By Julia Petraglia '12, Contributing Writer
The 5 College Abolitionist Movement (5CAM) was started last spring by Marissa Enfield (Scripps ’12). Enfield started this club after she returned from studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark last fall. While in Copenhagen, Enfield had taken a course which focused on human trafficking. She realized that the human rights issue wasn’t often discussed in the greater Scripps community, and her class in Copenhagen exposed just how little she had been exposed to this sort of information.
“I was surprised my professors weren’t talking about this,” said Enfield. “I wanted students to have an extracurricular outlet to learn more about the different forms that slavery takes, and where and why it happens throughout the world.”
Last semester, one of 5CAM’s first events as a club was a screening of "Lilya 4-Ever." This film about the sex trafficking industry garnered a large student turnout. The screening showed that student interest in the issue of human trafficking was high. However, 5CAM is a club which emphasizes all sorts of human trafficking; the sex industry is not the only industry in which this trafficking occurs, and the victims of human trafficking aren’t limited to women and children.
This semester, 5CAM collaborated with SCORE in bringing Kay Buck, the executive director of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking LA, to Scripps. Buck’s Oct. 4 lecture discussed ways that college students can get involved in the fight against trafficking.
In the coming weeks, 5CAM has more informational events planned to raise awareness about human trafficking and implement the strategies brought up by Buck. Members of the club will be outside 5C dining halls for a reverse- trick-or-treating project. Members of 5CAM will be handing out fair-trade chocolate in an attempt to educate the student body about trafficking issues within the cocoa industry. The reverse- trick-or-treating will be followed by a screening of the film The Dark Side of Chocolate.
Though Enfield has been active in the club’s formation, she emphasizes that there are many perspectives and she still has much to learn. “I can’t claim to be an expert on the topic,” Enfield said. Since there are so many perspectives surrounding the myriad global instances of human trafficking, members of 5CAM are hoping to help their fellow students get a well- rounded view of the issues. The club is planning on bringing more experts to the colleges to help students become better informed.
5CAM is a space for students to learn about the global issue of human trafficking through discussion, documentary and film screenings, local volunteering and activism. The club is always looking for new members. If interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.