On January 28, 2021, Surf City Soroptimists of Huntington Beach hosted an evening with Deidre Pujols to bring awareness to Modern Day Slavery.
Deidre Pujols, philanthropist and founder of Open Gate International, an Orange County-based global non-profit organization that equips people from vulnerable life situations with culinary arts and life skills to continue their journey of healing and reintegrate into society and Strike Out Slavery, created in 2017 with her husband, Albert. The Pujols’s knew that if Major League Baseball teams, players and fans joined them, Strike Out Slavery could spread awareness about modern-day slavery and help a global network of nonprofit organizations rally against it. Strike Out Slavery continues to expand as other players take a stand against slavery, enabling the message that ‘enough is enough’ to reach legions of baseball fans across the nation, even the world.
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month but the movement to end modern day slavery doesn’t end on the 31st.
Did you know that modern day slavery is the second largest (just behind drug trafficking) and fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, generating an estimated $150 billion USD annually?
According to the Polaris Project, there are 25 different types of modern day slavery, and the 6 most common types are:
* Forced Labor
* Domestic Labor
* Bonded Labor
* Domestic Servitude
* Sex Trafficking
* Forced Marriage and
* Child Labor
So…what can you do…how can you get involved?
Nationally, there is a human trafficking hotline: humantraffickinghotline.org. In Orange County, we have the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force: https://www.ochumantrafficking.com/. If you see something or suspect something, don’t be afraid to report it. Also, if you live in Orange County, you can support the Open Gate Kitchen in Costa Mesa. The Open Gate Kitchen is a “foodservice social venture of Open Gate International (OGI) and apprenticeship for our culinary graduates to gain real-world experience. Our talented grads handcraft healthy, fresh food with an international flare from our first-ever location inside The Hood Kitchen Space.” Please note that “all net proceeds go back into supporting the Open Gate International (OGI) program for adult survivors of vulnerable life situations.”
Please join Soroptimist International of Huntington Beach in “striking out slavery” in all forms! Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.