by Tiffany Simpson, Advocacy Lab Associate, Karana Rising

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I used to think of justice, or rather, injustice in terms of the law only. I was often trapped in my own story. So, how did the police mistreat me? How did prosecutors in my case ignore this mistreatment and continue to advocate for a child victim of sex trafficking to be sentenced to 30 years in jail? What rights of mine were violated? I felt justice was not in my control.

Yet, creating a just world actually is something we all must participate in if we want a world where we all have the same access. I have learned, I can not be passive in my own path toward justice. In fact, it’s with fighting for myself that I can actually begin to heal, even behind bars. …


by Snezana Vukovic, Karana Rising

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You didn’t mess up. You didn’t do it all wrong. This is what I wanted to say to you.

I used to beat myself up thinking I was such a failure. Now, I know that actually all of my mistakes are life lessons. There is no magical pill or diet or Instagram post that will change the past. So, I’m learning to stop running from my shame or fear and actually lean into and ask: what are you here to teach me today?

To share weakness is to make yourself vulnerable, but to make yourself vulnerable is to show your power.” …


By Deraso Dokhole

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We always hear and talk about “ Africa rising” but the question I keep on asking myself is Africa rising? The late Ali Mufuruki a Tanzanian businessman argued that Africa’s economic growth for the last 20 years has been by 6%-7% compared to china’s economic growth at their peak of rising which was at 18% and at some point, their economy declined by 10% and it was termed a recession so what does that mean the world has a mediocre expectation for African countries. On the other hand, Africa development bank projected in 2017 that Africa was to be the world’s second-fastest-growing economy and estimates that average growth will rebound to 3.4% in 2017 while growth was expected to increase by 4.3% …


by Ashley Lowe,

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Work and life. There is a lot of talk about balance. What if it’s not balance. Now, more than ever, it’s blending your life in a way that works for you and those you love. So, lean into the beauty of a messy life of work, home and everything else happening around you.

I am a 26 year old mom of 2 boys and two girls who keep me on the run. I’m also in business school and a professional advocate for survivors of human trafficking at Karana Rising. …


Andrea Powell with Fecha Taleso, Karana

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There will be people who push back that there is a link between sex trafficking and the killing of Breonna Taylor. They push back because admitting the connection between racism and sex trafficking means taking a hard look on how this country was founded. Only, it does not take much to see that a country whose founding was rooted in slavery and property rights would later have a serious problem with yet more slavery. …


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by Andrea Powell with Tiffany Simpson, from the Advocacy lab

The reality of being in prison during a global pandemic is dark. How do you social distance in a pandemic if you live in a row of small boxes? Already isolated, prisoners no longer have visitors. Outbreaks of COVID in women’s prisons are increasing from South Dakota to Virginia.

Tiffany has been in prison in a small county in Georgia now since 2011. At 17, she was sentenced to 30 years in jail for crimes that her trafficker, a. 34 year old man, did to her and another child. Karana Rising’s team is advocating for her her release and there is hope on the horizon with the possibility of her appeal being heard. …


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Now more than ever, I find myself looking inward. I do this so that when I live my daily life, I’m doing it with purpose. It would be easy to just live life each day for me and not think about my purpose. Only, what kind of life would that be. As a survivor of so many things, I have found my purpose in taking my past abuse and exploitation and using it to reach others like you. I know that we have all had our daily lives turned upside down these last seven months. I bet if I asked you the very moment you realized that your city was shutting down and you were going to have to survive in a new way, you would be able to tell me. That is called trauma-bonding and right now, the world has experienced this in a way that I don’t know if we ever had before. I’ve been worried for myself, for my friends and even strangers. Only, worry does not create inner peace for you and it even takes away your ability to know your own purpose. If you are feeling alone or that you don’t know your next steps, I am here to tell you that is normal. I also want to share with you a few things that help me in my inner growth and purpose. Lean into your worries because you have a lot to learn from them. First, I lean into my worries and questions. I hear them and ask why they are there. What are they trying to teach me about myself? Next, I might find a few things that sooth and create peace for me. I have learned that mood music brings me peace so I created a little playlist to guide my own inner thoughts. Find daily ways to show yourself you love yourself. Seriously, it does not have to be some huge endeavor. Just. Take it day by day. I have lived with a serious illness my whole life on top of being trafficked as a teenager, so taking care of my health matters to me. What I put in my body is critical to my survival and happiness. I used to think it was too expensive to eat well because I was just used to going to carry out or eating what I could find. When I was staying in a safe home for survivors of trafficking, I realized that I didn’t have to give into this idea that to eat well I had to have money. I was at this smoothie place that was all kinds of expensive and reading the ingredients and realized, “I can make this way cheaper at home.” Well, I tried it and now creating healthy smoothies with almond milk, fruit or berries or even veggies really makes me feel like I’m loving myself. Reach outside yourself. I’ve also found myself feeling happier when I’m reaching out and offering support to those around me. I’m a transgender young woman of color. I have seen deep discrimination and hurt done to my friends around me who are gender minorities. Sadly, this includes police brutality or indifference. This is simply wrong and the way I’m going to give back and stand up is by sharing my own story. For those who have been hurt, I see you and am here with you. For those of you who seek to expand your heart, I’m here to support your steps as an ally. Believe you deserve to be happy. The truth is you have to hear yourself before you can hear others well enough to help them. You deserve to feel happy and live out your purpose. Yes, you do. Maybe you need to start saying that “I deserve to be truly happy.” Now, if you believe it, you have to live it. Are you doing things that support your happiness or holding you back? It’s okay to say, “both.” Just be honest in how you create space for your happiness. Create your own personal mission statement. I know what I’m here to do. I see it and I call myself inward each night to reflect on how I’m doing with my purpose. You can write it down. You can instagram it or have a friend act as an accountability partner. Find a method that works for you. Okay, now take that time to listen to yourself a little bit every day. There is no day too busy that you can not stop to hear your inner voice. Reach out to me in the comments if you have some ideas or questions. …


A letter from Tiffany Simpson, a sex trafficking survivor imprisoned in Georgia and advocacy lab associate at Karana Rising

Help Free Tiffany Simpson by signing and sharing this petition:

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Tiffany Simpson, Age 17

Hi Everyone:

Do you know what it’s like to have your freedom taken from you? I do. It’s happened to me twice. I should be free but instead I sit behind these walls. The World Day Against Human Trafficking is personal for me. It should be personal for you, too. Here is why.

I have a 9 year old boy who I want to grow up to be free to be the kind of man he wants to be. All children deserve this but around the world, millions of children are enslaved either working in fields in Uzbekistan or being sold for sex in hotels all around America. We call it human trafficking, but it’s modern day slavery. …


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by Andrea Powell,

On July 2nd, Ghislaine Maxwell, ex-girlfriend and business partner to Jeffrey Epstein, was arrested in New Hampshire. She has been called his alleged accomplice, associate, business partner and associate. What she really should be called is alleged sex trafficker. So, why does the indictment not include that charge?

Maxwell is charged with the “conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts.” …


from Andrea, Fecha and Liz @wearekaranarising

This past month has been one of tremendous growth, struggle and opportunity here for survivors who lead and benefit from our support at Karana Rising. Fecha, Liz and I wanted to thank you deeply. We are reaching survivors every day with our weekly support groups, our advocacy lab’s Surviving Now show and podcast, individual supportive counseling, artisan products and wellness workshops. We are also continuing to flip the script to place survivors at the helm of social change to stop human trafficking and exploitation in their lives, communities and around the world. …

About

Karana Rising

Karana Rising is by survivors, for survivors. Our team leads innovative labs in wellness, design, advocacy & education to support survivors of human trafficking

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