On Saturday, January 16, 2016, approximately 750 volunteers, activists, and survivors came together at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles to walk a 2.3 mile trek around Koreatown to raise awareness about human trafficking.
I arrived late due to fighting off a cold–I hadn’t slept well the night before due to coughing, so decided to sleep in an extra half hour. I arrived just before the speakers and spent some time talking to the vendors in the back of the church and gathering pamphlets to hand out during the walk. As a result, there weren’t any seats left, so I had to stand with a crowd of people at the very back of the church where I couldn’t hear anything. I was okay with that though as I was mostly there for the walk itself. The walk started at 9:30, with survivors in front, and I was given a sign by one of the sisters I know with Sisters Against Human Trafficking.
It wasn’t the same as two years ago. Two years ago, several of us handed out pamphlets, but a lot of people turned away, refusing to take them. I suspect that a majority of the pamphlets found their way into garbage cans. This year, people actually seemed interested. There were a few here or there who would turn away, but many people stood and watched and thanked me when I gave them a pamphlet. There was even on woman who asked for more information. She wanted to know what organization was behind this, so she could get involved!
At some point in the walk, part of the group (the part I was in incidentally) made a wrong turn, so a 2.3 mile walk turned into close to 4 miles. My only complaint was that I had to split off from the group to put money in the parking meter, because it had become so long. Note to self: park in a garage next time, just in case.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to get involved and is in the LA area during the month of January. I don’t know the date yet for 2017, but I will keep you posted!