Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Judy Kim: fight for freedom

Fight for Freedom: NU student sheds light on current issues of slavery

What comes to mind when you hear the word “slavery?” Probably not present-day issues taking place in your own backyard.

Weinberg sophomore Judy Kim, creator and President of the student group Fight for Freedom, is working hard to change the general campus perspective that slavery is a problem of the past. More commonly referred to as human trafficking, slavery, as explained by Kim, can be found in many different forms including sexual slavery and forced labor.

“Our aim right now is to bring awareness. People aren’t going to do anything if they don’t know it exists,” Kim said.

Upon arriving at Northwestern, Kim searched for a group that would be interested in turning its focus to present issues of slavery. When she didn’t find one, she made her own. The group was officially formed this past fall, and it now has approximately 30 members.

“I started doing research of my own and the next thing I know, six months later, I’m attending conferences and randomly getting connected with the advisor of the Cook County Attorney’s Office who is working with this issue, lawyers and policy makers, and heads of nonprofits,” Kim said.

Kim’s passion for modern-day slavery has not gone unnoticed by her executive board. Although she says collaborating with her team and having fun are some of her favorite aspects of being involved in the organization, her team members are equally as appreciative of her hard work.

Communication sophomore Milana Duggan, a close friend and executive board member has nothing but nice things to say about the president of Fight for Freedom.

“Judy’s definitely our fighting leader, but she constantly brings the board into the action. She always asks for ideas and ways to implement them,” Duggan said.

After growing up in Wisconsin, Kim moved to Korea with her family at age 13 before starting high school. Kim decided to attend NU because of the quality and variety of the programs offered. After entering undecided, she is now a declared economics and political science double major and hopes to go into academia or international affairs where she can work with people and solve problems.

With Fight for Freedom, nicknamed F3 for short, hosting its first event April 6 in Harris Hall, room 107, from 4-6 p.m., progress is being made.

Through the event called “Combating Modern Slavery: A Speaker Event,” Kim hopes to “really start a conversation with people who are working the front lines on this issue and figuring out where does the everyday person fit in. Because not everyone can be an activist, but we just want to make smarter decisions.”

Kim’s passion for modern slavery, love of talking to experts regarding their research and efforts toward finding solutions is bringing the issue into the sphere of awareness of her peers. “I think everyone deserves to know what’s going on in your own community. I’m realizing that it’s not an issue that’s detached from me, whether I want it to be or not,” Kim said.

-Alyssa Clough

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Judy Kim: fight for freedom