How to Fight Slavery with Coffee and Beer

Guest blogger Shelton Green, founder of What’s Your Response, shares an easy way for you to raise awareness about human trafficking in your area. Through What’s Your Response, you can get coasters to leave in bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and other places people in your area congregate. They tell the stories of real victims of modern-day slavery. Check out what Shelton has to say about hosting your own “coaster crawl.”

Blindsided. That was how a group of us felt when we discovered that there are 27 million people in slavery in the world today. That those slaves aren’t just living in places whose names we can’t pronounce, but right here in the United States. It was a fact so shocking that we found ourselves initially paralyzed. It was a fact so shocking that those we told about it hesitated to believe it. It was a fact so shocking that we set out to discover what we could do. What might our response be? It was coffee and beer.

We knew that people wouldn’t be willing to fight the problem until they began to realize the gravity of the problem. We formed a group called What’s Your Response? and began brainstorming possibilities for bringing attention to the issue of modern day slavery. On August 8, 2009 What’s Your Response? took to the streets for our first “coaster crawl” to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking in Texas. A turnout of nearly 50 individuals gathered, organized into groups, and went around town distributing free stacks of coasters to various bars, coffee shops, and restaurants. In a very short time we have seen the word spread and people want to know more about what they can do to end slavery.

The coasters tell the stories of three people who were trafficking in the US, where they were, and what type of slavery they suffered. Our goal is to put the issue of modern-day slavery in the middle of culture and present it to people where they gather socially, at bars, coffee shops and cafes. We tell their stories to bring attention to the big story — millions of men, women, and children trapped, without freedom, modern slaves.

The fact is that each person who becomes aware of the reality of modern-day slavery brings us all one-step closer to helping prevent the horrors of it. And even though this first initiative may have been a crawl, it really was a big step in increasing slavery awareness in the US.

What’s Your Response? is a grass roots movement and so every person and every response gets us one step closer to ending slavery. We encourage you to become part of the What’s Your Response?. We need your ideas, your energy, and your time. We believe all people deserve freedom, dignity, and hope. We are committed to ending modern day slavery. We invite you to join us in our work. We invite you to respond. You can get coasters to distribute in your area at


Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 1:09 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think I felt the same. My world was rocked. My first thoughts were, “This can’t be.” Especially in America and the developed countries of the world. Love the coaster idea. Great way to bring awareness. All the best, Buddy

  2. Houston-based non-profit CHILDREN AT RISK is taking a lead in ending child trafficking in Houston and the state of Texas. Houston was named THE largest hub for trafficking in our nation. And what’s more, people do not understand that there is a wide spread occurance of domestic child trafficking – American children are being forced into sexual slavery each and every night. Please visit to learn more about how CHILDREN AT RISK is fighting to stop children trafficking and how you can help.

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