Miss Canada brought her message of justice and freedom to South Surrey this week, where she spoke at a private home about modern-day slavery.
“It was really great to be able to talk so clearly and intimately about the issue,” Tara Teng said.
“Everyone was very engaged in the topic.”
Teng – who insists she is an abolitionist, not a beauty queen – is using her recent national title to raise awareness about the issue, and gives around half a dozen talks each month.
“It’s something I love to do, and I love to talk about what I’m passionate about,” the Langley resident said, noting there are currently 27 million slaves worldwide. “This is wrong and it needs to stop and people’s lives are worth fighting for. It’s something I can’t turn away from.”
Teng – who also holds the title of Miss B.C. and is currently studying education at Trinity Western University – was invited to speak by resident Agatha Kube, who hosted more than 30 people in her home Tuesday.
“It’s really an opportunity to get the message out,” Kube said. “This is a time in history when we can make a difference.”
Teng, 22, took questions from the floor and handed out an ‘abolitionist action list,’ which suggests books, documentaries and ways to help the cause.
“It’s a really heavy issue and it’s a really big issue and it’s hard to wrap your head around,” she said.
“You have to have the time to talk about this and chew on it a little bit.”
Participants also learned about Freedom Week, a campaign Teng has organized that will feature creative performances, a prayer gathering and rally in various locations throughout the Lower Mainland March 6-13, including a walk in Langley March 12.
“There are thousands of people that are going to be coming,” Teng said. “We’re going to be shutting down sections of Fraser Highway and literally taking this message to the streets.”
For information search ‘Freedom Week – A Week to End Slavery’ on Facebook.