What does wearing a tie have to do with human trafficking?
By Vivienne Hurley
Will Rossland’s student-led initiative for Dressember be part of the fabric of change?
High school students attending Seven Summits Centre for Learning (7S) in Rossland have created a community of advocates to fight against human trafficking and have donned their uniforms in support of Dressember. The dress and the tie, flags of the movement, have become regular attire in the run up to the winter break at the Learning Centre. 7S Students have been reclaiming and reappropriating these symbols of freedom and power since they first started supporting Dressember three years ago.
Students are determined to make a difference by dressing up for the 31 days in December, as part of the Dressember campaign. They have accepted the challenge to wear a dress or tie throughout the entire month to raise awareness of modern slavery and help the charity prevent trafficking, and intervene and protect the lives of trafficking victims and survivors in Canada and across the world.
7S grad Lily Holmes, who has pledged to donate all the tips she made working at Zee Crepes Cafe in Warfield during November to their Dressember campaign, says: “Human trafficking is a huge issue and we want to raise money and more awareness to try and end it.”
7S student Cooper Legler, who sported a bodycon dress for the campaign’s launch at the Learning Centre, says: “Dressember is a great cause to support and it’s the first year that a bunch of guys here have got involved with it in such a big way. Sadly, me wearing a dress will bring more attention to it but it’s something I’m happy to do if it helps and it’s pretty fun, too!”
7S Grad Talia Symington adds: “Human trafficking is a bit of a taboo topic, which can be dehumanising for its victims, and difficult to fundraise for with the public being less inclined to want to help. People are detached from it, don’t think that they can make a difference and that it’s not even possible in North America, but the horror stories are a reality for many vulnerable individuals who find themselves in a precarious situation, either through homelessness or abuse, and we want to help them fight for their dignity.”
7S students are appealing to their peers and the community to become part of the fabric of change and help change the world by dressing up and donating to their Just Giving page (www.justgiving.com/7S). They hope their student led initiative will raise $1000 for the charity.