One of two things usually happen when I’m asked what I do for a living: upon hearing the answer many folks immediately appear very uncomfortable, or others launch into a lengthy series of questions and comments about our work, the issue of trafficking itself, their outrage that such a thing exists, etc. I leave each of these encounters understanding that every one of these conversations have been about “my business.” Of course, Second Life is a non-profit organization, so the word “business” is not typically associated with us.
But, we are clear about the business in which we are engaged. It has many elements to it, but the bottom-line is that we’re in the human dignity business. In fact, the first of our five organizational values is just that… human dignity. At our core and from our very beginning, the value and sacredness of humanity has guided us, and continues to do so. Yes, we fight sex trafficking, but we do so because it is more than a crime; it is an offense and indictment against what it means to be a human being. Frankly, this shouldn’t be something we have to convince anyone of, but from time to time we encounter attitudes that place at least part of the blame for trafficking on the victim. This type of thinking is not only misguided, it contributes to dehumanizing those who have been victimized by this crime and those who perpetrate it.
Second Life is in the people business. We’re in the human dignity business. We’re in the business of helping survivors recover their sense of dignity, their sense of full humanity. No matter what aspect of our work in which we’re involved on a daily basis, it’s always about the dignity and worth of the people we serve. When you help us with that work, you’re doing the same thing. Together, we’re all in the life business.
Thanks for being part of this journey with us. Thanks to those of you who financially support our work. If you haven’t given to us before, or haven’t in a while, I invite you join with us in our of work of life, of recovery, and restoration of humanity. You can donate securely online at www.secondlifechattanooga.org, or mail a check to Second Life of Chattanooga, PO Box 25485, Chattanooga, TN 37422. We deeply appreciate your help.
About the author: Jerry Redman is Co-Founder and CEO of Second Life of Chattanooga, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating awareness, advocacy, and collaborative action on the issue of sex trafficking, as well as coordinating and providing services for trafficking survivors. Jerry also serves as the Chairperson of the executive committee of the Chattanooga Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
Second Life is the non-profit partner of The Culture Mastery.
Jerry speaks widely on the issue of trafficking, and has presented at conferences, in public forums, and to state agencies, as well as to a variety of civic, neighborhood and faith-based groups on the topic. Jerry is also a frequent guest-lecturer on college and university campuses. In February of 2016, Jerry was one of the speakers at the TEDx event in Chattanooga, TN. Please take 16 minutes to watch his TED Talk below.
In addition to his trafficking-related speaking schedule, Jerry also speaks on the topics of leadership, organizational health and development, and community transformation in corporate, faith-based, and educational settings. Jerry holds Master’s Degree in Transformational Leadership from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, MN, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Lee University in Cleveland, TN.
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