix our mind and shape our actions. Let us re-abolish slavery in our cities, counties, states, and nation and oppose the evil overseas as well.

Let us be a community characterized by these words: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31: 8 & 9)

For more see: www.notforsalecampaign.org and www.freedomsunday.org. Also take a few seconds and download the Modern-Slavery.



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