The Ms. Print

Youth Ending Slavery Takes the Streets

Zoe Ray and Katy Foley

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September 19 was a seemingly typical day in Portland, Oregon: bikers, coffee, and general weirdness. However, another of PDX’s favored pursuits was added to this eclectic mix: activism. Youth Ending Slavery, a local organization that is rooted within Saint Mary’s, held its annual Walk to End Slavery in the spirit of social justice.

On Saturday, September 19, over 100 students, parents, and committed citizens gathered at Directors Park to fight a common cause: the injustice of human trafficking. Signs were made, treats were sold, and the streets of downtown Portland were tread while attendees chanted “Slavery ends with you and me, youth ending slavery!” The board members of Youth Ending Slavery were at the head of the group, holding up a “Walk to End Slavery” banner, leading songs and chants that voiced their intolerance. People around downtown Portland took notice: several pedestrians filmed with their phones, and a few joined the march.

The Walk to End Slavery was hosted by the non-profit organization Youth Ending Slavery, which was started at SMA in 2011 by Allison Nasson. Since then, Y.E.S. has become an accomplished organization that holds chapters within multiple schools in Oregon and Washington, and has hosted numerous events to spread awareness about human trafficking. The work of YES speaks directly to a youthful age group eliminating stereotypes that demean the rising generation. They affect action, both by combatting human trafficking and empowering people of any age to be advocates for change.

The Y.E.S. walk outwardly displayed truths that are foundational in activism: empathy and community. Events like this show how to shake up our community and effectively raise awareness. Your empathy, your activism, and your community are the root of this change!

Feel free to share with the Ms. Print staff any upcoming events working towards justice– or any events for that matter. We want to know just how our SMA peers are involved in their local community.

 

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Youth Ending Slavery Takes the Streets