Westmont Magazine Abolitionist Mamas Seek to End Modern-Day Slavery
They loved their lives as wives and mothers, but God was nudging them to look beyond their families and familiar surroundings. Could they do something to fight injustice in the world? Kim McOwen Yim ’94 and Shayne Klopfenstein Moore ’95 discovered they could; they’ve become anti-slavery activists in the midst of their suburban communities.
“The abolitionists of 200 years ago inspired me,” Kim says. “Like us, they were everyday American mothers with normal lives. They were the cement that kept the movement together—tenacious women who kept meeting and spreading the word. I knew we could do that. My daughter now introduces me as an abolitionist.”
Kim and Shayne, friends since Westmont, have written “Refuse to Do Nothing: Finding Your Power to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery.” “We wrote the book we wanted to read when we started out,” Shayne says.
By telling their stories, providing information and listing things to do, the book educates readers and urges action. “Slavery exists in our own backyard,” Kim says. “Americans are pretty naïve; it’s time to get engaged and be a voice for the voiceless. This is the greatest moral issue of our day.”
“Ordinary women represent a huge, untapped powerhouse of resources,” Shayne says. “When they use Facebook, they can call attention to issues related to human trafficking. They can contact companies, ask questions about their operations and push back against practices that encourage slavery. How we spend our non-mommy time affects our children and our communities. Women control the culture of their home, and we need to model for our children what to do with our free time.”
“Be aware of what is happening around you,” Kim says. “Put this trafficking hotline number in your phone, 888-373-7888, and call it when you see anything suspicious.”
When Kim discovered that Hershey purchases little fair-trade chocolate, she started writing to the company and encouraged others to do the same. In response to her persistence, Hershey has committed to buying only fair-trade cocoa by 2020. “We have to hold companies accountable,” she says.
Before Shayne graduated from Wheaton, she spent a semester at Westmont, where Heather Speirs taught her how to write and find her voice. She also met her husband, John Moore ’94. A partner and owner of a bond company, he serves on Westmont’s Board of Advisors. Shayne earned a master’s degree at Wheaton and speaks frequently as a member of the World Vision Speakers Bureau. In 2011 she wrote a book, “Global Soccer Mom,” to encourage women to address the issue of AIDS in Africa. They have three children, 11, 14 and 17, and live in Wheaton,Ill.
Kim works as executive director of the SOCO Institute, which supports non-profit organizations such as Opportunity International and CURE International. She graduated from Fuller Seminary, founded San Clemente Abolitionist Mamas and writes a blog, Abolitionist Mama. She lives in San Clemente,Calif., with her husband, John, and their two children, 9 and 12.
“The book talks about the power of relationships,” Kim says. “Women can inspire each other.” Kim says her communication studies classes prepared her to undertake a project like the book. “Westmont shaped my love for learning,” she says. “I went to seminary because nothing else seemed satisfying.”