In 2018, I'll be traveling across the world for a justice-focused training and outreach program called “Justice Reach New Zealand.” Training will be in New Zealand for 3 months followed by 2 months of outreach in another country.
This program’s mission focuses on fighting for "the one." There are 35 million slaves in the world today; 2 million children are exploited every year; and every country in the world is affected by human trafficking. Those stats can be overwhelming because the reality is this: you can't save everybody and you can't change everything, but maybe you can change one. It’s the ripple effect. One can change another and that other one changes another, and so on. It may seem simple but it’s true, "Do your little bit of good where you are. It's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."(Desmond Tutu)
Justice is something everyone can pursue, no matter where you're from or what your story is. The very thing that aims to abolish discrimination, can't be discriminatory in nature and so, it’s ours to change together. I started my pursuit in 2014. I had been looking at a career in the music business when I attended an anti-trafficking event and my eyes were opened to the injustices around me. That same year, I lost a loved one. Death has a tendency to make you reevaluate your choices and perspective. I knew there had to be more and a life lived only for myself, at the end of the day, was really just fruitless.
While we can all pursue justice, who we are, where we are and other factors about our circumstances do provide us with different opportunities to influence, seek and implement change. I had experience in marketing and promotion and eventually started working for a place that allowed me to use that experience to promote products that were ethically made. While this was (and still currently is) a great opportunity, I’ve much to learn. Which is why I’m doing this program.
The topic of injustice is complex and deep and decades old, but that doesn’t mean we should be comfortable with it. Going into this focused environment will help me to gain access to more resources and pursue my passion for raising awareness about injustice in our world. I want to put in the time and the work, to be a part of educating and coming up with solutions. If we're not careful, our beliefs can become comfortable theories, rather than active choices. This program is an opportunity to act on my beliefs and I don't want to miss out on it.
Lastly, I’d like to ask for help. In order to be a part of this program I need to raise about $10,000. The amount includes program costs, travel expenses, immunizations and documents needed. Whether you're able to donate or not, I'll need all the prayers I can get. One last way you can help:
Take a minute and think.
Think about what you believe in and how you can create a positive ripple effect today. Maybe think twice before buying a product, or not jump to conclusions when you see a prostitute on a street corner. Sometimes the best place to start in our pursuit of justice is in our own heart and mind because that will eventually spills out into our actions.
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The Mailroom recently celebrated our 1 year anniversary in downtown Florence and our team continues to grow! We've been letting you get to know our staff over the past couple of months and today we'd like to introduce you to Kayla Bermeo.
Kayla is a licensed cosmetologist who studied at the Aveda Institute in Manhattan, NY. She worked as an apprentice before moving back to Florence in 2015. During her free time she enjoys traveling and going to Hockey games. When she grows up she wants to be as awesome as her dog!