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SXSW Interactive Award Finalist: Slavery Footprint

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I have 33 slaves working for me.

And I had no idea.

For its role in helping to raise awareness about trafficking and slavery practices all over the world, Slavery Footprint is nominated for a South by Southwest Interactive Award in the Activism category. The awards ceremony will take place during the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday, March 13, 2012.

Curious to know how many slaves are working for you? Take the Slavery Footprint Survey to find out. It’s 11 questions about your lifestyle and should take you about 10 minutes, tops.

If you visit Slavery Footprint, you’re given a little bit of background info regarding its cause: a free market should exist in a free world. Here in the US, our general attitude toward slavery seems to be something along the lines of, “Abraham Lincoln ended slavery. It’s all good!” — except that it isn’t.

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Look at the map above. There’s a pretty significant dot right there in the continental US that also had a caption informing me that between 14,500 and 17,500 victims are trafficked in the US each year, many of them women and children.

That’s not in a far away country. That’s right here. On our soil.

Raw materials from slavery in the US include copper, gold, corn, nylon, soybeans, limestone, and propane, according to the site.

Slavery Footprint aims to inform its audience about slavery and trafficking, not just in the USA, but all over the world. Do you know where your favorite brands get their resources? Better question: do you you think your favorite brands are completely aware of where they get their resources? Do they know how alarmingly frequent it is that these resources come by way of slavery?

That’s where the app comes in. The Made in a Free World app allows you to check in while you’re shopping. From there, you can ask brands about the presence of slavery and trafficking in their supply chain. Encourage your friends to use it, too. The more people encouraging brands to seek the source of their raw materials, the better. You can also earn Free World points as you participate.

If you’re interested in learning more about the role that slavery plays in some of your favorite brands and activities, visit Slavery Footprint’s blog. There’s a wealth of timely information there. For example, do you know that it took an average of four forced laborers to create each uniform in the Super Bowl?

You can also connect with Slavery Footprint on Facebook and Twitter.

What will you do to decrease your slavery footprint?

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