by Jenna Houk, correspondent
Men and women everywhere have been using fashion and social media to campaign to end human trafficking.
The founder of this movement, called Dressember, is Blythe Hill, who said it started as a personal fashion challenge to wear a dress every day for the month of December. This led to much more.
“When I aligned Dressember with anti-trafficking, I did so out of the tension I had felt for years,” she said, “feeling
passionate to engage in this fight in a significant way and yet powerless to do so by the conventional pathways I saw,” Blythe Hill says on the Dressember website.
Hill said that Dressemeber is an opportunity to engage in something that matters and make a large impact by doing something simple.
According to the Dressember annual report, 5,787 men and women across the globe raised $1.5 million to fight human trafficking by participating in Dressember in 2016.
Deanna Philips, a junior urban ministry major and Dressember intern, said, “[Dressember] really seeks to fight the cause of human trafficking. They partner with two organizations, A21 and International Justice Mission, so all the money that is raised goes towards those organizations.”
Philips said thousands of people across the globe, including a number of Moody students, are participating in Dressember.
“If you’re a girl you wear a dress every day in December and if you’re a guy you wear a tie or bow-tie every day in December,” she said. “And then you can post about it on social media or you can bring up conversation with people to get people involved, to bring awareness to the issue. And then at the same time you’re raising money for those organizations.”
Philips stressed the importance of men participating in the fight against trafficking.
“I think [it’s important for guys to participate] because we need to see this as not an issue that just affects women, and like women are the only ones who care. This is an epidemic of the world and it affects men, women, children, everybody.”
Philips said she decided to participate and continues to participate because she wanted to be a part of something important that could help end such a devastating problem like human trafficking.
“Dressember is important because a lot of times people say they can tweet or they can put on Facebook ‘oh, this issue breaks my heart’ or whatever, but Dressember is actually doing something about it and taking a stand and not just typing something about it.”
Moody students, both men and women can participate in Dressember this year by registering at Dressember.org.