Batstone & Not for Sale: Free concerts battle slavery

If you’ve never heard of Not For Sale until today, you’re not alone. But this nonprofit global movement is one of the most powerful signs that faith truly is alive and making a difference on planet Earth today. It’s a movement of young, modern-day abolitionists, most of them motivated by their religious faith, trying to change global policies to end slavery in distant lands. AND, they’re also working every day to investigate cases of slavery in the United States as well.

Next week at ReadTheSpirit, you’ll meet David Batstone, the scholar and activist at the hub of this powerful global movement, largely fueled by men and women in their late teens and 20s. We’re starting today with our reporting to share this link with you …

Attend free Air 1 Not for Sale Freedom Tour concerts now through Nov. 11

TONIGHT in Kansas City, Missouri, Not for Sale is kicking off its latest nationwide music tour—one of the keys to organizing and motivating this network of remarkably young activists. This website for the Air 1 Freedom Tour lists all the dates from tonight’s Kansas City show through dates in Texas, the Southwest and California—ending on November 11.

Why you should care about Not for Sale and the modern abolition movement

1.) Because 27 million people are enslaved today, including many inside the United States.

2.) Because David Batstone and Not for Sale has mobilized thousands of young volunteers to take action against slavery across the U.S. and around the world.

Examples of journalism spreading news about Not for Sale

Most traditional news organizations don’t see the news in this story—but many of us working in new forms of journalism understand why this story matters so much.

You’re reading one example of new-form journalism covering Not for Sale right now—with much more to come from ReadTheSpirit next week.

Here’s another example: Batstone’s Not for Sale network pops up all across the Internet in blogs and new-media magazines like this Boston-area online magazine called BLAST.

In a recently posted news story, BLAST covered local Not for Sale activity—and reported on how this movement connects with historic concerns about human rights in the Boston area. In one section of the story, writer Jessica Colund reports:

The eyes and ears of everyday civilians are required. Sarah Durfey, the co-director of Not For Sale’s Massachusetts chapter, discovered this as a sophomore at Gordon College when Not For Sale’s president, David Batstone, spoke at her school. He told a story about a young Asian girl whose desperately impoverished family sold her to a wealthy American who claimed he would give her a better life. For five years, she lived with him and his family near Worcester, Massachusetts, doing all the household chores and being raped repeatedly. The man was a well-respected pastor and community leader, so none of the neighbors, church parishioners, or school officials realized that they were encountering human trafficking on a regular basis.

Recalling Batstone’s visit to her college, Durfey said, “I was just blown away by the fact that slavery still existed…I knew I needed to do something.” Audrey McIntosh, a full-time volunteer with Not For Sale Massachusetts, agrees that awareness leads to action. She explains earnestly, “If we bring awareness, we can save lives.”

Think about this: When was the last time a friend in your congregation, your community group or your circle of friends “earnestly” told you: “If we bring awareness, we can save lives.” That energy is electric and it flows through networks like Not for Sale that are largely invisible to traditional media.

You can purchase copies of, “Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade—and How We Can Fight It,” from Amazon now.

We want our international conversation to continue

Conversation is far better than the dangerous shouting matches we’ve been witnessing in our global culture recently. So, please, email us at [email protected] and tell us what you think of our stories—and, please tell a friend to start reading along with you!

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