All For A Cause

By Michael Harman
Elm Staff Writer

Human trafficking, anti-homosexual rallies, and poor healthcare for mothers affect the world. Although these problems are global, WC has recognized them and vows to make a difference. In Dr. Christine Wade’s class, Human Rights and Social Justice, students will be “provided an introduction to the history, philosophy and major debates on human rights and social justice,” as stated by the course’s syllabus. By teaching such values in her class, Dr. Wade plans to allow students to focus on contemporary human right’s issues, eventually dividing the class into groups so that they may start a campaign for advocacy.

Dr. Wade said, “They could read about advocacy all semester, but they wouldn’t learn a fraction of what they will learn developing, implementing and assessing their own campaign.”

And so, the students have been working with each other to come up with events, fundraise for a cause, and inform the public about the global issues of human trafficking, maternal health, LGBT rights, and climate change.
One group in particular, the 800/90 Project, vows to make a difference in the lives of mothers by promoting awareness for expecting mother’s healthcare. The name of their project stems from the fact that “over 800 women die due to complications related to child birth and every 90 seconds, one woman dies from pregnancy complications,” as stated by their event description on Facebook. Members from this group have even gonedoor to door to explain their cause and allow people to buy a flag for one dollar and write the name of their mother (or mother figure in their life). These flags will be put on the Green and is a great way for people, unknowing of the cause, to get involved and be informed.

Last week, another group focused their awareness efforts on human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Their “It’s Time To Uncover” campaign allowed students to send petitions to their favorite companies about their labor practices.

“Slavery affects us all because slave labor is used to make many of the products we use in daily life,” said junior Emily Blackner, one of the group members. “Toothpaste, apparel, and electronics are common examples.”
Close to 50 petitions were sent over the three day period March 18-20.

The campaign culminated in Bra Day on March 21, when WC students, faculty and staff wore bras outside of their clothes to raise awareness about sexual slavery. The group also collected bras to donated to Free the Girls, an organization that provides the bras to ex-sex slaves in Mozambique to sell in the market, allowing them to earn up to five times the minimum wage. 326 bras were donated.

Dr. Wade designed this project to not only increase the student’s knowledge on a particular subject, but in hopes “that they develop skills that will help them after graduation, that they learn how to work with others, and that they overcome the sense of helplessness that so many people feel when thinking about human rights abuses.”

The two remaining groups will conduct their campaigns in April. The “Could You Live Without?” campaign promotes LGBT rights, and the environmental rights campaign, “WAC Unplugged,” will run the week of Earth Day.
So as the student events continue, get yourself informed on the subjects because you never know when these school-wide projects could affect the world.

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