January 2019 Challenge for Social Justice

Registration for our January 2019 Challenge for Social Justice is now open. To expand upon our annual Virtual 5k race that takes place every January, the goal of this challenge is to create a grassroots movement to raise awareness of human trafficking, in support of Free To Run Foundation’s partner organizations fighting trafficking in locations around the world. How you decide to challenge yourself in January is up to you. If running or walking is something you normally do, you can pick a day to run or walk a 5 km course wherever you are (aka, a virtual 5k), or you can recruit some friends, family and co-workers and do a 5k together. Or, if you practice yoga, get together with some of your friends and offer a yoga class, and dedicate a few minutes of the class to share about human trafficking. Free To Run can provide you with talking points and other helpful resources, and if you’d like to have others in your community join you, we can list your event or activity on our website.

How you challenge yourself in January to raise awareness of social justice is up to you. As an individual or as a group, whatever skills or talents you have, something that you’re passionate about, or something you want to do to challenge yourself or to go outside of your comfort zone, you can do something that you can use to draw attention to and educate others about human trafficking.

To register for our 5k Race for Hope on New Year’s Day in Troy, Ohio, the Virtual 5k Race, or the January Challenge, go to the following website:

http://www.runsignup.com/january2019challenge

 

Help Us Shine a Light on Slavery

The End It Movement is a coalition of some of the world’s leading anti-trafficking organizations, like Free the Slaves, International Justice Mission, Not for Sale, and Polaris. Each year, they establish one day to Shine a Light on Slavery, and this year, that day is Thursday, February 22. We are participating in this worldwide day of awareness by encouraging all of our supporters to post on social media on 2/22 using End It’s red X. You can draw an X on your hand, like our ambassador Juli did in a previous year, or you can create an image using a digital X from End It’s website. When you post a picture, be sure to use hash tag #enditmovement, and tag Free To Run Foundation in the picture. We will re-post some pictures throughout the day. If you are on Facebook, join our Facebook event and invite others to Shine a Light on Slavery on February 22.

 

Ready To Do Something Great?

Although we’ve been quiet here on the blog lately, and sporadic on social media, we have been busy behind the scenes planning our end of year activities leading up to our January 2018 campaign. At the beginning of this month, we opened registration for our 11th annual 5k run/walk in Troy, Ohio, the World Race for Hope Troy. You can register for the event on our RunSignUp page here. Prices go up in mid-October and again in mid-September. We appreciate our long-time sponsors Concrete Sealants and Up and Running for supporting our race again this year. Proceeds from the Troy 5k will go towards anti-trafficking initiatives in the Dayton area, including supporting our local Rescue and Restore Coalition, Abolition Ohio, and Oasis House. A new option for the race this year is getting free registration if you commit to raising $100. Although fundraising is optional for participants, getting those funds above and beyond proceeds from the race help us to have an even bigger impact in the Dayton area.

We realize that getting up early on New Year’s Day to run or walk 3.1 miles does not appeal to everybody. Even if you live in the Dayton area, participating in a 5k in the winter may be out of the question. The Virtual 5k option is our attempt to reach those people outside of the Dayton area, as well as those who want to support the cause, but will do the 5k on their terms. When you sign up for the virtual race, you can help Free To Run spread awareness of human trafficking by sharing your participation with your friends, family and co-workers, and then running or walking a 5k anytime, anywhere during the month of January. If you choose to purchase a shirt, we will mail it to you by end of December if you registered prior to 12/15. Any registrations with a shirt purchase after that will have the shirts mailed in January. Registration for the virtual race is through the same Troy race registration page.

Why is January such an important month for Free To Run Foundation? The first and most obvious reason is that January is recognized as National Slavery Prevention and Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Like many other human rights and social justice issues, human trafficking deserves attention throughout the year, and there are other days and events that generate increased focus. January, and New Year’s Day in particular, is a time to start fresh, reset your priorities, and focus on making positive changes in the year ahead. This January, we want to reach more people across the country, perhaps even outside of this country, and challenge them to Do Something Great. Join our campaign to help shine a light on social justice and human rights issues, including human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual assault, education and empowerment for girls around the world, and many other issues (unfortunately there’s no shortage of human rights issues around the world.) Signing up for the Do Something Great Challenge is free, and like the 5k and Virtual Race, fundraising is option. Everybody who signs up will receive a Live A Great Story sticker to encourage sharing our campaign on social media and inspiring others. There will also be fundraising incentives, and we hope to announce a very special incentive later this month. There are two ways to sign up for the challenge: through our Troy/Virtual Race registration page, or join the campaign on Crowdrise. In the coming weeks and months, we will highlight some of our charity partners that will benefit from our campaign, and share some different ways you can raise awareness and make a difference. We will also publish a list of any events planned by our supporters that you can use to accomplish the challenge. Feel free to send suggestions to us!

Cupcakes Can Change The World

Yes, you read the title correctly. Cupcakes can change the world, but that requires two important components, which I will get to later. Today, May 13, 2017, is World Fair Trade Day, a day in which agents for change from around the world join together to promote and mark their commitment to fair trade. This is a topic that we at Free To Run visit periodically, as the power of consumer purchasing has been proven capable of creating change. Socially conscious, or ethical, consumerism is a concept that sees consumers making choices to support positive values, from animal rights, to the environment, to human trafficking. Read more of this post

Free To Run’s Newest Ambassador

Our team of Ambassadors continues to expand, as this month we welcome Aelea Semenowich as our newest Ambassador. Aelea hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she is a professional baker and blogger, but first and foremost, she is a humanitarian and abolitionist. On her website, Love Inspires Change, Aelea covers a variety of topics, such as baking, traveling and lifestyle. She has participated in several humanitarian mission trips, and previously was a fellow at Not For Sale. Aelea first came to Troy in August 2012 for the Not For Sale Tour, and will be back in Troy for our Social Justice Summit on January 28, 2017. We are thrilled to have Aelea as part of our team!

Aelea

Follow Aelea on Twitter or Instagram

UNCHAINED Fashion Show Casting Call – December 14, 2016

We are bringing UNCHAINED back to Troy for a fashion show that will be part of a social justice awareness event on January 28, 2017. Since the last fashion show in Troy in September 2015, UNCHAINED has a new collection, and will need up to 30 females to participate in this show. No modeling experience necessary, just a passion for social justice.

When: Wednesday, December 14, 5:30 p.m.

Where: First Place Christian Center, 16 W. Franklin St, Troy, OH 45373 (enter through Franklin St. entrance)

What: An open casting call to be a model in an UNCHAINED fashion show on January 28 in Troy. If possible, bring high heels to the casting call.

Who: Females of all ages, but given the sensitive topic of human trafficking, a suggested minimum age of 10 or above.

Why: To raise awareness of human trafficking, to join a movement, and to make a difference.

If you have questions, feel free to email UNCHAINED at unchainedfashionshow@gmail.com.

One of the models at the September 2015 show

One of the models at the September 2015 show

World Race for Hope Troy 5k & Virtual Race – 1/1/2017

Registration is open for the 10th annual 5k charity run/walk in Troy, Ohio on New Year’s Day. Start off the year on the right foot by running or walking for a purpose, to raise awareness for the 2nd largest criminal industry globally, human trafficking. Proceeds from the event support Free To Run’s programs and our Dayton-area charity partners, Abolition Ohio and Oasis House. Register by 11/30 to be guaranteed a fair trade shirt.

https://runsignup.com/worldraceforhopetroy

If you live outside of the Dayton area, you can still support the cause by participating in our virtual race. You can run or walk 5 km anytime and anywhere you want between January 1st and February 1st. Registration for the virtual race is free, but you can choose to get a shirt by mail for $15. The virtual race is intended to spread awareness so when you participate, share on social media, with or without a picture, using the hashtag #virtualrace2endslavery.