First Walk For Freedom in Windsor Raises Human Trafficking Awareness

Inaugural Walk For Freedom Windsor Essex Brings Community Together To Battle Human Trafficking And To Support Human Slavery Victims

On Saturday morning, in a single file silent procession, more than 100 local residents walked the 5.6 km distance along Windsor’s riverfront, from Dieppe Gardens to the Ambassador Bridge and back. Although similar walks were being held Saturday around the world, this was the inaugural Walk For Freedom Windsor-Essex County. Now, a worldwide movement, with walks in over 400 locations in 50 countries, it is all about raising awareness about human trafficking, locally and globally.

Windsor Walk For Freedom participant holding a sign.

Walk For Freedom Windsor Essex participant holding a sign with a statistic about human trafficking on it. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Many of the walkers were outfitted in A21 Walk For Freedom t-shirts to show their support for abolishing slavery, “with each step.”

Organizers, led by Pascale Colucci, are counting on the community to help it raise $10,000 for the cause. At the walk, Colucci, in closing remarks, was optimistic that the goal is achievable. So far, she said, “a thousand dollars has already been raised.”

Walk For Freedom Windsor Essex spokesperson Pascale Colucci

Walk For Freedom Windsor Essex spokesperson Pascale Colucci speaking to walk participants curing closing remarks on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Numbers released by A21, a non-profit organization, suggest the world has millions of enslaved humans. Members of the group self-describe as the new abolitionists with a mission to end slavery everywhere and its destruction of human lives and potential.

The event had a high police presence. Officers told Eyes on Windsor they were there to show the force’s support for the need to end human slavery. Some officers also joined the walkers.

For more information about the A21 campaign to end human trafficking and slavery please visit https://www.a21.org and for more local information visit https://www.facebook.com/WalkForFreedomWindsorEssexCounty

Windsor Walk For Freedom participants resting.

Walk For Freedom Windsor Essex participants resting following the walk and awaiting closing remarks on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Walk For Freedom Windsor Essex volunteers.

Volunteers in Windsor’s first A21 Walk For Freedom included Mikayla Welch, Tina Jeichroeb, and Pat McLean. Photo by Robert Tuomi / Eyes On Windsor.

Robert Tuomi
Article and photos by Robert Tuomi

For over a decade, Robert has covered local news and community events. Initially as a contributor to CBC Radio’s local morning show and then as the long-time producer and host of CJAM’s The Rest of the News and as a journalist at the Windsor Square. A graduate of the Nikon School of Photography he enjoys illustrating his reports with what he sees through his camera’s lens.