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you have to carry the fire

[The Man] “You have to carry the fire.”
[The Boy] “I don’t know how to.”
[The Man] “Yes, you do.”
[The Boy] “Is the fire real? The fire?”
[The Man] “Yes it is.”
[The Boy] “Where is it? I don’t know where it is.”
[The Man] “Yes you do. It’s inside you. It always was there. I can see it.”

-Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

I’d like to talk about an event I am extremely passionate about and an organization I am humbled to be a part of.  Some friends and I have been planning this stuff for months now, and I want you all to know about it.

I work with a group on campus called Carry the Fire.


We are the only RSO (Registered Student Organization) to look at the problem of human trafficking from a secular, economic perspective.  We ask questions like: how do forces like poverty and financial vulnerability play into folks being sold into slavery today?  what can we, as college students and “ordinary” community members, do to address these challenges in terms of actual impact? how can we enable communities of study, families, and faith to mobilize against slavery?

Our group exists as a resource to our campus community.  We help people take what they love and fire it up.  We desire to see passionate people stoke their own unique desires and gifts and kindle them into a blaze that will spill out to free human beings from slavery.

A bit about our philosophy: we aim to address the root of the problem by thinking “upstream.”

If you think of victims of human trafficking as falling into a river, there really need to be great redemption and rescue organizations at the end of that stream pulling them out and saving them.  But what our group looks to find out is why people are falling into the river in the first place.  In so doing, we hope to walk upstream, ending the problem of modern-day slavery at its source: pervasive, illegitimate systems of poverty and oppression.

We want this campus to mobilize against human trafficking.

And so what we’ve done is partnered with several great groups including our university’s programming boardoffice of volunteer programswomen’s resource center, and program coordinating council to bring Dave Batstone, the founder of the acclaimed Not For Sale movement, here to campus.

Here’s a video that kind of explains everything I just wrote, so maybe you could have just watched it instead of read everything I just wrote.


[The Boy] “Are you carrying the fire?”
[The Veteran] “Am I what?”
[The Boy] “Carrying the fire.”
[The Veteran] “You’re kind of weirded out, aren’t you, kid?”
[The Boy] “Well, are you?”
[The Veteran] “Yeah.  I’m carrying the fire.”

Slavery still exists.

that’s not okay.

People are still in chains.

but we can fix that.

You have to carry the fire.

27 million people are counting on it.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. I hope to do something as meaningful with my life as you have.

    Keep up the good work.

    March 7, 2013
    • Thanks, man. I really appreciate the words and I’ll try not to let them get to my head 🙂

      March 12, 2013
  2. Shannon #

    Oh man… this just give me chills all over again. It’s refreshing to see that my heart for this still lingers within me and that there is still time to do something about sex trafficking. I’m really starting to get back in touch with the heart I had for these women and children in bondage by these chains. I love that we put on this conference and really did stick our neck out to make it happen. What an awesome experience to have had with you guys. I’m missing team Carry The Fire. ❤

    January 14, 2015

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