Singer / Songwriter Kim Edwards on Activism and Getting Involved

Kim Edwards

Many of the people visiting this blog want to know the answer to a simple question: “How do I become an activist?”  Singer / songwriter Kim Edwards writes for us about her own journey to getting involved.

It was 2008.  I was sitting in the auditorium of my college while the guest speaker recounted a story of a young woman who had been sold as a slave.  He spoke of the hard manual labor and sexual abuse she suffered... of the inhumane living conditions and the constant fear she endured.  And while my mind painted a picture of a horrid scene occurring in a time and place far removed from me, his next words shattered it all: she was only recently rescued in the last year, after having spent months in a cage in a basement in suburbia... in the very city I was living in. And... it was not an isolated incident; her story was just one of many across the world.

And thus was the first time I had ever heard of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. 

I'm not sure how I had managed to be ignorant for so long, but that evening sparked a vow to be ignorant no longer.  I began watching documentaries, reading books (like David Batstone's "Not For Sale"), researching online... anything I could do to become more informed.  But having information alone does nothing, and I found myself wanting to take action, to help some way, somehow.

As a singer/songwriter, I know I'll never be the one kicking in doors and raiding human trafficking rings.  I'm not cut out to be the legislator that passes laws and fights in the political arena. And I probably won't be the doctor or the therapist that helps rehabilitate the victims.

But what I am able to do, I do.  So while I may not be on the front lines with hands-on action, I have been able to team up with organizations that are.  Mostly, I have played benefit shows to raise money and support their work in the fight against modern-day slavery.  I also work to raise awareness, both on and off the stage, because sometimes the first step is to simply be informed and educated. 

I also am a big believer in prevention, and I encourage child sponsorship through organizations like World Vision which work in impoverished and at-risk communities.  By providing children with support, education and other resources early on, it decreases the chances of finding themselves exploited later.

So whatever you can do, I encourage you to do so.  Get informed.  Bring awareness to others. Get involved, and if you're not sure where to start, I highly recommend checking out (it has some great resources and practical action steps for students).  But most importantly: do.

Other recommended resources:

About the Guest Author:

Kim Edwards promo shotKim Edwards is a 24-year-old East-coast-raised singer/songwriter currently based out of Dallas, TX.  She recently released her first full-length album, "Wanderlust," which reached the top #25 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts.  You can find out more about Kim at:

This Day In History: 10 June 1942

The Destruction of Lidice

On 10 June 1942, Nazi forces completely destroyed the Czechoslovakian town of Lidice which is located just north-west of Prague.  They surrounded the village and rounded all 173 of the men up, taking them to a local farm where they were all shot to death. The women and children were separated and unspeakable atrocities were then committed against them.  Four pregnant women had their unborn children forcibly aborted and they were then sent to concentration camps while the majority of the rest of the women were sent to work at Ravensbrück concentration camp where most of them perished. 

Lidice Children's MemorialLidice Children's Memorial. Photo credit: Moravice [Source]

Eighty-eight children were transported to the Polish city of Lodz, south-west of Warsaw.  Seven of them were selected for Germanisation but the rest were taken to nearby Chelmno on 2 July 1942 and were gassed to death. 

The village of Lidice was razed to the ground, buildings were destroyed and even graves in the cemetery were dug up and destroyed.  The absolute cleansing of Lidice was complete.

The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich

Reinhard Heydrich was a Nazi official and one of the major architects of The Holocaust.  He spoke at the Wannsee conference in January 1942 where he called for Jews to gathered from across Europe to be worked to death in concentration camps or exterminated. 

He was assassinated on the morning of 27 May 1942 by British trained Czech and Slovak parachutists.  His death caused an intense stage of mourning amongst Nazi circles and Hitler called for the explicit destruction of any village found to be harbouring Heydrich’s killers.  He ordered that all males should be killed, women transported to a concentration camp, children Germanised or otherwise dealt with, and the village razed to the ground.

The Assassination of Reinhard HeydrichHeydrich’s car at scene of assassination. Photo credit: Bundesarchiv [Source]

Intelligence incorrectly linked the towns of the Lidice and Ležáky and Hitler’s orders were carried out to the letter in a terrible and brutal act of revenge carried out against innocent men, women and children.

Lidice Lives!

In the aftermath of Heydrich's assassination, Adolf Hitler is said to have proclaimed that “Lidice shall die forever!”  When he heard of Hitler’s plan to destroy Lidice and the terrible price that the people Lidice paid, a Labour MP in Stoke on Trent, England decided to start the Lidice Shall Live campaign.

Through his work, Lidice was rebuilt and a home created for the 153 women and 17 children who returned after the war.

You can read more about Barnett Stross’s work and the incredible generosity of the people of Stoke on Trent in helping to rebuild Lidice over at Dáithaí C’s blog: Lidice Lives.  You can also read about the anti-fascist art exhibition in Melbourne in 1942 (partly inspired by the events at Lidice) at the Art and Architecture, Mainly blog: Anti-Fascist Art Exhibition, Melbourne 1942