Upcoming Student Production Will Showcase Modern-Day Slavery

The clothes we wear, the food we eat , the electronics we use—all are part of the numerous industries that exploit slave and child labor in third world countries, and we support them by purchasing without knowing where products come from. To bring awareness on the issue, The Not For Sale Club (NFS) will host “Sweet Misery,” a short play that depicts the daily life of a slave at a garment factory, so that consumers are encouraged to not purchase products tainted by slave labor. NFS mainly focuses on bringing awareness to human trafficking in San Francisco.

Sophomores Dominique Tan and Kelly Mills created the pilot. Both students are part of the Erasmus community and the Not for Sale Club. If the play is successful, it will be launched nationwide—making USF the pioneer of the event.

The garment factory simulation will occur on May 6th from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Harney Plaza. As part of the event, NFS will also hand out bracelets that represent a product, without giving consumers any knowledge of who produced it. For every 27th person, each bracelet will represent 1 million people in slavery.

The 7 p.m. showing will give out free fair trade chocolate.

According to NFS President Andrea Powell, there are more people enslaved in the world today than during the transatlantic slave trade. In 1780, approximately 40,000 slaves were trafficked across the Atlantic that year alone. Today, there is an estimated 400,000-800,000 slaves who cross international borders every year. That number does not include existing slaves.

Powell, an international studies major and a politics minor, is also a student movement intern for the NFS campaign. Recently, Powell had the opportunity to recreate the NFS handbook to reconfigure the student abolitionist movement. Her input included ways to bring awareness on human trafficking, specifically how to take action, how to create a club, and how to attend global advocacy days.

Powell recognizes how crucial it is to be an active member of the club. She has learned how hard it is to start a national movement. Powell said, “I thought it’d be easy because of national fads, but human rights issues create a strange block that prevents it from spreading from person to person.”

Powell hopes to one day work for human rights issues. She said there are many global issues that slavery touches on. She hopes to see USF take a stand and become more involved.  By taking small steps, she said it can lead to big changes.

To learn more, visit notforsalecampaign.org or email notforsaleclub@usfca.edu.

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