By: Julia Randall and Laura Parker
We love introducing the real people behind the efforts of The Exodus Road community, and today we’d like you to meet Angie Washington, our Communications Manager. Angie is based in Nebraska and has followed The Exodus Road from its very beginnings in Asia in 2012. Having worked cross-culturally in Bolivia for 13 years and having avidly written, launched, and run websites, Angie came to The Exodus Road team with a heart for the vulnerable and the knowledge of how to communicate effectively online in the nonprofit sector. Most of the emotive graphics you see online, and lots of the words you read from the website to the Facebook page are written from her keyboard, and we’d love for you to meet the woman behind the words.
Can you summarize your role as Communications Manager?
I oversee the online interaction on our social media pages and also run our blog and website. I work closely with VP of Communications Laura Parker, who also directs and leads the visionary side. I work the “make it happen,” so to speak, side. I also oversee the press relationships, a new endeavor.
What role do you play in the rescue of individuals caught in sex trafficking?
My key role, my number one goal, is to connect people to rescue. I feel like the way that I work in the Communications Department allows people to connect in a real way, by giving their time, volunteer effort or finances. I create the medium to connect them to the frontlines. Without somebody in the middle, there would be no real connection. There would just be those bad guys, the trafficking, overseas and the good-hearted people not knowing what to do. I’m the connective piece that allows ordinary people to be modern-day abolitionists.
What experiences have you had in the past ten years that have prepared you for this work?
So many specific moments come to mind. I’ll share the first personal experience. A baby girl was brought to our orphanage in Bolivia whose sale had been intercepted at the border. To hold that baby in my arms and know that she was not another trafficking fatality changed me. Following that, real life conversations with many precious people who work in the anti-trafficking field also helped to prepare me.
Angie, you sit in front of the computer most days. What keeps you inspired to help with the work, even though you are not able to actively be on the “frontlines?”
The amazing team of people I work with inspires me. Also, sometimes I will pull out the field reports and read through them. Hearing the undercover operatives talk about the missions and the people they encounter keeps me going. It really all just comes back to “I want to see those kids free.”
It really all just comes back to: I want to see those kids free.- Angie Washington, Communications Manager
Since you’ve come on board in January 2015 what progress, or reason to hope about the state of sex trafficking, have you seen?
I have hope because I have seen kids freed. I get to look at the raw footage that comes in by way of photo and video. We then turn that into a story element that protects the identities of the rescued victims, but also is true to their plight. That has been an honor for me. The stories give me hope.
What has surprised you most about the response of people to the communication from The Exodus Road?
The tremendous amount of collaboration necessary to liberate slaves surprised me. I didn’t realize how much is involved in liberation. Now, when I communicate about rescued slaves, I know that countless skilled and generous people make it happen. Every single rescued person is priceless, quite literally.
(Pictured: Angie Washington and Laura Parker, June 2015)