My mom's friend unrelentingly encouraged me to go to this talk at the Museum of Tolerance of Los Angeles, telling me I can get community service hours if I just sat through it. The talk was called, "In The Face of Tyranny, I Will Not Be Silent: 'Comfort Women' Survivors Speak." Being a senior in high school dealing with major senioritis, I thought to myself "I don't know why she's so adamant on my going to this, but I could benefit from getting those hours."Read More
What does freedom mean to me? That is a question I have been asking myself for a long time. At one time, it simply looked like being free to do as I pleased. Freedom was something I expected to have. Sure, there were certain discriminatory forces which meant that as a young, black immigrant woman, I didn't have quite the same access to freedom as the "majority". But I was free enough. I had the freedom of choice - at least within the limits of the law - to do as I pleased. I had the freedom to receive an education. The freedom to live where I pleased. To eat what I wanted, wear what I wanted and freely practice my faith. I was free to vote and free to work.Read More
I remember when I first started to become aware that the world wasn’t as rosy-colored and full of magic as I once thought. I remember beginning to notice that some people lived with much, and others with little. I remember that I initially wanted to look away, thinking, why would I want to let such a painful reality taint my picture of the world?
But I looked; I looked and I read. Then I met a boy named Samuel and a child named Joy. Both of their mothers sold sex as a means of living. I wrestled with what that meant.
For me, college was a time of expanding my breadth of knowledge about the world and the perverseness it carried. I asked myself questions, like, “what is human trafficking?” I filled my time with documentaries, books, classes, and conversations to get to the bottom of these thoughts consuming my mind. I remember when I learned that the town I lived in was an actual hub for human traffickers, and that the street which housed my favorite Thai restaurant doubled as a traffic-way for sex trade operations. Who knew? I didn’t. I didn’t know that most of my clothing was made by people who were coerced into their job for various reasons, and had little to no chance of escape. I didn’t know that my iPhone, jeans, t-shirts, and chocolate were made by hands who didn’t have a choice in the matter. I didn’t know.Read More
live in a fairytale-like world many girls don’t even dare to dream about.
A world where I don’t have to fear where my next meal will come from or what I’ll have to do to get it.
A place where I don’t have to sell my body, my dignity, or my sanity to people who treat me like a slave.