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Not My Problem

We always hope for the easy fix: the one simple change that will erase a problem in a stroke. But few things in life work this way. Instead, success requires making a hundred small steps go right - one after the other, no slipups, no goofs, everyone pitching in

~Atul Gawande

I have not been a victim of human trafficking and neither has anyone close to me. It is not by problem.

Yes, according to the International Labor Organization it is a $150.2 billion industry with 2/3 of that being from sexual exploitation

Yes, 98% of the victims are woman

Yes, my home, Atlanta, GA was named by the FBI as one of 14 US cities with the highest rate of children used in prostitution

And, yes, my daughter, who is 14 is currently in the age group most likely to become a victim of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

But, it ain’t my problem which means I have no responsibility for the solution. Right?

Today’s Kwanzaa principle is Ujima. or collective work and responsibility. This means we build and maintain our community together and make our brother's and sister's problems our problems to solve together.

Which means human trafficking, homelessness, domestic violence, hunger, child abuse, foreclosures, food desserts, lack of access to education and resources…are your, my, our problems.

Here is the truth, we are one person and the problem is a collective problem. We don’t have a hard time lending a hand but we don’t know where to begin. How can I, one person make a difference.

We begin with working collectively to do our part, to lend our gifts, to volunteer our resources to help one another.

A good example Dr. Marlene Carson Sur-thriver of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking. At age 15 she became one of the tens of thousands of girls and young adult women who are exploited daily.

In 2008 Dr. Carson Founded Rahab’s Hideaway, a fully comprehensive residential treatment facility. Dr. Carson is one person that used the collective efforts and resources of many. She has partners, people like me, like you, organizations like the Department of Human Services and the FBI and even other local non-profits work together to solve the problem of Human trafficking, first locally and then globally.

Our problems have solutions but those solutions require that we take responsibility for our community’s problems and we work collectively toward solution.

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