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Slavery Today: Event at Media-Upper Providence Library

Jan 30

By Mariana L. Sears

Human trafficking.  Child labor. Sexual exploitation.

How distant from my reality  – that of a Media, PA – resident and a stay-at-home mom of three – are these concepts?

I feel very far away from them, but I might not be.

Pennsylvania writer and speaker Carol H. Metzker and educator Sam Lemon will talk about forms of modern slavery during a presentation this coming Wednesday at the Media Municipal Building. Metzker, who authored “Facing the Monster:  How One Person Can Fight Child Slavery” and Lemon, a professor at Neumann University and a descendant of slaves, will share the stories of real victims  and will discuss how important this matter is today in our communities and worldwide.

“Here in Pennsylvania, I met three women from Asia who were enslaved in domestic servitude for years before being rescued and recovering at Dawn’s Place, a special nearby residence for survivors of human trafficking,” said Metzker. “Slaves are unpaid, unable to leave, and held by violence or threat of harm to themselves or their loved ones,” she explained.

As a volunteer for the Media Fair Trade Town committee, I am aware of various forms of modern slavery – child labor, mostly – in developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. There are people there being forced to work and being paid nothing. Sadly, that is how we get our inexpensive coffee, sugar, cocoa, etc. Also, I know of migrant workers from Mexico and other countries in Latin America who come to the U.S to work in farms under conditions that very much remind those of slavery. What was new – and shocking – was hearing about women enslaved in domestic servitude here in Pennsylvania.

“Most Americans tend to be very isolated from things like war, violence, and human trafficking,” said Lemon. “People have to learn to overcome their fear of looking at the unpleasant side of the human condition, ” he said.

This program will help us overcome those fears by becoming more conscious about modern slavery, a crime against humanity. Metzker and Lemon will also talk about specific things people can do to help and bring about change. There will be representatives of local organizations with information at hand.

The event will be held January 30th, 7PM at the Parlor Room at the Media Municipal Center, 301 N Jackson St., Media, PA.

More information can be found on the Media-Upper Providence Free Library website.

[Editor’s Note: Published with the author’s permission, also posted at Fig Media, PA]