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read Think Act Ep. 12: Emily Kenway on the truth about modern slavery


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Welcome to Read Think Act! This is the video series where writing and activism go hand in hand (or head to head) and we explore the space where they intersect, taking ideas from the pages and into our communities.

In episode 12 Emily Kenway, author of The Truth About Modern Slavery answers three questions about how language shapes the change we imagine and the efforts we can support when seeking real structural change.

We also asked Emily for her top book recommendations to keep us thinking about how modern slavery, and explotation at large, happens, continues and is reproduced.:

Revolting Prostitutes by Juno Mac and Molly Smith (on sex work and decriminalisation)

The Unknowers by Linsey McGoey (on knowledge and whose knowledge counts in society)

Don't Think of an Elephant by George Lakoff (on framing and political stories)

Welcome to Britain by Colin Yeo (amazing overview of how we got to where we are with UK immigration policy)

But the whole point of Read Think Act is that it doesn't stop with reading - we can all take knowledge from books and apply it in whatever way we're able to. These are the organisation mentioned by Emily in the video, that you can join and support to challenge explotation on a structural level:

Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants - a charity working for migrant rights and support for migrants.

Women for Refugee Women - empowering refugee women and making the case for their rights

Bail for Immigration Detainees - Challenging immigration detention in the UK

SWARM - A collective founded and led by sex workers who believe in self-determination, solidarity and co-operation.

Decrim Now - working for the decriminilsation of sex work in the UK

About our guest: Emily Kenway is a writer and activist. As a former advisor to the UK’s first Anti-Slavery Commissioner she was at the heart of modern slavery action. She has written for a variety of publications including the Guardian and TLS.

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