Atlanta International School Against Human Trafficking students organized the whole school spelling out #MyFreedomDay on the soccer field in 2018. (Photo source: Atlanta International School)
Planning is underway for our seventh annual #MyFreedomDay campaign, coming up on March 16, 2023. #MyFreedomDay 2022 was a tremendous success and, according to the CNN Freedom Project, involved tens of thousands of students and young people from more than 146 countries.
Here are some highlights from events all over the world last year: #MyFreedomDay 2022.
As a global, student-led day of action to raise awareness and take action against human trafficking, #MyFreedomDay aims to reach as many students and educators as possible in a social media campaign leading up to the annual event. With the number of people trapped in human trafficking now estimated at 50 million, it is more important than ever that we continue to find creative ways to keep this issue at the top of the public’s mind, to not only raise awareness but to take action.
We encourage students, educators, and community members to start using social media to spread the word using the hashtag #MyFreedomDay and making the post public. To that end, on March 16, 2023, CNN will be asking individuals and organizations across the globe to participate in this day of action against modern-day slavery. If you’re interested in taking part, please fill out this form and share your plans with us: #MyFreedomDay 2023 Participation Form.
At Atlanta International School (AIS), students are well versed in planning elaborate activities to not only raise awareness and take action against human trafficking within the school community, but also for the local and global community. Having helped lead the charge with the CNN Freedom Project since the inception of #MyFreedomDay, our students have engaged in all types of activism surrounding anti-human trafficking efforts.
Atlanta International School Against Human Trafficking (AISAHT) students have planned a variety of activities on campus over the years ranging from the following:
(From left to right) Students hosted a Fair-Trade table to raise awareness about ethical consumerism in 2019 and primary school students packed pencil pouches for an organization called She is Safe that went for prevention in Indonesia. (Photo source: Atlanta International School)
- Creating an art installation focusing on the Rights of the Child;
- Packing pencil pouches for prevention intended for female students in Indonesia;
- Hosting panel discussions open to the general public with speakers from local law enforcement, non-profits, survivor leaders, and public policymakers;
- Creating a freedom concert with songs about being free and peace;
- Spelling out #myfreedomday with the entire student body on the soccer field captured by a drone;
- Taking part in a dialogue with students from six countries through Generation Global;
- Training our students and teachers in a human trafficking prevention curriculum called PROTECT;
- Hosting a Fair-Trade fair to raise awareness about the actions that can be taken as consumers in the form of petitions, and the power we have while making choices as product consumers.
At AIS this year, the focus will be on human trafficking and soccer globally. Being an international school that cherishes the game, and on the heels of the World Cup, amidst the reports of human trafficking during the lead up to the event, the students will host a variety of K-12 activities on campus including an inter-school high school soccer game, inviting our entire community and asking our youngest to walk out the players, and also other area schools to participate. AISAHT students are inviting anti-human trafficking non-profit organizations to the table at the event. To follow along with the progress being made at AIS, you can follow them on Instagram @aischool @ais.aht and Twitter @ais_eagles and can be found on Facebook and LinkedIn as Atlanta International School.
Globally, #MyFreedomDay also engages companies and organizations, celebrities, and politicians from Tony Blaire to Usain Bolt. Dedicated partners like Delta Air Lines announce the day on their flights to raise awareness and get people engaged. Tony’s Chocolonely’s mission is 100 percent modern slavery-free chocolate. By getting their chocolate in schools around the world, it brings light to what is possible in the big chocolate industry, not just their own chocolate but all chocolate worldwide. One non-profit that has been working to connect students at schools globally for #MyFreedomDay is Generation Global. They organize online global youth dialogues about human trafficking on #MyFreedomDay for students, ages 13-17. This is an opportunity for students to share with one another different perspectives on the value of human life, explore challenging questions around human trafficking, and learn from each other steps they can take so that it can become a thing of the past. If your school would like to participate in these dialogues, please register as an educator or student on the portal. Enter the event code MYFREEDOMDAY at the time of registering. This is only a one-time activity for safeguarding reasons. You can also visit their webpage for more details.
Every year we look forward to seeing the impact we can make collectively and are always amazed by the responses we receive from countries around the world. The goal is to have schools genuinely engaging in every country in the world in order to prevent human trafficking and call on the world to make change. The entire AIS primary school held 40 seconds of silence to commemorate the 40 million people living in modern slavery in 2020. (Photo source: Atlanta International School)
If you have any questions please reach out to Veronica McDaniel, [email protected].
Veronica McDaniel is a secondary school physical and health education teacher at Atlanta International School and has just started a non-profit called FREEST that works to prevent human trafficking through education by empowering students to take action.