The Holy Cross Coalition for Students Against Human Trafficking held an event titled “Wearing Their Misery: The Realities of Human Trafficking in Our Supply Chain” in Kimball Quad. The event, part of the Not For Sale national campaign, “is aimed at raising awareness of forced labor and child labor — two of the many forms of modern day slavery — in the supply chain,” said Matt Harper ’11. The theme of the event and the future work of the coalition is “It is time to stop paying for slavery.”
Four of the members of the coalition volunteer their time to making bracelets. “What was originally intended to be a simulated garment factory became a means for students to celebrate their freedom by remembering those who live enslaved throughout the world,” said Harper.
Students “work to raise awareness of the often unseen realities behind the goods and products our nation consumes and, in some situations, produces,” explains Harper. The effort to raise awareness was matched by a similar event on the campus of the University of San Francisco, where Not for Sale originated.
Between 300 and 400 bracelets were created by more than 100 students and faculty members in the nine hours spent working on Kimball Quad, according to Harper. “The bracelets were handed out to students to encourage active and conscious consumerism based on the fact that one never truly knows if he or she is ‘wearing someone’s misery,’ said Harper.
At the close of the event, a “Vigil for the Enslaved” was held to remember the estimated 27 million men, women and children (represented with 27 candles) who currently find themselves in slavery today.
Rev. James Hayes, S.J., rector of the Jesuit community and associate chaplain, reflects before the vigil begins. He concluded the prayer in memory of those in slavery.
Jamee Herbert ’10 leads the vigil, encouraging students to consider and be cognizant of how they are often unconsciously perpetuating human slavery simply by the decisions they make as consumers.
The group pauses for a moment of quiet reflection.
Candles burn brightly over pictures of modern day slaves.