This year, I have had the opportunity to continue working with Off The Market (OTM) to continue spreading awareness to OU Students, faculty, staff, and the Norman community as a whole. This year, my team and I have dedicated our efforts to planning a movie night in January (which happens to be Slavery Awareness Month) both to raise awareness about the issue of slavery and to raise money for the leading anti-slavery organization in the United States — Free The Slaves.
Following January’s movie night, we plan to once again host our annual Off The Market conference at the end of February. This year, we are thrilled to invite Dr. Kevin Bales as our keynote speaker. This year, OTM plans to focus on ways that the OU and Norman community can actively prevent slavery both locally and globally.
Whereas in the past Off The Market has focused almost exclusively on either on Sex trafficking or Labor trafficking, this semester we hope to discuss ways in which both types of atrocities can be prevented before they even have the chance to begin.
At this years OTM Conference, we hope to host a variety of non-profits based in the Oklahoma area that work to provide young children and teenagers (who are oftentimes the most prone to trafficking) with the educational opportunities, familial security, and economic stability necessary to protect them from the threat of trafficking.
Each year that I have had the opportunity to work with Off The Market, I find myself learning more and more about the issue of modern slavery and the many fields that it spans. While I remain horrified by the atrocity of slavery and the fact that it is still permitted to exist in our society, I continue to grow increasingly hopeful for the future as I meet more and more individuals from around OU, Oklahoma, the nation, and the world, that are passionate about ending modern-day slavery in our lifetime.