A Tallahassee high school student has almost single handedly organized a march on the Florida Capitol that takes place on Friday of this week (4/24/15). She’s actually been a dedicated social activist almost her entire time in high school.
Laurie Findley is eighteen years old and a senior at Chiles High School. She’s a good student, but there’s something else consuming much of her time and energy, too.
“In ninth grade I saw the documentary ‘The Dark Side of Chocolate’, which highlighted human trafficking in the chocolate industry,” Findley recalled. “And then in tenth I joined the Ann Power program so they flew me to Washington DC for a youth leadership program. And then when I came back I got to apply for a grant and I held a human trafficking seminar.”
The ANNpower Vital Voices Initiative Findley’s part of is a partnership between ANN INC., parent company of Ann Taylor and LOFT, and Vital Voices. Its stated purpose is to empower young women from across the U.S. with the leadership skills they need to affect global progress, invest in their communities and become the next generation of leaders. Findley is happy to see the public and policy makers’ awareness of human trafficking on the rise.
“Human trafficking is becoming a more popularized issue. More legislators are focusing on it. This session a lot of legislation is being proposed – both on the state and national levels – and it’s also more in the public eye, like fair trade is joining organic things as being more popularized,” she said.
But Findley is convinced more needs to be done, so she’s organized an event to focus additional attention on the matter.
“On April 24th I’m going to be holding a human trafficking awareness march to the Florida Capitol. At 2:30 p.m. we’ll be meeting at the FSU Law School Rotunda and we’re going to be walking over to the Capitol Courtyard for an awareness event,” Findley explained, adding there will be a number of speakers once the march reaches the Capitol.
“We’re hoping that Representative (Michelle Rehwinkel) Vasilinda will share a few words about human trafficking legislation and then a survivor of human trafficking, Connie Rose, is going to share her story and outline how we can help combat human trafficking.”
There will also be plenty of information about the issue.
“There are going to be awareness tables set up so there’s going to be one dedicated to legislation on the state and national levels, and there will also be awareness tables dedicated to human trafficking in different industries, such as the electronics industry and clothing industry,” Findley said and urged anyone interested to go online to find out more in advance of Friday’s march and Capitol rally.
“You can go to my website: www.tastingfreedomnow.com, or you can find us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.”
It will also be a great opportunity to meet a remarkable young woman who’s taken on an international issue with a skill and devotion far beyond her years.