MC

Mississippi College

Stand for Freedom Campaign Spreads to Mississippi College

March 6, 2013

Mississippi College students signed petitions going to President Obama, and prayed as they joined the nationwide Stand for Freedom campaign to combat human trafficking.

At information tables in the Quad, MC students expressed deep concerns about the 27 million slaves around the globe, from China and Africa to Europe and the United States. Human trafficking is the globe’s second biggest illegal business following the distribution of illegal drugs.

The petitions are designed to “encourage President Obama to strengthen laws against human trafficking here and abroad,” said MC senior Allison Cooper of Hattiesburg, who’s leading the student movement on the Clinton campus.

For 27 hours that began Tuesday evening March 5, MC students signed up in one-hour shifts to stand, pray and heighten awareness about the issue.

Mississippi College is among more than 5,000 colleges and universities taking part in the Stand for Freedom campaign from March 5-15. Others include the University of Texas and Kansas State University.

On the Quad at the Baptist-affiliated university, Mississippi College students placed pins on a world map showing where they are targeting their prayers to end the tragedy of human trafficking. Others quietly prayed or penned scriptures from the Bible on pieces of paper attached to a bulletin board. The event was to end Wednesday evening with a worship service with Christian music supplied by MC junior Caleb Jett of Brandon.

Cooper was among three MC students interviewed for a WLBT-TV 3 news program airing about 6 a.m. Wednesday morning. She later shared her insights for a videotaped news segment by a broadcasting class taught by communication professor Reid Vance.

Cooper first got interested in the plight of millions of slaves in the 21st Century after attending a conference for students in the Atlanta area and spread its message to Mississippi College.

“If there are 27 million people who are slaves, why not do something about it?,” asked MC sophomore Mollie Kathryn Peevy of Brandon.

“College students are blessed,” said sophomore Taylor Bedingfield of Memphis. At the same time, millions of people are suffering, mostly women and children, amid terrible conditions, she noted. “We need to be aware of it.”

People are fighting human trafficking in other ways, including raising funds in International Justice Mission campaigns to pay for rescue operations to free hundreds of slaves in countries like India.

Students at MC, the nation’s second oldest Baptist college, also seek to establish an International Justice Center chapter on the Clinton campus.

Photo: Mississippi College students take part in Stand for Freedom event to promote awareness about human trafficking worldwide. MC was among more than 500 USA colleges and universities participating in March 2013.