Walk for Freedom seeks to bring awareness to human trafficking

This modern slavery protest brings a voice to the voiceless.

Pierce Singgih, Arts & Entertainment Editor

A21 is an Australian non-profit organization that focuses on ending modern slavery. This Saturday, it is hosting the Walk For Freedom in Santa Ana, California, as part of worldwide protest to spread awareness for human trafficking and to let those caught in slavery know that people stand with them in solidarity.


Everyone who attends the unique, silent protest wears black, holding fliers and posters with statistics and information on human trafficking while walking in a single file line throughout the city.

At its core, the protestors simply want more people to be aware of human trafficking. According to A21’s website, the group is “eradicating human trafficking through awareness, intervention, and aftercare.” According to A21’s website, there are millions of people enslaved in sex, labor and even militant trafficking. The trafficking business is a $150 billion industry and only one percent of victims are ever saved. With the Walk for Freedom this weekend, A21 hopes to educate people on the weight and gravity of this dire situation.

Keeley Pettlon-Schiappa is a senior public relations major who volunteers for A21. This year, she is helping to organize the Santa Ana protest and is passionate about the protest because many children who are being trafficked have no voice for themselves. She wants to give them one.

“We see them and we don’t realize, Pettlon-Schiappa said. They’ll be driving in the car next to us. They’ll be in our schools and we don’t know what’s going on with them. The point of this walk is to show them we are with you, we are fighting for you, we are going to find you, you are not alone. You can speak up, you have a voice and there are people who want to help you.”


Christians are called to fight for those trapped in human trafficking. Jesus stood with the oppressed, empowering them with hope, Pettlon-Schiappa believes. It is the Christian’s responsibility to fight injustice with love and to seek justice through Jesus’ redeeming power. Pettlon-Schiappa thinks we should follow Jesus’ model by giving a voice to the voiceless.  

“This is a really unique environment where we’re all Christians and we’re all seeking the Lord and we’re all trying to grow in how we follow him,” Pettlon-Schiappa said. “Jesus went to those minorities and he was there with them and he walked with them and he loved them. I feel like that’s something we’re called to do.”

The Walk for Freedom takes place this Saturday on Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Civic Center Plaza in Santa Ana, and students can register on A21’s official website.


Check out the Chimes’ A21 Walk fro Freedom Recap Video

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