Tuesday, April 26, 2011

International Justice Mission...in Thailand

Not too long ago, I found out about the International Justice Mission. Justin Schneider a friend and co-worker of mine who works for CitySquare's Legal Action Works law firm. In the last month or so, Justin was chosen to do a legal fellowship with International Justice Mission at their field office in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The fellowship lasts 12 months and starts in June.

Once we found out about their trip, Imtiaz Haiyoom, our Director of IT at CitySquare, jumped into action and called several of us at CitySquare together to start helping Justin and his wife, Angela, raise the funds needed for their trip. What has resulted is a an excuse to get a lot of cool people together who want to, simultaneously, help good people fulfill a mission that will have an amazing impact.

On Saturday, May 7th from 7:00-10:00 p.m. we will be hosting a fundraiser for Justin and Angela. The event will be held at 511 N. Akard. You can see more (and RSVP) on the Facebook page here: Let's Get 'Em to Thailand. We want you to come, too!! We have quite a diverse group of friends so I am sure that whoever you are and whatever your interests, you will meet some cool, new people...and/or bring your own friends so that we can meet them as well!

Here are some of the facts I found out about IJM:
The International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. IJM lawyers, investigators and aftercare professionals work with local officials to ensure immediate victim rescue and aftercare, to prosecute perpetrators and to promote functioning public justice systems.
Because of IJM, in the last four years:
  • More than 2,000 children, women and men have been freed from slavery
  • More than 800 women and children have been freed from forced prostitution
  • More than 300 individuals have been arrested for trafficking-related offenses
  • Hundreds of widows and orphans have had stolen property returned to them
  • Thousands have received their entitled documentation of citizenship or elevated legal status
Justice is important to me no matter where it is. After watching the above video and reading about IJM, I was nearly convinced to apply to the organization to be a social worker in one of their locations...and I would, except that for now I know I am needed here. I am so thankful to know there are the Justin's and Angela's in the world who can and are willing to work in the IJM arena. Fighting injustice takes all kinds of careers, fields, and people all over the world.

In addition, here is what I think is super-awesome about Justin, Angela, and the amazing people I work with at CitySquare: I love that immediately, when Imtiaz heard about it, he automatically started figuring out ways to help. I love that our entire "committee" of people planning this fundraiser work for CitySquare or other non-profits. I love that each person on the "committee" understands their own organization's financial constraints, yet are still dedicated to the justice of people everywhere...so much so that they're willing to give up money themselves to see it happen (and those of you who are familiar with non-profits understand people in the non-profit business are not working with bunches of disposable income). I love that in my conversation with Justin asking him if he was concerned about the large gap between what they have raised and what they need, he explained to me without missing a beat or adjusting any kind of facial expression that, if needed, he and Angela would cut into their savings to make it happen.

Please come join us.

However, if you can't come, but would like to support Justin and Angela, you can either go here: http://www.ijm.org/getinvolved/internshipsupport, click on "support an intern/fellow," then choose "Justin Schneider"


Go to http://bit.ly/CitySqDonate and choose "LAW Fellowship" from the dropdown menu.

If you would like to help by donating something cool to the silent auction we will have the night of the party, please let me know.

Let's Get 'Em to Thailand!

Angela and Justin:
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