Dreamers

Rev. Antoinette Kemp

I don’t know about you, but I’m a dreamer. Sometimes I can be in the middle of something intense and all of a sudden out of somewhere a vision or a dream drops into my spirit.  Now when this happens I try my best to acknowledge its presence and agency in my heart, because God is continuing to give us dreams.

Once I get wind of something, I can dream about it so much until I see it, feel it and know it like the back of my own hand. I can even get to the point where I just might need someone to bring me back to reality! Do you know what I mean? It’s like once God gives you a passion for something, you just can’t seem let it go.

Well, it is often like that for me as it relates to many different topics of humanity and social justice.  When I dream, I often dream of justice.  April is National STD Awareness Month, but it is also Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and in light of that I want to take this opportunity to spread the awareness about Human Trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Human trafficking is a global problem and in America children are being bought and sold for profit and pleasure at alarming rates and the black church needs to step up to the plate and take a serious stand against sexual exploitation. EVERY MINUTE of EVERYDAY women and children are being abused by heartless others who for economic profit or sexual pleasure rob them of their innocence and dignity. I live in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area which ranks as one of the world’s leading cities in the trafficking of women and children, according to Stephanie Davis, executive director of Georgia Women for Change. Every day in this city between 200 to 300 children and teens are on the streets, being sold for sex.  Now considering that over half (61.9%) of the city’s population is African-American, I don’t know why we, as the black church are not speaking up, showing out and organizing efforts to combat this sad reality.

Human trafficking is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, with the total annual revenue for trafficking in persons estimated to be between $5 billion and $9 billion. The Council of Europe puts it even higher. Saying that the situation has reached “epidemic proportions over the past decade,” the council puts the global annual market at about $42.5 billion.

An estimated 600,000 to 820,000 men, women, and children [are] trafficked across international borders each year, according to the U.S. State Department. Approximately 70 percent are women and girls, and up to 50 percent are minors.

A report conducted by the University of Pennsylvania noted that anywhere from 100,000 up to 300,000 American children are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation at any given time.  Have fallen asleep at the wheel while Georgia legislators have spent our money and time to pushed through laws to serve the interest of a minority while the safety of our women and children are being hijacked and ignored?  I have a dream, that one day some day, this day….The prophetic voice and the empowered agency of the Black Church will rise to it’s rightful place and live into the call for justice again.  It will no longer be satisfied with living in a vacuum of rhetoric keeping our lives in bondage, but it will be a catalyst for change, justice and peace.

There is simply no excuse; now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring from the black church, to the Capitol and from the Capitol to the streets and the households, it is then when we let it ring from every village across this land and the world. I dream of JUSTICE!

Rev. Antoinette D. Kemp the Georgia Consultant for the National Black Church Initiative and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in Washington, DC. She is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She earned an MDiv degree from Columbia Theological Seminary, and currently serves as a Corporate/Industrial Chaplain, for Cobb-Vantress, Inc. (a division of Tyson Corporation) Rev. Kemp is the Executive Director for African Pilgrimages Inc.,

 The views, opinions, and perspectives expressed in by guest and consultant bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, its state affiliates, it member organizations, or the National Black Church Initiative. The Religious Coalition is committed through its National Black Church Initiative to faithfully, prayerfully breaking the silence on issues related to sex, sexuality and religion.

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One Response to Dreamers

  1. Crystal says:

    I know this is an area that in social services in general, we do not look at closely enough— my reaction is that I think people tend to believe it is a problem outside of our community, that it happens in other countries or only on TV shows like Law and Order, when the stark reality is that it happens in our own backyards. I would also like to point out that as parents, caregivers, mentors— whoever young people look up to, we have a responsibility to educate and set rules around what they are exposed to– I do not agree that a 12 year old should have a facebook page– in fact, on Easter I told my 12 year old he could have one when he moved out at 18. People may say that is unrealistic, and they may be right in that I cannot shield him from all forms of media (which I obviosuly know), but as long as he lives with his father and myself, there is no cable=no BET, there is no unsupervised interent=homework only AND no facebook. WE need to step up to the plate and remind others we are not here to be our children’s friends and have them not be upset with us– children not agreeing with our decisions comes with the territory—we are here to educate, protect, and nuture– guided by the One who always shows us our way. Thanks again for this informative post.

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