Monday, April 4, 2011
Walking into an oasis of an apartment after trekking through London with excessive luggage and portions of the underground shut down our host apologized for the chaos. Looking around I realize I am in the apartment of an artist and a dreamer. Every surface is covered with accessories: beautiful, colorful, vintage, broken, and fabulous accessories. As Shannon puts on water for tea (oh how I love the English and their tea) she explains that she is getting ready for a pop-up shop that will be taking place later in the week. As Shannon explained the creative process around me I realized I was meeting a woman who had inspired me years ago.
In 2008 the staff of ReIMAGINE set out to develop a curriculum to train people on activism. I was asked to lead the project and focus on an issue I am deeply passionate about: human trafficking. One campaign that I found inspiring and had proven to be effective was The Truth Isn't Sexy (TTIS). Based off their idea to put coasters in bars with information about sex trafficking in order to educate men on how demand fuels the sex trade; a crew of us put coffee cozies in coffee shops with a link to information about modern day slavery (most of the coffee we drink that isn't fair/ethically/directly traded is likely to be linked to modern day slavery).
Shannon was the original creator of TTIS. Shannon and just last week she was kind enough to host my roommate and myself on the last night of our vacation in London. Mark had introduced us via facebook before I arrived and we had begun figuring out that we had a few fun connections, but I hadn't made the connection about her work with human trafficking until she started explaining her current project: Sweet Notions a project designed to use pre-loved accessories to provide aftercare.
I am so excited that this is happening. Her pop-up shops look like so much fun I desperately want to fly to London just to attend one! Still, the design camps are my favorite element. Teaching trafficking victims how to create is both healing and empowering and I love that they are taking this on.
Watch my blog for how you can get involved. I can't help but join in on something this inspired!