I work for International Justice Mission, and much of my job involves meeting with Congressional offices about the issues we work on: slavery, sexual violence and police abuse of power. It comes pretty easy to me because I’ve been a human rights lobbyist and advocate for the past 30+ years. But my very favorite kind of legislative meeting is one where I can point to how much the folks at home care about ending modern-day slavery.

Legislators and their staff are much more interested in hearing from their own constituents than they are from me. That’s the cool thing about democracy. Our elected representatives work for us.

It’s fashionable these days to be cynical about the U.S. Congress. But those of us who follow Jesus need to check our cynicism at the door. Sure, there’s lots that’s broken in Congress these days. But I’ve seen Members and Senators from all points on the political spectrum collaborate on issues that matter, particularly when they hear from folks at home.

On June 9 and 10, IJM is hosting our annual Advocacy Summit, where nearly 300 Americans from all 50 states will join me and my team here in Washington. We’ll be asking Members of Congress and their staff to provide multi-year assistance to the countries of Ghana and the Philippines, to help them eradicate child slavery.

IJM has three offices in the Philippines, and we will set up a new field office in Ghana later this year. Our hope is that the U.S. government can join IJM’s efforts on behalf of children trafficked into the sex industry in the Philippines and into labor slavery in Ghana.

Registration to attend the Advocacy Summit in person has already filled up, but we need your help in making sure that our message is heard loud and clear on June 10. While we’re meeting with Members of Congress on June 10 in person, we need you to be calling their offices and showing strong support for these anti-slavery initiatives.

Whether you’re an experienced advocate or just starting out, whether you participate by phone or in person, we need you to join us in showing members of Congress that their constituents are using their freedom as Americans to advocate for the freedom of others.

Please join us and call Congress on June 10!

About The Author

Holly Burkhalter
VP of Government Relations & Advocacy, IJM

Holly J. Burkhalter serves as Vice President of Government Relations & Advocacy at International Justice Mission. Holly leads IJM’s grassroots advocacy program to mobilize people around the country and build support for U.S. policies that will abolish modern-day slavery and other forms of violence of the world’s poorest. She has been active in the international human rights field for 35 years, and is the author of Good God, Lousy World & Me, the Improbable Journey of a Human Rights Activist from Unbelief to Faith.

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