Dear Colleagues and Friends along the Journey —
I had the luxury of swimming in wonderful memories this morning. Memories that are sweet; transcendent even. Memories of hard work and fear and triumph. Memories of being brought to my knees by the sheer grace and majesty in the eyes of the people I met in so many remote villages — usually after being stuck in the mud.
Why is it that fighting slavery seems to always involve being stuck in the mud?
Memories of gratitude because I was lucky enough to hear and share the stories of so many astonishing people around the globe. Memories of the laughter and tears and the pure brilliance of the people I’ve shared this journey with over the past decade-plus.
Not so long ago, we were such tiny groups of crazy people screaming in the dark that it was time to end slavery. Now there are millions of us and we don’t seem so crazy, well most of us at least, though I personally believe sanity is highly overrated
So, thank you.
It’s been a long time since Kevin Bales’ work inspired us all to start Free the Slaves while sitting around a table at Ginny, Kevin and Gabe’s house in Mississippi. The souls around that table inspired me – and inspire me still. The folks at FTS today and the partners around the world continue to inspire.
It’s been a long time since FTS was just a telephone in Jolene Smith’s and Carlos’ one-bedroom apartment. Almost as long since Jolene dreamed-up creating a coalition and got the money to study the merits of her idea, which is called ATEST today.
Somehow, it didn’t take long for Supriya Awasthi to get comfortable enough to explain to me: “Peg-ji, you are a pain in my #$% !’
Along the way – many people joined (or should I say drank the Kool-Aid and devoted themselves to) FTS as staff members, sometimes as staff members who didn’t happen to get paid. Their work was critical. There are many people who work so hard and so smart with and for FTS. They create their unique gifts to the struggle to end slavery.
So as the fight against slavery moves forward, I celebrate you for all you do and will do.
There is a song that only you can sing,
a talent that only you can bring.
Your song and your talent
will make all the difference.
I look forward to seeing what great things come next for FTS, and to creating new projects to help end slavery…and maybe address a few other ills.
Thanks so much for everything. The journey has been fine indeed