Below is a letter from Kay Buck, Executive Director of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST):
Did you hear? Last week, something remarkable happened! President Obama recognized Ima Matul, a member of CAST’s Survivors Caucus during his keynote speech at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).
It was a groundbreaking moment, because for the first time, the CGI keynote speech was dedicated entirely to the topic of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. We were honored to be there—and so proud that Ima and CAST were recognized for our innovative model of empowering survivors to become modern-day abolitionists.
As I watched Ima stand up and be applauded by President Obama and a room full of influential changemakers, I thought about the day I met Ima.
Just over ten years ago, Ima escaped her traffickers and came to CAST. She couldn’t speak English, and was so quiet and unsure of herself, standing at just 4’11″. But in a few short years, she has gone from trafficking survivor to fierce advocate, coordinating our survivor leadership & advocacy program. Now a staff member at CAST, she speaks publicly on behalf of other survivors, and lobbies for anti-trafficking legislation.
When she stood up in front of President Obama, Ima seemed six feet tall. I want you to know about the incredible difference your support makes and how far Ima and CAST have come together. Your continued generosity and involvement makes stories like Ima’s possible. Thank you for believing in our work and the courageous individuals we serve.
- Kay Buck, Executive Director and CEO
Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST)