In October of 2010, eight people gathered together with one thing in common – a shared desire to see the trafficking of children in Baltimore cease. We came from all different backgrounds: an actress, self-defense studio director, psychologist, scientist, pastors and a medical sales representative, yet were unified in one mission. Driven by our faith in God’s heart for justice and human dignity, we set out on a journey to discover how to move from simply being aware to action.
In times of prayer, reading scripture, and studying the work of transformational leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, William Wilberforce, and Harriet Tubman, we were convicted that talking about God’s justice and having a heart for the oppressed is not enough. As people of faith and members of a community, we have a duty to seek that justice and fight for the freedom of those in captivity. Sitting on the sidelines was no longer an option for us and for the people of Baltimore.
Over several months, we researched domestic minor sex trafficking, and met with professionals in Baltimore already responding to human trafficking. It was clear that there were many needs that community members could stand in the gap to provide. In May of 2011, we gathered a group of 25 leaders from our different communities to join us in developing our response. Six months later, we had continued to grow in our partnerships and had progressed in forming the teams that will now engage volunteers in active ways to fight the trafficking of children in our city.
Harriet Tubman, our namesake, was once asked how she accomplished leading slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Her response is one that we, the founders of Araminta, can deeply identify with:
“Twant me. Twas the Lord. I told him ‘I trust you. I don’t know where to go or what to do but I expect you to lead me.’ And he always did.”
As we moved toward a more just Baltimore and into an issue that is darker than the night sky, we did not know the plan. But we were led along a path of hope and promises of justice, by a God who desires to see captives set free.
In February of 2012, we publicly launched the Araminta Freedom Initiative and welcome all those in our community, who share the desire to see the trafficking of children in Baltimore end, to join us. Our story as the founders of Araminta is changing, but your story with the Araminta Freedom Initiative can now be part of the larger story of freedom. Whether it’s faith that guides you, or just a passion for freedom, we welcome you with us in our journey towards a more just world.