Human dignity through the lens of human trafficking

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Members of Convent of the Sacred Heart’s Human Trafficking club joined in a photo with Ms. Jessica Hendricks after the chapel. Katie Nail ’16

Convent of the Sacred Heart’s Upper School Human Trafficking club hosted a chapel this morning with the theme “Human Dignity through the Lens of Human Trafficking.” Founder of the Brave Collection, Ms. Jessica Hendricks, was the guest speaker at the event.
The Human Trafficking club discusses social justice issues, and organizes events to promote awareness about the eponymous issue. The club decided to host the chapel after some members attended a human trafficking conference at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City November 15.
“The victims of human trafficking are essentially slaves who lose their dignity when they are physically and mentally abused or manipulated,” founder of the Human Trafficking club Alice Millerchip said. “After attending the conference, we wanted to spread awareness about this horrific crime, stressing the importance of promoting respect of ourselves and others.”

Members of Convent of the Sacred Heart's Human Trafficking club joined in a photo with Ms. Jessica Hendricks after the chapel. Katie Nail '16
Members of Convent of the Sacred Heart’s Human Trafficking club joined in a photo with Ms. Jessica Hendricks after the chapel.
Katie Nail ’16

Ms. Hendricks uses her artistic ability to fight social justice issues. Her passion to aid victims of human trafficking developed when she visited Cambodia during her studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and saw the plight of trafficked girls firsthand.
“The visceral reaction of horror that I felt at the sight of people dressed up as items for sale marked my glimpse into the world of human trafficking,” Ms. Hendricks said, according to globalcitizen.org.
She decided to take action by founding the Brave Collection, a social business which sells jewelry handmade by Cambodian artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities. All artisans work in a free, fair and dignified work environment where they are paid above average wages and receive benefits such as health insurance and stipends for their children’s education, according to thebravecollection.com.
In addition to providing job opportunities to artisans by exposing them to a global customer, 10 percent of the company’s profits are donated to fight human trafficking in Cambodia.
Her company has gained vast publicity since its’ establishment in 2012. It has sold over 10,000 bracelets worldwide and over 40 boutiques across the country carry its’ jewelry line. Also, numerous publications including The Huffington Post and MSNBC have covered the collection.
“I think Brave started out as just an idea, but now it has grown from an idea into a project, and from a project into a business,” Ms. Hendricks said. “I think my ultimate goal is to keep evolving it as the world evolves and to share the idea of bravery and empowerment with all women.”
Juniors Caroline Geithner and Maddy DeVita invited Ms. Hendricks to speak at the chapel after buying a Brave Collection bracelet from Peridot Fine Jewelry in Larchmont, New York. During the chapel, Ms. Hendricks delivered a speech to the Upper School regarding her journey to fight human trafficking.
“My wish for you girls as you go off to college is to find what you love and know that you can use that to make a change,” Ms. Hendricks said.
The Brave Collection bracelets typically cost around $38 to $78 and can be purchased online from thebravecollection.com.
– Katie Nail, News Editor