- learn & action
Click here to download the 2015 [free-them] February Official Poster
Canada still doesn’t have a national month to raise awareness and educate on the issue of Human Trafficking. In the United States, the month of January is their designated human trafficking awareness month. [free-them] wanted to keep in the momentum of the United States, so we thought it follows January and also follows Martin Luther King Day on January 17th, which is one of the world’s most representative voices on freedom and liberty.
February is Black History Month: The remembrance has its roots in 1926 by United States historian Carter G. Woodson as “Negro History Week”. Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African Americans: former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass. Woodson also founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, now the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
We want to remember, honor and celebrate those in history who stood up for freedom and justice; such as William Wilberforce, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, President Abraham Lincoln, and many others. We want to celebrate the freedoms that we have; for some people that may be wearing a cross around their neck, for others that may be not wearing a hijab, for some its going out on a date with a guy/girl, for some it’s turning on the tap to have running clean water, for some it’s sitting at the front of a bus. We each wear our freedom different and we want to take February to remember the freedoms that we have, and yet to be a voice for the millions today who are without freedom!
AND…. it’s the LOVE month!!! Dr. Cornel West says, “Love is what justice looks like in public.” In the month of February we want to offer you 28 things you can do to be love in public, to be a part of the solution!
Purple is the official colour of [free-them], and we designate “purple” as the colour for “freedom”. In ancient history, Tyrian purple was commonly known as “royal purple” a color that signified status and wealth, because of the scarcity to get the dye. Purple became a colour that royalty often wore to display their power and riches. It was a luxury to be able to wear purple and few people were able to do so. We believe that freedom is a basic human right that is to be extended to all of humanity, and yet millions of people today are deprived of freedom and regard freedom as a luxury to be had. Wear purple, because you have the freedom to do so – wear purple for those who are in slavery, wear purple to be the voice for their freedom. We must unite our voices together for freedom sake!
The average cost to free a slave is around $400, as the majority of slaves today are in countries where liberation costs the least. Liberation costs – not buying – include rehabilitation, counselling, job-training, education and establishing ex-slaves in economic autonomy and citizenship. With over 27 million people in slavery today the approximate cost of liberation is $10.8 billion, which seems like a lot, however, this is less than what Americans spend every year on Valentine’s Day.