What would it take to see the trafficking of children in Baltimore cease? How can human trafficking in the United States be dismantled? In October of 2010, eight people gathered together to wrestle with these questions. They came from different backgrounds yet shared a common faith. Together they embarked on the journey set before them as they discovered how to move from awareness to action.
“We believe that if our entire community stands together in unity, there will come a day when traffickers realize they can no longer do business in Maryland, because the people will just not allow it.”
– Founders of Araminta Freedom Initiative
As the founding members prayed, studied, and met with professionals already responding to the injustice, it became clear that there were many needs community members could stand in the gaps to provide. As a result, Araminta publicly launched in 2012, became a member of the Maryland Human Trafficking Task Force, and implemented a community awareness and volunteer mobilization model.
Through this model, over 500 volunteers have been trained within churches and community groups to actively stand against the injustice, utilizing their unique gifts and skills, regardless of their profession or background. Thousands more individuals have been awakened and educated on the realities of child sex trafficking in our region and how to respond. Partnerships like the 2017 pilot program with the Maryland State Department of Education and many others have provided invaluable platforms for expanding our outreach throughout the state.
The organization derived its name from Harriet Tubman’s given name as a child slave in Maryland. Araminta means “defender”. Tubman’s legacy as one born into slavery yet rising above her oppression to bring freedom to so many others shows us that ordinary people can indeed change the course of history. It is in that vein that the Araminta community continually points to true freedom and advocates on behalf of survivors and at-risk youth.
Through it all, Araminta has maintained the core value that there is hope for all who intersect with trafficking. Where brokenness takes place in the context of failed community, Araminta aims to bring healing in the context of restorative community. We remain survivor informed; continually drawing from their experiences and offering a platform for their voices. The survivors we have the privilege of working with are always at the center of everything we do.
We welcome you to join with us in our journey towards a more just world. Until Every Child is Free…