There's a universe of people out there, that for no fault of their own, got the short end of the stick. Over 3 billion individuals live on less than $2.50 per day. Think about that for a minute. What do you get for $2.50 today? Maybe a Starbucks coffee. Could you and your family survive on less than $2.50 per day?
We, as people who lucked out in life’s random draw, have the choice to either ignore (or superficially acknowledge) the blatant disparities prevalent in our societies today; Or, we can put a little bit of our minds, time, and resources to proactively bridge this gap.
I have spent over six years (on and off) working with anti-trafficking initiatives – first as a health counselor, then as a researcher, and now as an advisor – and the one thing that remains evident is that trafficking for forced labor is not just a concern of governments, NGOs, or the individuals exploited themselves – it's our concern – yours and mine. Forced labor is perpetuated by people we don’t know and by people we do know – it is all around us; it’s in our homes and we don’t even see it. It helps our cities run, even here in the U.S.
Let me ask you a few questions: Who weaved the rug you stand on? Or picked the tea leaves of that you’re brewing? How about your favorite shirt – how old was the person who sewed that? Think about that for a minute. Can you accurately trace the origins of these products?
It's easy to believe that it's not your problem or it’s a problem that you can’t fix. But you can. We all can play a part – small or big– in the solution.
One way to go about it is to foster economic viability – empowering vulnerable people to make healthy choices for themselves and their family. For a long time, I have talked – at length – about finding a way to help make this solution come to life. It is now time to garner support, find talent, and merge the world of business with social good.
Let's create a space where we can have a healthy discourse for how we can use our skills, resources and networks to build a better world for tomorrow – one that focuses on social impact – helps improve the lives of the people and the state of our planet, while creating a business that can generate sustainable profit.
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