A group of ACU students brought awareness to the “End It Movement” by participating in the national Stand for Freedom event Monday and Tuesday.
The “End It Movement” is sponsored by the International Justice Mission to bring awareness to the 27 million people currently in slavery, a record-breaking number according to enditmovement.com.
College kids across the nation took a “Stand for Freedom” by standing for a combined total of 27 hours and getting students to sign petitions.
Megan Thurman, freshman youth and family ministry and missions major from Cedar Park, decided to bring the event to ACU’s campus after she learned of the issue at the Passion Christian Youth Conference in Atlanta. Thurman and the hundreds of other college students that attended were introduced to victims of human trafficking.
“You hear 27 million and you’re like, ‘Ok that’s just a huge number’,” said Thurman. “But whenever you actually just meet one girl, and hear her story, you realize it does exist.”
She and other ACU students teamed up with students at Hardin-Simmons University to complete the Stand for Freedom event.Â On Monday and Tuesday, ACU students stood in the Campus Center for a total of 13 hours.Â On Wednesday and Thursday, Hardin-Simmons students will stand for the remaining 13 hours to bring awareness to the cause. Together, they will stand for 27 total hours for the 27 million.
“I’m just hoping to get enough awareness out there to where more people will be interested in taking part in ending it,” said Thurman.
Each year students participating in this event gather signatures for a petition that is sent to President Obama.Â Thurman said last year a total of 73,124 signatures were gathered, causing Obama to make the longest speech on slavery since Abraham Lincoln.
Jenni Collings, freshman business management and pre-law major from Antioch, Ill. and participant of the Stand for Freedom event, has already received good feedback from ACU students.
“Everyone’s been really excited to help in such an easy way,” Collings said.
The students will be hosting a concert April 9 in hopes of raising $2,700 for the IJM Missions to aid in freeing slaves.
Thurman said she is excited to see how she and her fellow students can help.
“I hope we can all say we took a stand,” Thurman said.Â “We fought together to shine a light on slavery, to bring justice, and to be a voice for those who have no voice.”
Students can still sign the petition online at www.IJM.org/stand. Donations can be made by searching “Abilene” at www.IJMfreedom.org.