Walk for Freedom 2022!
For the fifth year in a row the lab made the journey to participate in the Walk for Freedom sponsored by A21 in Springfield, Illinois. Walk for Freedom is A21's global mobilization event, rallying thousands of people in hundreds of cities all over the world to raise awareness and funds to end human trafficking. I worked with A21 when I lived in Ukraine and was able to visit their shelter and job training facilities for victims of human trafficking. Every year I march in Springfield wearing my buttons from Ukraine in honor of them and their work.
This year Millikin donated lanyards to every walker and the research lab team tabled and talked about our research on human trafficking with other local anti-trafficking organizations and activists. The site for the walk is the old state capitol building which is still under renovations but still offers a great space in downtown Springfield for the walk with lost of pedestrian traffic.
Normally the walk is scheduled the same weekend as Millikin's Fall break so my students can never attend but this year our fall break was a week later than usual so they were able to attend. Here is a shot with our fancy new banner which I put up for to minutes to take this photo and then took down due to the wind. Then also another picture of the students sitting at the table handing out fair trade chocolate and our new and exciting research. It was nice to spend a lovely fall day with perfect weather in Springfield and see many old friends and fellow anti-trafficking activists.