'Stand' event, movie focus attention on modern-day slavery

'Stand' event, movie focus attention on modern-day slavery

BBC students powered two Scranton-area events in April, drawing community attention to modern-day slavery, human trafficking, and the challenges of forging change.

BBC&SNearly 200 people participated in the April 9 Scranton Stand for Freedom. The 24 consecutive hours on Lackawanna County Courthouse Square enabled students to connect with local residents, area churches, and students from other colleges in this International Justice Mission-connected event. It included opportunities to learn about slavery and human trafficking and ways to make a difference. The Stand also included space for prayer in groups, take-home prayer cards, activities such as T-shirt-making and more.

See pictures from the day here.

The Stand was followed on April 10 by an area premier of the movie "#standwithme," which saw another 200 in attendance. The impressive, expansive documentary makes the brutal issue of modern-day slavery accessible. Portland-based filmmaking studio Stillmotion's movie introduces viewers to a 9-year-old who started a lemonade stand to help end child slavery and explores how others can make a stand against it, too.

The events grew out of the interest of students to make a difference on matters of worldwide importance.

"A lot of people already cared about slavery, but didn't realize there was hope for change," said Leah Brock, a sophomore Office Administration major from Candor, NY. "Sometimes we talked a lot about slavery, other times the topic changed; people were eager to connect and be heard."

The local Stand was part of a nationwide effort of IJM, a non-profit Christian organization that uses the criminal justice system in nations to combat human and sex trafficking, forced-labor slavery, police brutality, and illegal land taking. Relentless violence is an everyday reality for the nearly 30 million people trapped in slavery around the world, leading to the event theme: One day for their every day.

BBC&SAmong those attending was Ericka Bruckner (04), who spent time on Courthouse Square with her daughter, Gianella, in a stroller.

"Human trafficking and modern-day slavery breaks my heart," she said. "When I heard BBC was organizing the Stand to raise awareness and fight against it, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. So many people think of slavery as a thing that happened a long, long time ago or far, far away, so the Stand was a great opportunity to let the community know slavery is still a devastating problem globally."

"Organizers provided an eye-opening and interactive experience to share the problem of modern-day slavery. The paper chain that represented people who would be taken into slavery that very day was a sobering visual reminder. It was encouraging to see the passion of students who had been standing since midnight for the cause."

Rachel Mowers, a junior Communications major who grew up in Cape Town, South Africa and is now from Preble, NY, was glad to see the events making an impact on her fellow students and the community.

"As Christians we are called to 'do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God,'" she said. "I am going to spend my life using the talents God has blessed me with to help give a voice to the voiceless."

Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers outstanding Christian higher education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to think biblically, grow spiritually, and serve faithfully as they gain critical leadership and life skills.

To learn more, go to or call 570.586.2400.

Posted on: 4/11/2014 1:15:10 PM

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