STAND – where do we go from here?

Last autumn I wrote about our summer campaign at the Soul Action festival, calling on people to STAND against modern-day slavery.

At the end of last year, we delivered our petition to the Home Secretary with 9,000 signatures.  It called on the UK government to do more to help combat Modern Day Slavery.

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It was a great thing to do, a collective great achievement; petitioning the positions of power that have the influence to make changes to the law which will truly affect the lives of the most downtrodden and forgotten by society.

But, now, when the dust has settled on the big campaign, now that the rubber hits the road, what can you and I do? What are the things that we can take personal responsibility for to make a difference for the enslaved around the world?

Could you be like David and Laura, who decided to get all the guests at their wedding to take a STAND against slavery and poverty, and bought 100 freedom bands as special wedding favours for friends and families?

Maybe you’re not getting married – but could you be like Gabbi, who took a STAND in a school assembly, or like Sarah, who took a STAND at a local festival.

That’s where the Soul Action 6-session STAND resource comes in. It continues the fight on a personal level – asking what can you do, and giving you some ideas:

1) Pray. Make this issue something that you pray about regularly. When we pray we do God’s work and we commit to join in with God’s work.

2) Raise. Commit to do a fundraiser for one of the many amazing charities that are fighting poverty and slavery around the world.

3) Tell your mates. Make sure that everyone you know understand that slavery isn’t something consigned to the past, but is a real everyday problem right now.

4) Challenge authority. Write to the manager or CEO of your favourite shops and find out if they guarantee that they are #slavefree – can they show their supply chain is fair and free of exploitation? You can download an example letter here.

5) Worship. This seems a funny one to put in there, but worship and justice go hand-in-hand. As part of our worship, we live out lives of justice. But as part of our pursuit of justice we have to be worshippers.

6) Persevere. Don’t stop here – there is so much to do, each of us has role to play in fighting injustice and seeing lives changed. Find that thing that you care about, commit to changing it, and then fight to change it.

We can all do something, we all must do something.

by Si Nicholls, Soul Action Project Manager