The International Justice Mission and the Red Thread Movement partnered to fundraise on campus by giving students henna tattoos Friday in the Campus center.
The tattoos cost $5 and the groups raised a total of $300—some of which was made from donations and red-bracelet sales. IJM and RTM will split the proceeds among their organizations. The funds for IJM will go to missions and events to raise awareness about human slavery and the funds for RTM will go to Eternal Threads—a local business where RTM sells red awareness bracelets.
Traci Bricka, senior psychology major from Austin and co-president of IJM, said IJM, a non-profit human rights organization, works to stop human trafficking and modern slavery.
“People think modern slavery is obsolete or irrelevant,” Bricka said. “They don’t realize modern slavery exists.”
Although IJM is a national organization, Bricka said there is a need for justice in Abilene through rehabilitation and integration for international refugees.
Kalli Moyer, sophomore speech pathology major from Greenville and president of the Red Thread Movement did the henna tattoos by herself last year and gave the proceeds to Champions for India out of Dallas.
“My heart is in third world countries and I have a passion for helping and connecting with people,” Moyer said. “I think that everyone should have their voice heard.”
Moyer said RTM will do a few service events this year, including writing anonymous letters of encouragement to victims of sex-trafficking.
“These women don’t really have a voice, so they can’t be heard, so it’s our duty as Christians to help them with that,” Moyer said.
The two organizations work not only to give voices to victims, but also to the student body advocates.
Emily Counts, a junior communications major from Abilene and co-president of IJM said, “I think our age group–specifically the quote unquote millennials–get ragged on a lot because some other generations think we’re really apathetic and don’t care about anyone but ourselves and I think that’s not true.”
In the spring IJM, the first college campus chapter of the national organization, participated in getting signatures for the End Modern Slavery Initiative Act. Catlin Young, junior communications major and co-president of IJM, said last semester the group changed leadership and did a benefit concert in which 100 people attended. The act needed a total of 40,000 signatures nationwide, and the local chapter was able to get and more than 200 signatures last semester.
“We wanted to do something ‘real’ not just awareness,” Young said. “It’s not just about putting an X on your hand and posting it on Instagram. It’s actual physical action to take against instances against injustice.”
IJM plans to do another benefit concert in the spring.
For information on IJM, Bricka at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on RTM, Moyer at email@example.com.