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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

International Justice Mission hosts StandUP campaign to end world slavery

The Notre Dame chapter of International Justice Mission (IJM) held their SpeakUP campaign against modern slavery and human trafficking in LaFortune Student Center on Tuesday.

IJM is a nonprofit that advocates for the end of the practice of slavery worldwide while raising money for the cause. Sophomore Malia Marshall, co-founder and co-president of IJM at Notre Dame, said the organization advocates for justice for the poor.

“The poor around the world are obviously the most vulnerable to the threat of slavery,” she said. “They’ve got fewer employment options and less power to use their voices. Around the world, there’s still millions of slaves.”

Christopher Parker | The Observer
International Justice Mission at Notre Dame set up a table in LaFortune Student Center on Tuesday in order to spread awareness about the practice of modern slavery.

Marshall said IJM takes many diverse approaches to combat slavery.

“They work to get people out of slavery physically through rescue missions, but also through work with the justice systems in the countries that they’re in so that the people have the police on their side,” she said. “That way, those who have slaves are put into jail.”

Marshall said she founded the club at Notre Dame after learning about IJM in high school and realizing the University did not offer anything similar. The Notre Dame chapter of IJM supports the greater organization in any way they can, Marshall said. IJM asks that its college chapters host at least two campaigns each year.

“We help them through three main missions: advocacy, fundraising and prayer,” Marshall said. ”The SpeakUP campaign is our advocacy event for the year. We had a prayer service at the beginning of the year, and then we had something called Freedom Fast in November where people could fast for 24 hours and raise money while they fast.”

Spring is budget season in Congress, which is why the timing of the SpeakUP campaign is so critical, Marshall said.

“Every year, Congress has to vote on whether they’re going to fund the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act,” she said. “We’re trying to make it so that people at Notre Dame, either over Twitter or email, contact their congressperson and tell them to vote to continue to fund it. We want to make sure that that money is included in the budget every year.”

IJM at Notre Dame has made it as easy as possible for students to contact their local representatives, she said.

“We have a number that you can text that will bring you to a link that lets you tweet or email your congressperson,” she said. “You don’t even have to look them up. You just say where you’re from, and it’ll look up the person for you. It takes one or two minutes.”

Students can text “ABOLISH” to 52887 to get in contact with their congressperson. The next event from the Notre Dame IJM club will be a showing of a new documentary about the organization’s work in the Montgomery Auditorium in LaFortune Student Center on March 27 at 6:30 p.m. Food will be served.