There are so many powerful service oriented groups on Grove City College’s campus. There are service honorariums such as Crowne and Sceptre, Roundtable and Mortarboard. Grove City College supports a national service fraternity in Alpha Phi Omega. There are groups such as Project Okello who seek to provide clean water to families in Africa. However, a group that really speaks to me is called the International Justice Mission. Their goal is to bring awareness to and to ultimately stop human trafficking, which is unbelievably prevalent in modern societies around the globe. Every spring, the International Justice Mission hosts an event called Stand for Freedom, which unites college students all over the country in the active mission of stopping human trafficking and slavery, sometimes by students physically standing for a period of 24 hours. I had the pleasure to interview an executive member of Grove City College’s chapter of IJM about their incredible group and community; you can find the interview below. I am so proud to be part of a campus that is committed to understanding and helping our global community as well as our local one and also humbled by my fellow students care and compassion for others.
What is your name and position in IJM?
My name is Andrea Rice and I am the secretary for IJM for the 2015-2016 school year.
Describe the goal/mission of IJM and what they do on campus?
The global IJM works with college campuses across the United States to combat slavery. Throughout our years as a chapter here at Grove City, we have sought to first bring awareness to the issues of human trafficking and slavery and the profound impact it has on all of us daily. Second, we have been proponents of Congressional bills that IJM has brought forth in order to bring about change in the legal system. Finally, in order for IJM to actually go out into the world and reach people in need, they need funding, especially as a non-profit organization; as a group on campus, we have been able to provide some assistance in that.
What is Stand for Freedom all about?
Although Stand for Freedom’s goal changes year-to-year, the event still has one overarching goal: bring slavery to the light & seek justice for the voiceless. Literally, Stand for Freedom can mean standing for 27 hours for the 27 million people enslaved all around the world today, including in the United States. What many young adults do not know is that human trafficking can happen anywhere, not just in third world countries. Human trafficking could be happening where you shop or get your favorite food. These enslaved people deserve a voice and for people to stand for them, not just one day a year, but every day.
What did the Stand for Freedom event at Grove City look like this year?
In years past, IJM has provided us with potential bills that needed to be signed in order to make it to Congress. This year, IJM urged the college chapters around the country to raise $1,500 in order for IJM to be able to fund 20 rescue missions. Being a smaller college, here at Grove City, we set our goal at $500. With the incredible support of students and faculty, we raised roughly $630. Every dollar of that will go towards rescuing those who are living in modern-day slavery, a world you or I could never imagine.
What have you personally gotten out of IJM?
Being a part of IJM has been a humbling experience. Although this topic is heavy and can be depressing, it is real, raw and on God’s own heart. Jesus came to pay the penalty for our slavery to sin, giving us freedom from our own sin and death. We are called to bring justice to His children who are enslaved. I have become more mindful of where I spend my money, knowing that I could indirectly be supporting slavery. I know that although I will be going into healthcare, I am not disconnected from this issue, because it affects all of us wherever we are.
What would you say to prospective students about this organization?
I would urge prospective students to join this fight. Whether that means here at Grove City College, at home, at church, at a summer internship or job, the fight does not have any boundaries. Here at GCC, we would love for more students to get involved in IJM because we need more voices for those who had theirs taken away from them. What we talk about is not easy, but it is real and there is hope.