A Month of Awareness, Advocacy & Action

For many years now, January has been designated by Presidential Proclamation as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. You can read President Obama’s Proclamation for January 2016 here. It is often debated if awareness campaigns actually make a difference, or have a long-lasting impact on the issue or cause (remember the Bring Back Our Girls campaign for the school girls kidnapped by Boko Harem in Nigeria?). I don’t think there is a definitive answer as to whether awareness does any good. There are probably many examples where awareness increased about an issue, but that didn’t result in change. Conversely, for change to occur in the first place, future advocates first have to become aware of an issue.

 

 

In regards to Modern Day Slavery, I believe that once people discover that there are an estimated 36 million slaves in the world today, and that slavery takes place in all countries even though it is illegal everywhere, and that slavery is a $150 billion per year industry, making it the fastest growing criminal industry, that the majority of people will want to do something about it. What can you do this month to help raise awareness, advocate or take action in the fight against human trafficking? First, I recommend reading my previous post with the top 10 ways to become a new abolitionist. You can also sign up for our Virtual Race 2 End Slavery, and share the event and the reason you signed up with your family, friends and networks. Finally, and this is mentioned in the top 10 post, read up on the End Modern Slavery Initiative and consider getting involved in your state on behalf of this important legislation.

 

In order to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking, we need to educate (awareness), speak up on behalf of those living in slavery (advocacy), and get involved with activities that create real change (action).

World Race for Hope Columbus 5k+ – April 9, 2016

Results: https://runsignup.com/race/results/?raceId=15936#resultSetId-32472

Pictures: https://www.facebook.com/FreeToRunFdn/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1059382600772138

Finish Line Video: https://youtu.be/-BTvujpl79Y

Our 2017 race will be announced on Columbus Marathon weekend.

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Join us at Scioto Audubon Park near downtown Columbus for our 5th annual World Race for Hope Columbus. Our 5th annual race will be a 5k+, actually 4.1 miles instead of 3.1. There is also a free, untimed 1 mile walk option.

When: Saturday, April 9, 2016, 10:00 am

Where: Scioto Audubon Park, Columbus, Ohio

How:

Online Registration: https://runsignup.com/worldraceforhopecbus

Cost: $25 for adults, $20 for 18 and under (prices increase by $5 after 3/6)

Register by 3/6 to be guaranteed a race shirt.

You can also create an online fundraising page to help raise funds to support our charity partners and the fight against human trafficking in Central Ohio.

Why: To make a difference in the fight against human trafficking.

The race supports Free To Run’s awareness and advocacy initiatives, as well as the following Columbus-area charity and social enterprise partners:

  • Freedom a la Cart
  • Gracehaven
  • UNCHAINED
  • OneVOICE4freedom
  • Out of Darkness Columbus
  • We Are Cherished Ohio
  • Legacy Candle
  • She Has A Name Cleaning

In 2016, go the extra mile to fight trafficking!

Packet Pick Up & Race Day Schedule

Friday, April 8, 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm – Optional Early Packet Pick Up at Columbus Running, 765 N. High St.

Saturday, April 9 – Scioto Audubon

8:30 am – Check-in & Same Day Registration Starts

9:55 am – Pre-race Announcements

10:00 am – Race start

Sponsors

Ohio Christian University

Please contact us for sponsorship opportunities.

New Year’s Day Recap

Our annual New Year’s Day 5k, the World Race for Hope Troy, took place at First Place Christian Center in downtown Troy this morning. While we weren’t fortunate enough to have the above normal temperatures that persisted throughout December, it wasn’t as cold as it has been in the past, and we were really thankful that the flood waters of the Great Miami River receded enough for our course to be clear. There were some highlights and features that have occurred in recent years, such as the cookie medals as age group awards, the pancake breakfast by the Troy FUMC youth, and a repeat (or perhaps a six-peat) for our overall winner. There was also a new aspect of the race, a live stream of the start and finish on YouTube (the video is long but you can jump ahead to find a specific finish according the clock.)  Thank you Take 2 Productions for arranging the video stream! Read more of this post

Fighting Trafficking in the Dayton Area

On the eve before our 9th annual 5k in Troy, we take a look at two Dayton-area organizations who benefit from our race. The first organization is Oasis House. This nonprofit was founded in 2004 through Higher Ground United Methodist Church as an outreach ministry for the adult entertainment club workers on the Dixie strip in Dayton. The services provided by Oasis House have grown over the years to include, in addition to the weekly outreach, counseling, GED tutoring, computer training, and the YES mentoring program, which provides healing, restoration and deliverance for women using a faith-based approach. In an effort to address the lack of safe, long-term shelter beds, Oasis opened their first residential housing facility in Dayton, with plans to open more.

The other charity partner for the World Race for Hope Troy is Abolition Ohio. AO is the Miami Valley’s Rescue & Restore Coalition, comprising over 60 partner agencies and organizations in Montgomery, Clark, Greene, Preble, Darke, and Miami Counties. The purpose of coalitions is to keep all interested parties involved, coordinated and aware of the various anti-trafficking initiatives occurring in the service area. Abolition Ohio maintains a victim services matrix (to assist service providers and law enforcement personnel working with victims of sex and labor trafficking in the Miami Valley), offers a speakers bureau and provides resources to help local organizations and agencies fight human trafficking.

Free To Run is proud to partner with these two organizations in the fight against trafficking in the Greater Dayton region.

Virtual Race to End Slavery – January 2016

For the past several years we have offered a virtual option for all of our races to allow people to participate wherever they are located. One year, the virtual race was mentioned in a national magazine, and for that race the top fundraiser won a video chat with AnnaLynne McCord, herself an advocate for survivors of human trafficking. This past year, Liz Miele, a comedian featured in the Runner’s World feature, I’m a Runner, ran our virtual race for our Columbus race in March. Read more of this post

Sponsor Spotlight – LexisNexis

Day 5 of our 12 Days of Freedom, and today we feature our sponsor LexisNexis. No, it’s not the car/hair care company. LexisNexis is a global provider of information and workflow solutions to a number of industries in the public and private sectors. Currently a division of RELX Group, LEXIS originally started as the first online full-text legal research program in 1970. In 1980, the NEXIS news service was launched, leading to a re-branding of the then Mead Data Central to LEXIS-NEXIS. The company was headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, and although the corporate headquarters are no longer there, it is still the largest single site for a RELX location. See the Wikipedia entry for LexisNexis for more on the history of the company. Read more of this post

An Interview with Juli Accurso

This is day 4 of our 12 Days of Freedom series, and today we are sharing a short video about our ambassador, Juli Accurso. Juli became a Free To Run goodwill ambassador on January 1, 2015, and she is looking forward to another year of raising awareness in the running community about human trafficking.