Changing Modern Day Slavery by Maggie Sestito

It’s truly amazing what an impact just an hour and a half can have on your life. After listening to Professor Anthony Talbott speak Monday about “Organizing for Social Change,” I caught myself pondering ‘hidden atrocities’ all over the world, particularly those in Ohio where most of us currently reside.

When you look at a someone, what do you see? Many answer this question with physical features, characteristics, or known facts and memories. Imagine seeing a price tag.

Many people are blind to the idea of modern day slavery—but human trafficking is slavery. Twenty-seven million. That is the estimated number of slaves within the world today. Twenty-seven million humans, just like you and me, are coerced and deceived into situations in which they work without pay. Twenty-seven million people around the world are deprived of their basic human rights and lack access to the help they desperately need to get out of the horrific situation in which they are caught.

Throughout Professor Talbott’s lecture, many things went through my head, but the one thought that resonated was, “I want to make a difference. I want to make a change.” It is inspiring to see real evidence of students in the same positions as us, successfully petitioning for change. Often times I find myself thinking that there is no possible way to truly make a change; but, as Professor Talbott stated, “Together, we have the power to affect change. Individuals can come together and make a difference.”

The power of education carries a lot of weight in instances like this. As proper training on human trafficking becomes more widely available and accessible, more and more victims lives are being saved. The capabilities of education on this issue, especially when it comes to law enforcement officials having the proper knowledge and training, have already proved successful and impactful in Ohio. The reach of this education needs be to extended—this simple step needs to be taken, because in the end, it will help save thousands of lives.

It’s interesting to see how, in just less than two hours, what was once a casual thought can become an invested interest. In this case, it all laid right in the title, “Organizing for Social Change.” There are many steps that an individual can take to help eradicate human trafficking from society; begin by visiting