According to the United Nations, four billion people live outside the protection of the law. This means that their public justice system, meaning police, courts, and laws are so broken, corrupt and dysfunctional, that there is nothing to shield them from violence.
This is a frightening reality for far too many people in our world. The good news is this is not a hopeless problem. The hope lies in the International Justice Mission. IJM is an organization dedicated to protecting the poor from violence throughout the developing world. Its vision is to rescue thousands, protect millions, and prove that justice for the poor is possible.
Let’s bring this to a local level. What can we, as the Auburn family, do about this? The International Justice Mission has a chapter at Auburn University.
Auburn’s chapter of IJM was formed in 2009, through the combination of anti-tracking groups that were present on campus. The chapter is constantly growing. It is made up of a leadership team and committee members. There are about 40 active members currently.
“I wanted to be a member of IJM because I was captivated by the issue of human trafficking, and simply could not stand by while I knew others were being exploited. For me, indifference in the face of this injustice was simply not an option,” Auburn IJM Co-President, Alana Broe, said.
Auburn IJM’s purpose is to support the International Justice Mission by raising funds, awareness and support. It takes thousands of dollars to fund each of IJM’s rescue operations, so Auburn IJM raises funds to support these efforts.
“A large portion of what we do is simply advocating for the awareness about the reality that slavery still exists. So many people do not know that there are still an estimated 36 million people enslaved in the world today. Awareness won’t end slavery, but we can’t work to end it until the general public is made aware that it exists,” Broe said.
Auburn IJM meets every other Thursday at 7 p.m. In meetings, they discuss current happenings involving injustice around the world and IJM’s place in that. They also pray over IJM’s work and for the end of slavery. They plan events throughout the semester to raise money and awareness. These events bring people together for the common cause of standing for freedom and seeking justice.
“A lot of work and planning goes into everything that we do, so we use our meeting time to accomplish that as a team,” Broe said.
Auburn IJM’s biggest fall event is coming up next month. This event is called Waffles for the World. Auburn IJM partners with Waffle House and Prevail Union Coffee for a night of all-you-can-eat Waffle House waffles, a waffle eating competition and live music. Waffles for the World will be held at the Red Barn on Nov. 4.
IJM is a faith-based organization and prayer is an essential element of their fight for freedom. IJM holds a prayer night each semester. The next prayer night is Nov. 18. Further information about both of these events can be found at auburnijm.com.
“My favorite part about IJM is that I am able to surround myself with like-minded individuals who believe that slavery can end, and are passionate about fighting for the betterment of our world,” Broe said.
Auburn IJM has been able to see first hand the fruits of its labor. Auburn’s chapter has been a leading chapter across the nation in the IJM student movement. (Photo/https://www.facebook.com/auijm)
“We pioneered two large events that are now being held on campuses all across the country. One event we first held, called Stand for Freedom, has been held in seven different countries, and 40 states. Our newest and rapidly approaching event, Waffles for the World, was started on Auburn’s campus and has since been held at four other universities,” Broe said.
A great impact has been made and is being made on Auburn’s campus through partnerships with various organizations, businesses, and school initiatives. IJM even served as a platform for a Miss Homecoming candidate this year.
This fight requires great numbers of people to take a stand for freedom. As a college student, it is easy to get caught up in your social life or academic life or both, but IJM is about something far greater and far more important. It is fighting for the lives and rights of those who cannot speak for themselves.
“It taught me that my life could be used for good and that my life could impact the world,” Broe said.
Auburn IJM is changing lives and freeing the suppressed around the world from right here on the plains. To learn more about IJM or to get involved visit auburnijm.com.
Join the Auburn Family! Enroll at Auburn.