None Are Free



Gerardo works all day with his family in a brick kiln. Children around the world are missing out on a childhood free from oppression.

Hello Friends!

It is nearly common knowledge that President Obama has declared January to be “Human Trafficking Month”; a month dedicated to awareness-raising and consciously fighting against modern-day slavery. There are legions of abolitionists now employed in the fight, and slavery is known to exist by most in the world. This is why it seems especially incredible to me that there are still some who ask, ignorantly, “Why Care?!”

Six years ago when I was 12 and launched Loose Change to Loosen Chains, people were shocked to learn slavery still existed.  But now, after countless documentaries, TV specials, newspaper articles, t-shirts with clever slogans, fund raising efforts and a Presidential declaration, how can it be that people are still surprised?  And, even more importantly, how can those who know ask “what does it matter to me?”

I have seen and heard these kinds of comments everywhere from Facebook to everyday conversation, some even making it seem a race issue, wondering why I would want to help someone who looks differently from me, when there are “white people in my own city who are homeless and starving.” This blows my mind. If we cannot acknowledge that the most basic human right, the right to freedom, is of utmost importance—then all the other issues become permissible. If it is okay to look the other way when there are people forced, against their will, to become prostitutes, then anything else goes. If we can ignore the fact that children are bought and sold and used as livestock how can we claim to love others?

Does this seem right? How can we be so ignorant and prejudiced to say that the only people who deserve to be helped are those who live close to us and look like us? This is important as well—any violation of human rights must be remedied. But, to limit our compassion to someone who has a struggle that is familiar – or someone who looks or sounds familiar – is an affront to our Creator.

Let’s take a stand against modern day slavery, in our own backyards and in around the world – for, “…if one of us are chained, none of us are free.” 

This month I’ll be posting practical actions you can take to follow in the footsteps of abolitionists of the past.

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”  
Frederick Douglass  

Photo courtesy of Compassion International


14 thoughts on “None Are Free

  1. Hey Zach,
    I’m a teacher in the Atlanta area. In a unit on slavery, my class decided they wanted to do something about modern day slavery. Any ideas about what we could do as a class without doing a fundraiser? we have resources and time…

    • zachhunter

      You could volunteer at one of the shelters in Atlanta and help with the renovation of a home for rescued victims. You could also create valentine’s packages/cards that educate about slave labor in the chocolate industry. Another would be to do a “Freeze Project” through One Voice to End Slavery.

  2. Wow Zach,

    That is some incredible and sickening truth. It’s hard to believe that people actually react those ways… I would say, “Why DON’T you care?” The whole point about it being an affront to our Creator, so true. The depth of your understanding and passion is inspiring to no end, Zach. I can see God working through you and it is AMAZING (for lack of a better word).
    By the way, I saw that the picture was from Compassion. I am in the process of making a website to increase awareness and to raise funds through selling my wearable art… Do you know where from and how I can get some different images to make my site more effective?
    Thank you so much! God bless and keep on fighting for justice,
    Jessica Jordan Schaeffer

  3. Oh and to add another thing… I was just reading through Job and I came across this verse (a total “God-thing!”)
    “‘Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?'” ~Job 31:15
    It is truly astounding how God speaks to us, isn’t it?

  4. Dear Zach,

    I bought your book at Grace Church a couple years ago and recently read Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl Wudunn’s’s book “Half the Sky”. In addition to donating to some of the grassroots organization on the ground, I had an idea of how to raise money and awareness for girls trapped in slavery and wondered what you thought about it. Would you mind e-mailing me when you have a chance?

    Thank you

  5. Mel Chan

    Hey Zach I know this probably isn’t the right place to do this, i sent you an email but you you probably havn’t gotten to it so i’ll just ask you here, hope its not a problem. Well i’m a youth leader in our church and this year we’re having our conference, WATERWALKERS, August 12,13,14, and were hoping to have you impart to the youth your heart for the needy. I feel that you’ll be a great blessing to the youth down hear in hidalgo county. If you are interested let me know what information you need and where or to who i need to send the info please. Thank you Zach.

  6. Ella

    Thanks for posting. I used the Solomon Burke quote to close a research paper I wrote on slavery in the cocoa industry. People were very surprised to hear my topic. So few know about it… Slavery thrives because of its secrecy; just bringing it up in conversation helps to drive away the darkness.

  7. bridgette Mongeon

    Zach we would like to interview you for an online Christian Podcast. Are you available? please e mail me so we can discuss this further.

  8. ‘wondering why I would want to help someone who looks differently from me, when there are “white people in my own city who are homeless and starving.”’

    I really get that. It’s like, “don’t worry about people over in those countries — fix THIS place up if you want to fix something up!”

    It’s so wrong, isn’t it? I want to do something to help. I found your name in the Do Hard Things book two days ago — actually, we’re studying and watching Amazing Grace in English, too. So, now that I think about it — this could be a God-thing.

    It says you haven’t posted since January — but I’m leaving this comment anyway, just in case they get sent to you.:)

  9. Chris Lin

    I am a student in Taiwan

    In this year
    We want to go Africa
    We may help slaves
    CAn you Help ME
    I think the slave problem BESIdes suferance is important but in the origin is as important as it

  10. Zach, How can we get more people involved? I am listening to Half the Sky and learned of your activity. I wasn’t aware that President Obama declared January, “trafficking month”. I come from a progressive state and hangout with progressive people that work on these sorts of issues and even I was shocked by the stories I heard in “Half the Sky”.

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