When I first was faced with the stories of girls and boys who had been trafficked during my junior year of high school, I was completely dumbfounded. I didn’t realize how many people were victims of this form of modern day slavery, and I definitely didn’t realize that the victims of this crime were often my age or younger. They could be my best friend, my neighbor, my cousin, even the person I sit next to in class.
With this new knowledge came the responsibility to act. Something shifted inside of me, and I knew that I had to get involved. After learning more about the issue, I came to understand that human trafficking is such a unique problem that the world faces today. Unlike disease or natural disasters, it is something that one human being intentionally inflicts upon another. Bringing an end to human trafficking is not a matter of finding a new vaccine or trying to better predict weather patterns; it is about changing the mindsets of people around the world, asking them to enter into the shoes of the victims in an effort to stop the perpetrators.
This is what iEmpathize is able to do so beautifully. Through their captivating photographs, exhibits and films, they are able to engage an audience in a way that not only allows them to better understand a complex issue through an empathetic approach, but provides them with an opportunity to become part of the solution. The work that iEmpathize is doing is enormously important and impactful, and I am so humbled and proud to be a supporter.