On Tuesday March 5 at 6 a.m., a group of students congregated in a section of grass between the Amphitheatre and the Cave Patio. For the next 27 hours, students would be standing in that same spot.
They had congregated with a purpose in mind: to raise awareness about slavery through a stand-a-thon.
These students – most of whom were from various on-campus groups, which included the ETSU Honors College, The Well and Baptist Campus Ministry – came together in order to express how they felt about slavery and to educate their fellow students about modern slavery and what they could do to end it.
Sophomore Chelsea Selby, the coordinator of the Honors College group participating in the event, said, “Several ETSU organizations stood together starting yesterday morning to this morning for 27 hours in order to represent the 27 million people that are stuck in the bonds of slavery. With this Stand for Freedom, we hoped to bring awareness about the issue.
“Through the Stand for Freedom, we are hoping to raise awareness of the injustice of slavery that is happening all over the world. Once you are aware of the facts of what is going on in the world, you have two options. You can choose to fight against or walk away. Indifference is not an option.”
And indeed indifference was not an option as the students participating in the event stood for hours in spite of the rain, snow and cold temperatures.
Brittany Munro, a sophomore at ETSU, stood throughout the day during the rain, snow and even at night. “It was rough standing at night in the wind and snow, but our dedication really caught people’s attention and made them more interested in our cause,” she said.
Selby said, “I first heard about the End It Movement, which made me look more into the statistics through the other organizations they work with. “This particular event was through IJM (International Justice Mission). It broke my heart to see the number of slaves all over the world.
“Many times we, as Americans, think that slavery is only in other countries. Slavery is in America as well. I do not believe that it is OK to own someone through debt-bondage or to pimp a young girl out through human trafficking.”
To learn more about slavery and the End It movement, visit www.enditmovement.com.