These Hands Are Made For Serving | Ashleigh Henry
If anyone tells you what brought me to the UNCHAINED board is my keen sense of fashion...then that person is probably lying to you. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about a good cardigan, but what really brought me to the UNCHAINED board is the same thing that I love about UNCHAINED: use of one's gifts or talents for passion-driven social justice.
The idea of UNCHAINED is so fascinating to me. Coming from outside of the art world, I think the idea of fighting human trafficking through a fashion show perplexed me until I saw an UNCHAINED show. The visually striking representation of the stages from captive to freedom and the powerful transition story of a human trafficking survivor taught me so much that it made me realize how important it is to tell the story. It is a story that is heartbreaking, that rattles us to our core, that is inspiring, but most importantly it is a true story. And the truth is that we must all use our gifts and talents to end human trafficking.
I met co-founder Felicia when we were working one office down from each other. I was beginning my legal career while pursuing advocacy with CASA of Franklin County and Felicia was continuing her career in state government while she was also working on advocacy through UNCHAINED. When she asked me to consider becoming a board member for UNCHAINED, I thought to myself “what do I really have to offer to this organization?” Then I looked at what co-founders Stephanie and Felicia did. They were able create this organization with the gifts and talents they have to fuel their ultimate passion to free others from bondage and restore those individuals so that those individuals can pursue their own dreams. I realized that I could do that too, but with my gifts and talents.
It is highly unlikely that I will ever design a collection for UNCHAINED or write the narrative for a show. But what I can do is what I took an oath to do: advocate. Advocate for the work that UNCHAINED does in order to advocate for our brothers and sisters caught in the sticky web of human trafficking. Advocate so that we can live in a world in which modern day slavery ceases to exist and restoration is our ultimate goal.
What gifts or talents do you have to offer? No gift is too small and no talent is too tangential to the mission of UNCHAINED. Who knows? Maybe my first career as a candy maker will manifest itself in UNCHAINED's future.
Ashleigh Henry is a board member of UNCHAINED and in-house counsel for the State of Ohio. She advocates on behalf of abused, neglected, and dependent children and empowers first-time juvenile offenders through diversion.