The Value of Teaching Youth About Social Justice
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”- Micah 6:8
On Thursday, February 25, 2016 the End It Movement (www.enditmovement.com) helped shine a light on modern day slavery. There are 27 million people caught in some form of slavery. There are three types of slavery today (bonded labor, forced labor, and human trafficking). It is a major day, where people all over the world marked a red “X” on their hand and posted pictures on social media, from celebrities to athletes to everyday people making a mark and raising awareness in order to help the world know that slavery still exists, but together we can end it.
The reality is, there are a lot of people who do not realize that slavery still exists today. In fact, not many realize there are over 60,000 people still caught in slavery in the United States! It is a hard reality, but reality nonetheless.
I first heard about the End It Movement at the Passion Conference in Atlanta, GA in 2013 when it began. I knew about human trafficking and slavery, but did not realize it was something that happened here. Now, I see things differently and know that human trafficking can be found in over 85% of the countries in the world.
I took a group of students to PASSION (www.268generation.com) and they heard about the issue of slavery. We left with energy and excitement to raise awareness in our community.
The students were excited to share what they had learned and I was excited to see them take up a cause bigger than themselves. It wasn’t about them, but raising awareness about a tragic situation that is occurring daily.
These kids are our future politicians. They are the future law enforcement agents. They are the future pro athletes, actors, doctors, business owners, and more. They have to realize that the clothes they wear, products they buy, and/or the people they see daily could possibly be influenced by slavery. If their eyes are opened to this, then they can be sure to act accordingly.
They will be sure to use safe and healthy manufacturers to produce their products. They will be sure to support and encourage education around the issue. They could even be a part of creating legislation that creates change in the lives of those entrapped.
Freeing slavery is not just a Christian issue to take up, but we should be at the forefront. Our kids should see that we should stand for freedom. We should not sit back and allow people to live lives in captivity, while losing their sense of purpose and hope.
We worship a Jesus that came to set the captives free and bring life to all. So, we should stand to help people experience life and restore their hope.
Our youth need to see that they are a part of the change now, not later. They can use their voices to create change in the lives of many, not just slaves, but those who are discriminated against, beat down by society, or even mistreated by those who are supposed to take care of them.
Our youth need to see their value is not found when they have a degree or have a job, but their voice and actions carry weight today, which means they need to do something now!
May we, as the Church and adults, be supportive of young people as they take steps to make a difference in the lives of the broken. May we encourage their movement and provide opportunities for them to use their gifts to lift up the least and the lost for the glory of Christ.
Perhaps we would see more young people rising to enhance the Church instead of stepping away from the body if they were utilized for more than Christmas plays and/or special events?
That could be a good change.
Peace and blessing friends.
QUESTION: What are you passionate about and how do you see yourself empowering youth to express their passions?