Saturday, January 29, 2011

Agent for Change

Thanks to a tip from a friend, I got to hear David Batstone speak tonight (merci, JL!). David is this generation's William Wilberforce and one of my all-time heroes. 

I first heard David speak in 2007 shortly after his book Not For Sale came out. The stories he shared were startling. I had been utterly ignorant to the breadth and depth of modern day human trafficking, and upon reading his book, I resolved to raise awareness to those in my sphere of influence. Like many well-intentioned people, however, I grew lazy and complacent. Tonight was a timely wake-up call. 

Not For Sale (the organization) has made significant inroads in bringing justice and hope to seemingly impossible situations. I encourage you to check out their website ( to learn more. Oh, and you won't regret reading the book either. It provides a compact look at slavery on six continents as well as inspiration through the accounts of people working to bring justice in those areas.

There are many ways we can be modern abolitionists, starting as soon as today. By participating in a buy-cott, we can use our purchasing power to send potent messages to corporate entities -the ones that sell us shoes, clothing, food, tires, and so forth. David's team has put together a matrix for grading companies on their human rights practices and transparency. After reading their reports, I will definitely think twice before buying anything from See's, MARS, McCormick and Co., Hanes, etc. For more information, check out (  

DB discussing the grading system for companies

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