ETX Students "Standing for Freedom" - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

ETX Students "Standing for Freedom"

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NACOGDOCHES (KYTX) -

A group of students at Stephen F. Austin State University spent a total of 27 hours starting Wednesday and ending Thursday on their feet for an event called "Stand for Freedom." The event focused on raising awareness of and fundraising for the end of modern-day slavery.

Nineteen hours in, the students were still opening their classmates' eyes.

"There's over 27 million slaves in our world and we have a petition here that you can sign to join the fight against slavery," SFA Senior Laura Sadler said to a group walking by.

Sadler said those 27 million slaves are the reason she and others decided to stand for 27 hours. Sadler worked group by group to make sure everyone walking by knows that slavery isn't something that ended with the civil war.

"There are over 200,000 slaves in America alone and the average age is 14 years old," she said.

Sadler said slavery now comes in the form of sex trafficking and manual labor. Often it's people being forced to work off a debt that may or may not exist. As many as 9 million are children who have never known another life.

"My body is tired. My mind is tired," SFA Senior Jacob Griffin said. "But this cause for freedom, it just makes it all worth it."

Griffin was helping to raise money. The group is shooting for $2,700. Their faculty sponsor Keith Hubbard called them the one of the most organized groups he's ever worked with.

"They're fundraising specifically for that, to put feet on the ground internationally to go and rescue slaves," Hubbard said.

The signatures on the petition will go to Washington D.C.--asking for just one thing.

"[We want] some type of comprehensive plan that will put feet to our voices to actually physically end slavery," Griffin said.

"It's worse now than ever so now is the time to stand up, now is the time to donate and now is the time to stand up to slavery," Sadler said.

Click here for more information on the worldwide Stand for Freedom movement.

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