How Cupcakes Can Change The World

  Cupcakes can change the world. "It sounds pretty bizarre, and I don't blame you for thinking I'm a little wacko for making such a bold statement, but it doesn't change that the statement is true. What if I told you that YOU, as one person in this massive world, can use something you are passionate about to implement and create a lasting global impact and help end slavery? That's what I did, this is what I am doing, and it all started with cupcakes..." This weekend I am headed to Ohio to be part of a Social Justice Summit where my talk, titled Cupcakes Can Change The World, aims to encourage individuals to implement two key pieces of activism to see modern-day slavery and human trafficking come to an end. These two crucial parts of the activism puzzle are: 1- Purchasing Power 2- Open Source Activism These two concepts [...]

2017-01-26T03:39:52+00:00

Walk The Walk

“Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.” “Actions speak louder than Words” These two phrases are as common as the changing leaves in autumn—and the sure denial we all live in when we attempt to remain stagnant in the beauty of fall, wishing the winter freeze would never creep in. We’ve heard them before, and with most things we deem familiar, their impact is often lost when we hear them. Today, right in this very moment, I want you to stop and think about the two phrases; how they complement and challenge each other, and how they bring to life the ideals of people living out beautiful sentiments like a fairytale ending of ‘happily ever after.’ When I think of these phrases, I am reminded of how Christ followers are called to live a life like Jesus. It’s the impossible task, made accessible through grace. It’s something we cannot do, but are commissioned to strive to do in our actions [...]

2015-09-30T02:33:00+00:00

Slactivism

Slactivism. Well, there’s a word you don’t hear every day. Maybe it’s a word you’ve never heard before. If you’re actively part of any movement for seeing justice win out, you may have a bad taste in your mouth after reading the word. Regardless, it’s time to have a chat about what it is, the good vs the bad, and how to drop the ‘sl’ from slactivist and become what the world needs more of—passionate activists. I didn’t know what slactivism was until I did a stint with Not For Sale. It was one of those generic buzzwords (along with ‘innovation’ and phrases like ‘out of the weeds’) which came up in numerous conversations—more so in my realm as I was working with the grass roots initiatives of NFS. While it was thrown around from time to time without real explanation, it was easy to piece together what it meant—an easy [...]

2015-03-07T18:02:00+00:00

iPhone? Ethics in Electronics

Generic mirror selfie with my new iPhone 5c Almost as bad as jean shopping and swimsuit shopping, shopping for a new cell phone can be quite the daunting experience. They’re expensive, they tend to always break (perhaps from dropping them one too many times without a fancy case), they don’t do water well (unless a really fancy case exists around it), and yet they are so necessary to the life I lead. Currently my phone provides me with the resources to check my class schedule and see where all my classes are, find out when the bus is coming so I can get to Toronto and back to Hamilton, I can read the Bible, snap fun photos, edit them, then post them to share with friends and family as a little peek into my life since a majority of them live at least 2,000 kilometers away. While the pros definitely [...]

2014-09-30T14:32:00+00:00

Back To The Beginning: Thailand

“The adventures of a humanitarian striving to keep Love at the root of it all.” While the original tag line of my blog still rings true I find it has evolved from a place for friends and family to read about my humanitarian adventures into a place where I write about my passions, dreams, experiences, bring light to important issues and share what inspires me in hopes it will inspire you. Thinking back to the beginning of this blog, it never would have started if it weren’t for people mentioning I should write so they could keep up with all of my travelling adventures. Upon arriving home from places like Haiti in 2010 after the earthquake, or leading students in Dominican Republic various years, people in my life were interested in what happened on these trips. Sit down chats were often had, stories shared, pictures shown on phones and laptops… [...]

2014-04-28T15:00:00+00:00

Why I Don’t Shop At Forever 21

Note: This has been a hard post to both write and publish. While in Dominican Republic over the summer working with Canadian volunteers, eyeing up outfits on Pinterest, or asking friends where they bought the adorable ensemble they happen to be wearing, Forever 21 seems to always be the answer. It’s hard to respond when that is what I hear—I don’t bust out a ‘don’t shop there’ speech that may come across judgmental and negative… I tend to respond with the emotionally non-descriptive ‘cool’. These are my thoughts and I hope you enjoy reading them! As always, I encourage you to make your own decisions when you choose whom to support with your hard-earned dollars! Oh Forever 21. Your combination of trendy, absolutely adorable and cheaply priced clothing means you have dominated the cash flow from the minimum wage, part-time paycheque of most teenagers since you invaded the shopping scene. [...]

2014-03-13T22:24:00+00:00

Human Trafficking Prevention

Image found on Pinterest I’ve heard January be referred to as Human Trafficking Awareness month. As the beginning of research generally starts, I opened up Google and typed in ‘Human Trafficking Awareness Month.’ Upon skimming through the top few headlines one link in particular caught my eye. Posted by the White House, it was a letter that President Obama wrote announcing January 2014 to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Every part of me was filled with excitement. This is exactly what we need. Awareness is one thing, and a good thing, but prevention is where we should be focused after awareness has been reached. Once you are aware, there needs to be another step involved-- something practical and tangible and that, my friends, is Prevention. I know, I know. You might be thinking ‘How can I prevent slavery?’ You may not be actively involved in the sex [...]

2014-01-21T18:05:00+00:00

Challenge: Ethical Christmas

Putting the words 'Ethical' and 'Christmas' together is quite the statement. From a faith-based perspective, this simple phrase would have one epic meaning! From a live-my-life-without-slavery perspective, it can take on another. I believe the two go hand in hand to create a holiday season that remembers why we celebrate to begin with, and allows that remembrance and celebration to flow into how we purchase the goodies for our festivities. I’m currently going through a series for Advent by She Reads Truth called Emmanuel. One of my favourite parts about the series is the daily “Advent Action.” Each day, after reading scripture and the accompanying devotion, you pray, then are given an Advent Action to perform. These actions are anything from listening to a meaningful song (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel being one of them) to baking a loaf of bread and writing meaningful letters to friends. Each action is [...]

2013-12-20T00:13:00+00:00

Books About Love (Don’t Worry, It’s Not The Cheesy Kind You’re Probably Already Thinking Of)

I love books about love. I understand the above is a pretty random statement, but the truth and relevance behind it make it a statement worth exploring. When I mention books about ‘love’ I am talking about the sweep you off your feet, make you do crazy things, live a life of whimsy and grandeur only the love affair with God can bring to you. It’s a love never fully described by any human being (the span of the Earth’s most talented writers could write for their entire existences combined and never fully grasp and be able to form into sentences the epic nature of this love). That’s probably why I love reading about it. I love reading about something I can never fully understand. I like how it’s not in the ‘I’m not a science person so I don’t get it’ way, or the ‘I’ve never been good at [...]

2013-06-26T18:55:00+00:00

Freedom Sunday and the days that follow.

Freedom Sunday. A day where the faith community as a whole comes together in their place of worship and devotes their time to learn what it means to end slavery. This is incredible. As a Christian I truly believe that we, as the church, should be leading the movement to end slavery in our lifetime. The night before Freedom Sunday my wonderful husband and I were hanging out with some friends and we chatted most of the evening about faith. We chatted various aspects of faith and at one point my husband said something absolutely wonderful. He mentioned that doing good things like feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, helping the widow and orphan, shouldn't be something of special mention for a Christian. When you die people at your funeral shouldn't be like "Aelea was awesome. She helped the poor, the orphans, etc...". That should be commonplace. That is a [...]

2013-02-20T00:14:00+00:00