Everyday Abolitionist Q&A with Cari Flammia from The Beatitudes Movement
Free The Girls
Q. Where are you from and what are you passionate about?
A. I'm Italian-Canadian, living in Toronto. I'm passionate about social justice and humanitarian work, as well as art, music, and photography.
Q. Tell us about your heart for justice and what you decided to do about it.
A. I've always been very passionate about social justice and my heart has constantly driven me to get involved with different causes. I reached a point where I wanted to create my own initiative and this is where The Beatitudes Movement was born. Through this movement I've dedicated myself to support causes I believe in while making positive changes.
Q. What is the Beatitudes Movement and how can others get involved?
A. The Beatitudes Movement is an initiative that encourages people to put their blessings in action, to reach out to others and spread love in the world.
The word ‘beatitudes’ means ‘blessings’, and with this movement I organize different events where we raise funds or collect items for various charities and causes. It’s been incredible and I’ve seen people get really involved and inspired. Many people have even gone on to start their own initiatives. People have shared their musical talent or art at events, spread awareness through social media, or volunteered their time for fundraisers. Anyone can get involved by contacting us at The Beatitudes Movement though the website www.thebeatitudesmovement.com
Q. Who are some of your heros/heroins or people you look up to in this work?
A. One person that really stands out for me is Princess Diana. Growing up, I really looked up to her as an excellent example of someone who gave so much of herself for humanity.
More and more, I see everyday people doing incredible things. Now, I've been especially inspired by the young people of today who are so aware of issues going on around the world, and who are eager to stand up and make a difference.
Q. What inspired you to connect with Free The Girls?
A. I found out about Free The Girls about 5 years ago when I was cleaning out my closet and found I had some bras I was no longer using. I tried searching for a place to donate the bras, as I didn't want to just throw them out, and I found Free The Girls online.
I fell in love with the organization, what it stands for, and the amazing work Free The Girls does to help women rescued from sex trafficking.
I decided then to do a bra drive and I collected 125 bras! It was amazing! Most recently, since starting The Beatitudes Movement, I decided to do another bra drive and make it even bigger.
With the help of the community in Toronto, we collected 432 bras.
It's an incredible feeling knowing that these bras will help provide opportunities to women for a better life. I look forward to doing more bra drives in the future to support Free The Girls.
Q. What are some of your plans for the Beatitudes Movement in the coming year?
A. At the moment, we are organizing a fundraiser to create 100 Blessing Bags (www.gofundme.com/100blessingbags) for the homeless in Toronto. We will be organizing an art show with live performances to raise the funds. The movement will continue to be dedicated to organizing events to support different causes within Toronto and beyond.
Q. If you could inspire others to become everyday abolitionists too, what advice would you share?
A. My advice to inspire others to become everyday abolitionists is to get informed about human trafficking. Some people think that human trafficking only happens in the developing world and assume it's a distant problem. Many also feel there's not much they can do. I came to realize that human trafficking happens everywhere, even in North America.
We can all do something. We can educate ourselves, we can raise our voice, we can bring awareness, and we can get involved with organizations such as Free The Girls that are making a real difference and changing lives!
Thank you Cari, for making an impact with your life! We're grateful for your support of Free The Girls, and for the ways you're inspiring others to become an #EverydayAbolitionist!