Dress Up and Stand Up

Dress+Up+and+Stand+Up

Molly Schroeder, Artist and Reporter

On December 1st, many people in or associated with the Interact Club of Craig High School started wearing dresses, neckties, skirts, and other formal apparel. What is the purpose of wearing nice clothes during the month of December? That is exactly what they want you to ask.

This month-long event called Dressember uses advocates like the students at Craig High School to speak out against human trafficking. When someone asks a participant why they are dressing up so nicely, it serves as a conversation starter about the importance of Dressember’s cause.

As the official Dressember website said, “The dress is our uniform, the flag of our movement. Dressember is an opportunity to reclaim and reappropriate the dress as a symbol of freedom and power; a flag for the inherent dignity of all people.”

Lindsay Barwick (12), Emma Bussan (12), Esther Jung (11), and Liz Puentes-Avalos (11), Interact Club’s officers, have worked hard to get a huge gathering of the club to participate in this year’s Dressember. Liz Puentes-Avalos, the treasurer, put together a few facts that everyone should know about human trafficking:

  •  Human trafficking exists in every city around the world from large cities to agricultural areas.  
  • More than 40 million people around the world are in human trafficking.
  • One-fourth of victims are children.
  • Human trafficking generates around $150 billion a year.

 

How does bringing awareness of this information help end the spread of human trafficking? The more people who know about it, the more people can fight against it through means of donation or helping others join the cause. This way, more people are likely to point out suspicious activity, speak out against it, or raise money.

Craig’s Interact Club is actively raising money through the Dressember Foundation.” All of the funds through Dressember go towards creating innovative programs to help prevent, intervene, educate, and protect victims of human trafficking,” says Blythe Hill, the founder of Dressember.

Dressember has three main goals: prevention, intervention, and protection. Prevention comes through teaching those around us what human trafficking looks like in our world today so that they can identify and avoid those situations. 

Intervention happens when one can identify human trafficking happening to them or a loved one so that they can speak out against it. Finally, protection is served to the survivors of human trafficking by providing a safe home, therapy, or medical attention.

To spread education and protection materials, people participating in Dressember wish to raise money to meet the club’s goal of $1000.00. Currently, in the middle of the month, they only have $253 raised.

Those who wish to join the cause can join at any time. There are no strict rules on Dressember besides that one must wear a tie or dress during the month. Although many must remain at home during the month of December due to Covid, the impact still lasts through digital classes or meetings.

It is encouraged to visit the Dressember Foundation website itself or go to Craig’s custom team page within the website during this month to keep up on information or donate to the end of Human Trafficking. If you have done that, go ahead and share our cause on social media.