CU Students and Staff Fighting Modern-Day Slavery During Dressember
by Samuel Brooks (B.S. ’18)
At Cornerstone University, a group of female students and staff are participating in Dressember. For the entire month of December, over 20 female students and staff are wearing dresses as a way to raise awareness for human trafficking and money for International Justice Mission (IJM) and A21.
Both IJM and A21 are organizations whose sole purpose is to fight against modern-day slavery. According to A21's website, with human trafficking being the fastest growing criminal industry, someone is trafficked every 30 seconds globally and the average victim is just 12 years old.
Cornerstone Dressember participants include Rachel Hammond, assistant professor of business, and Deb Crater, dean of students, along with many other current students.
"I am excited to be involved in Dressember for a second year," said Crater. "It helps to raise awareness for helping trafficked and exploited women, children and vulnerable people.
"I have a vested interest in several ministries that exist for this effort. I have worked with at-risk clients and victims as a mental health therapist at Wedgwood Christian Services; been involved with the missionaries who built Village of Hope, a home and ministry in Thailand for exploited and at-risk girls; and supported the work of Women at Risk, International based locally in Grand Rapids. There is so much we can do!"
CU student, Jory Van Dyke (B.A. ’17), had this to say about her experience with Dressember: "I first found out about the Dressember campaign on social media. Wearing dresses might not seem like the best way to make a difference, but the campaign is largely centered on spreading awareness and raising funds for organizations like IJM and A21 who participate in rescuing victims of human trafficking.
"The idea of wearing a dress is feminine, and this campaign uses femininity to stand up for those who have been exploited because of their femininity. God calls us to protect the poor and vulnerable, and often, those are the people who are most susceptible to become victims."