by Bekah Ervin
In 2014, The Purple & White interviewed Sara Jo Ridgeway about a national movement that she brought to campus. The End It Movement, as mentioned in that article (which can be found here), is a national movement that brings light to various types of slavery that exists all over the world.
According to the End It Movement website, slavery is the second-largest type of organized crime, drug trafficking being the first. The website also states that there are currently about 27 million victims of slavery around the globe. Ridgeway’s passion for this movement inspired her to bring it to Millsaps College a few years ago.
During the spring semester of her freshman year, Ridgeway first toyed around with the idea of bringing the End It Movement to campus, but she did not know what resources she had or if a freshman could even start such a thing. By the time Ridgeway had entered her sophomore year, she had created a foundation for it through student life, support from her sorority sisters, and other administrators and students. There were many students who returned from the past year’s events to endorse the movement again. They reached out to her to get involved, instead of it being mainly her working to get others on board. This past week marks the third year of the End It Movement at Millsaps.
Ridgeway is also organizing an event in April that will help people in the area who have fallen victim to human trafficking, one of the forms of slavery that End It brings to light. The Grace House, a local non-profit organization that focuses on helping people who are AIDS/HIV positive find housing, will benefit from the funds raised at the event. “The money we raise in alliance with Millsaps Enable America will help Grace House provide a home for 12 girls between ages 12 and 17 who have been victimized,” she said. “The girls will stay there for a year to go through a recovery program to regain hope for their futures.” The event will be a Warrior Dash that takes place on campus. Ridgeway said, “There are more details to come so get ready!”
Ridgeway is enthusiastic about helping these girls who have been affected in the Jackson community. “It really hits home when you’re helping something so close to us,” she said. “It’s happening around the corner from our own college.”
She hopes to continue to see growth of the movement on campus next year. Ridgeway plans to get an executive committee together and to make it an official organization at Millsaps. She said, “Getting a budget and really being an established organization here will allow the movement to blossom even more.”