MEMBERS OF CAST RUN JUST UNDER 27 MILES IN L.A. MARATHON TO DRAW AWARENESS TO THE 27 MILLION PEOPLE LIVING IN SLAVERY WORLDWIDE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Lisette Arsuaga 213-365-1906 ext 118

May 25, 2009: Among the 15,000 runners in the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon were four members of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (CAST), who participated in the run to raise awareness about slavery and trafficking issues. The four included members of CAST's Survivor Advisory Caucus, a staff member, and a volunteer.

CAST's Outreach Coordinator, Vanessa Lanza, who participated in the marathon, says, “The fact that some of our caucus members run the L.A. Marathon truly embodies the mission of CAST.... Through all of our programs, we are investing in human resilience. Being able to run the 26.2 grueling miles not only demonstrates the physical and emotional resilience of our clients, but is a powerful symbolic testimony as well.”

Founded in 1998, CAST advocates for and provides services to people who have been ensnared in modern day slavery. Los Angeles is regarded as one of the top destinations of the 50,000 people who are trafficked into the US annually. An estimated 27 million people are living in bondage worldwide.

CAST started the Survivor Advisory Caucus program in 2003 to empower its clients to become leaders in the modern day abolitionist movement. Caucus members have participated in the last five LA marathons. Funds were raised this year to cover the cost of the caucus members' registration fees.

This year, one caucus member decorated the assigned race bib with CAST's swirl of energy logo. The member says, "I wanted people to know that I was running for CAST, so that if anyone asked me what was on my bib, I would tell them about how much CAST has helped me.”

Kay Buck, Executive Director for CAST equated the survivors’ determination to finish the race, to the same resilience and determination they had while enslaved. “When most of us think of running 27 miles, it’s overwhelming – it’s like a race that never ends. Others take it as an opportunity to conquer a dream or prove to themselves all they can do. It’s a feeling of empowerment. At CAST, we are so proud of our team!” 

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