The Essential Abolitionist: Supporting a Tool for Freedom

(Portions of this post also appear in the Updates for my Kickstarter campaign, The Essential Abolitionist.)

A week ago today I launched the crowdfunding effort to publish my book The Essential Abolitionist: What You Need to Know About Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery. Frankly, it’s an emotional roller coaster every day, with lows accompanying little activity, and then the thrill of receiving alerts from Kickstarter that we have another backer! This was expected, of course, when you launch a project whose success is dependent upon so many others.

I’ve been very involved in the fight against human trafficking for almost a decade, since January 2006, and have been exceptionally fortunate to work with a wide variety of individuals and organizations as a speaker, trainer, consultant, task force manager, and professor. I’ve met some great people along the way!

In 2006 there were very few resources for learning about human trafficking, and most people had not even heard the phrase ‘human trafficking.’ Today, most people have at least heard the term, but there is still much confusion about the topic and, in particular, how best to respond. That’s the core concept behind The Essential Abolitionist; if you want to be knowledgeable you need to be introduced to both the macro view of trafficking (e.g., how is trafficking defined, who can be victimized, how do traffickers control others) while also understanding the micro aspects (e.g., what challenges do local law enforcement face, what are the unique needs of trafficking victims, is the Super Bowl is largest trafficking event in the country). Each of these topics relate to each other in ways unique to the fight against slavery. The Essential Abolitionist addresses about 100 of these macro and micro issues that are essential to a more comprehensive understanding of the response to human trafficking. No other book has previously taken this approach, and the book will be an asset to abolitionists for years to come. Here are some additional thoughts after the first week of the campaign to fund the publication.

First, I want to thank all of my backers during the first week of this campaign! Many of you I know and are long-time supporters in the fight for freedom. Others I don’t know, but I look forward to getting to know in the future.

As of this morning we are 28% funded, which is great news. On the other hand, Kickstarter (and all crowd funding) campaigns are well known for dropping into a lull between the excitement of the campaign start and the urgency near the end. So how to mitigate this expected lull?

I’m continuing to email every person in my Contacts list, and post frequently on both my personal and book Facebook pages, along with my Twitter site. I’m also working on other plans to engage potentials backers.

What can you do? First, please continue to share this project with friends and family and ask them to support the project. A personal “I think this is a valuable project, please support it” attached to your Facebook post or email carries a lot of weight with your friends!

Second, ask the civic, faith, or other groups you belong to for their support; many of these groups are looking for good causes to support and this is great project to back! Any person or organization backing at Level 6 or higher will be included in the Acknowledgements section of the book, receiving credit for bringing this project to life! Level 8 backers will have me travel to their location to talk about human trafficking and the fight for freedom – another way these organizations will gain recognition for their support.

Remind your friends that the reward structure allows additional donations. For example, if a backer only needs two books but wants to help this book become a success, they can support at Level 4 (two books) but also donate any additional amount. (This is also how an organization can support us at any amount they wish.)

Thank you all again for your generous pledges! (And those of you reading this who have not pledged, please do so now!) The work doesn’t end with your pledge, please keep sharing this until the final day.

John

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