With all the stresses of college, students can have a hard time making service a priority. As we stare down term papers, blurry computer screens and empty coffee cups, going out and making a difference for Christ seems like something that is going to have to wait. However, when God struck the hearts of three young women at Corban waiting was not an option; they had to do something about injustice now.
Kristie Walrath, Hayley Dawson, and Hillary Roeder are responsible for the human trafficking awareness event taking place in the Psalm Center tomorrow night. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admittance is free. The evening will include speakers, a testimony from a survivor, and a powerful drama that Corban students helped produce.
While there will be a variety of speakers, the topics will be more than just grim statistics. One speaker in particular will be addressing the men in the audience, speaking on the realities of sexual violence and how the media portrays women and how that relates to sex trafficking.
“I’m excited,” said Roeder. “So often we see women standing up against [sex trafficking] and so it’s nice to have a male speaker come in and say ‘What can we as men do?’”
Roeder recognizes that human trafficking has been a bit of a hot topic lately, but her hope with this event is that students will be able to get beyond the barrier of thinking this issue doesn’t happen locally and connect with the realities of what is taking place in our world, and even in Salem.
“A lot of times we hear about the realities of this injustice as well as other injustices going on, but it doesn’t hit home to us, because we don’t realize that it’s happening here, it’s happening in Salem, it’s happening in Portland,” she said. “We hear all these awful stories that are heart-wrenching but it’s almost more comfortable not to get involved. I want students to get enough awareness to where their hearts are compelled to do something.”
But Roeder doesn’t speak blindly, for herself she said, “There is never going to be a day now that I’m involved in working with injustices that I’m going to be okay sitting back and watching [it] happen.”