The Brown community is catching onto the importance of unBUYnd’s cause and legislation. The Brown Daily Herald published an article titled “Students introduce anti-trafficking act” about our organization and H5411, which outlined the bill’s contents, the impending political process, and our organization’s mission.
We hosted our second phonebank, mobilizing constituents to call their representatives about the Rhode Island Transparency in Supply Chains Act. We hope to empower people to directly help enact change by making their voices heard in the legislative process.
We organized our second Providence petitioning day, meeting even more Rhode Island residents who were excited about buying out of slavery with us. From professors to small business owners, we engaged with a diverse group of individuals to help them understand the stakes of this legislation and to refuse to consume products made with coerced, child, or slave labor!
Activism isn’t just limited to the campus. Today we went downtown to talk to the Providence community about the state’s need for supply line transparency and collect signatures from those who support our cause. Our petitioners engaged in some incredible conversations with people who didn’t know they were buying slave-made products and others who had personal experience with human trafficking.
Today we organized our first petition on the Brown University Campus and received overwhelming support and interest in a bill that will affect the ethics of every student’s consumption practices. We collected 200+ signatures from members of the College Hill community to demonstrate to Rhode Island legislators that people here in Providence are in favor of removing slave labor from products sold in the state!
unBUYnd took action today to recruit members from the Brown University community, hoping to encourage students to buy out of modern slavery at the Activities Fair and on the Main Green.
It’s a snow day in Providence and at Brown University, but that doesn’t mean this high-stakes movement is put on pause! Instead, we took advantage of the extra down-time by organizing our Snow Day Phonebank, asking our members and social media-followers to call Rhode Island representatives to indicate their support for the bill. Our sponsoring representatives didn’t get a day off either! The same day, our bill, H5411 The Rhode Island Transparency in Supply Chains Act was introduced by Representatives Ajello, Walsh, and Regunburg, and referred to the House Committee on Corporations! The date of the hearing for the bill is not yet announced.
President Obama just closed an 85-year old loophole that allowed the US to import items produced by enslaved workers overseas if domestic demand for these products surpassed domestic supply. This statute bans products made with slave labor in unethical conditions, like Thai fishing boats or garment factories in Bangladesh. Part of our organization’s goal is to hold companies accountable for this federal legislation by demanding compliance through supply chain transparency.