Target: Dug Shelby
Goal: Applaud this man for generating conversation about the atrocities of modern day slavery
After a trip to Mumbai, India, accompanying humanitarian aid workers, Dug Shelby was met with an experience that would change his life. As the trip’s photographer, Shelby witnessed firsthand the awful reality of human trafficking in Mumbai’s infamous red-light district. ‘Watching men and some women take advantage of each other like that was devastating,’ he tells The Tribune. Upon his return, Shelby dedicated himself to fighting this form of modern slavery. Now, he has embarked on a cross-country mission to raise awareness about the horrors of human trafficking by ‘riding for hope and healing.’
This September, Shelby is undertaking a 5,000 mile bike ride across the United States, stopping for pre-arranged speaking arrangements over the course of what he plans to be a 45 day solo trek from the San Diego Coast all the way to New York. For his talks, he’ll be drawing from his experience working with the India-based Bombay Teen Challenge, a nonprofit that rescues destitute women and children and provides them with education, vocational training, healthcare, and a safe place to heal. In honor of his journey, he encourages donations to Bombay Teen Challenge as well an Alabama center for sexually exploited women in the American Southeast called The Wellhouse and the anti-human trafficking non-profit Shelby just started himself, the Oasis Projekt. To add visual flare and whimsy, Shelby will be riding a recumbent bamboo bicycle donated by Klause Volkmann, a musician and bike maker from Brazil.
With an issue like human trafficking, which thrives on our refusal to recognize it, Shelby’s response carries a unique power. By physically spreading his message of justice from place to place, he is creating dialogue around a topic that can be difficult to confront. By taking it upon himself to change people’s attitudes, he inspires each of us to do what is in our power to fight for a better world.
By signing the petition below, you can help Shelby be a national voice for human rights and the struggle happening everywhere to protect them.
Dear Mr. Shelby,
I want to applaud you for biking across the United States in order to raise awareness about the atrocities of human trafficking. The immense physical task of the journey notwithstanding, you are acting as a national voice for human rights and the struggle happening everywhere to protect them.
With an issue like human trafficking, which thrives on our refusal to recognize it, your response carries a unique power. By physically spreading this message of justice from place to place, you are creating dialogue around a topic perhaps hard to face for many of us. By taking it upon yourself to change people’s attitudes, you inspire each of us to do what is in our power to fight for a better world. I wish you a safe journey and the best of luck with your own organization, the Oasis Projekt.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons