TAT Blog Archive for September 2009


How it all began…

26

Sep

2009

Well, it’s a official!! The new TAT website is up and functional, and if you are reading this….it means that we have launched our promotional campaign for our next TAT event titled “Be Their Freedom,” which will be at the Varsity Theatre on October 29th.

Since this is the first official TAT BLOG- I thought I would give you a little bit of the history about how we got started.

Long story (VERY) short, after I graduated from LSU in 2007 I decided to spend a year living/working in Sydney, Australia before attending law school here at LSU. During my time in Sydney, I attended a few events that highlighted Human Trafficking and even went on an around the world research trip with a friend. During this trip we visited the onsite locations of shelters, rehabilitation centers, legal advocacy offices, issue awareness agencies, as well as high-density brothel areas located in Europe, Asia, and North America.

One of the many experiences that left a lasting impression on me was when we were introduced to a 12 year-old girl who had been rescued from a brothel in Phnom Pen, Cambodia. She was pregnant (11 years old then) at the time the authorities found her and she delivered the child soon after. When I met her she was carrying the baby on her hip, as if he was her sibling. Her little face has stayed with me always.

When I returned to LSU last fall for law school, I shared my newfound passion for the issue of HT with three of my very best friends, Sarah Kaiser, Jeremy Beyt, and Nick Defilice. They started doing their own research and within days were just as consumed with the issue as I was. We brainstormed about the different ways we could mobilize our campus to join in the efforts to eradicate modern day slavery. So we thought…”well…lets start with a campus event…and why not a 5k?”

On March 28th 2009, we hosted our first campus event, a 5k, on the LSU campus. Over 360 students and members of the Baton Rouge community participated in the event, which included live music, free food, and a variety of info about Human Trafficking. TAT was able to raise over $10,000 for The A21 Campaign, an anti-trafficking organization that works directly with girls rescued out of sex slavery. (www.theA21campaign.org)

So many things have changed since that crazy day in January when we walked into the campus life office and literally BEGGED for a date to host an event regarding the issue of Human Trafficking. TAT is now a student organization and has a website, printed materials, sponsors, billboards, a database, teams on other universities, another event coming up…and the list goes on. But the truth it all just started with the the belief that “We can do something…” and the commitment to making it happen. The rest is really just details…

My friends, the journey has just begun, and I know I speak for all of us when I say that it is truly an honor to be a part of the fight against modern day slavery that is emerging here at LSU. As we embark on this endeavor together, I want to challenge you to look back on your own life and see the places where someone stepped in and made right something that was once very wrong. Remember how that changed you, how it made you feel protected, valued, and loved. To me, that is the very essence of Justice…to make right. When we come to that place of appreciating the “justice” others have brought into our own lives, it empowers us to turn around and do the same for other people.

Ultimately, that is the heartbeat of Tigers Against Trafficking. Making right the wrongs done to countless individuals at whatever capacity that we can, whether it’s through our time, our talents, or our treasure. We may never know the extent of the impact we have, the lives we touch, or the faces we free…but they do. Every life has potential, value, and purpose.

We can’t do everything, but we can do something and we CANNOT wait to see what all that “something” will entail.

Until next time….

Natalie

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