You Made What?
Anna Leung ’05
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Leung wants people to know that human slavery is uglier than it ever was. Leung’s company is dedicated to changing that. She sells products made by survivors to provide income for victims and to raise awareness.
When Anna Leung was a junior at RIT, she took a break from homework one night and watched a documentary about human trafficking.
“I was just so taken aback by how slavery still exists today,” says Leung ’05 (public policy). “So I started to get involved.”
She incorporated the topic into her classwork and senior thesis project and did a co-op working with a congressman in California to formulate public policy on the issue. She also worked with a nonprofit that helps survivors of human trafficking.
In 2009, she started a business dedicated to ending human slavery. Restoring International Justice Imports Green (RIJI Green) sells products made by human trafficking survivors to not only provide a source of income for the victims but to raise awareness.
According to the State Department’s 2010 Trafficking in Persons report, there are an estimated 12.3 million adults and children in forced labor, bonded labor and forced prostitution around the world.
In the United States, federally funded task forces investigated 2,515 incidents of suspected human trafficking between January 2008 and June 2010, statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show. They identified 527 confirmed victims.
Leung works with factories in India, Nepal and Cambodia that are providing jobs to women rescued from brothels.
“I wanted to open up a market for survivors’ products,” Leung says.
Leung, who lives in Manassas Park, Va., not only sells the products, which include everything from retail and wholesale items to custom bags and T-shirts, she donates a portion of the proceeds to International Justice Mission, an organization that provides legal services to prosecute traffickers.
Neha Goyal ’05 ’10 (information technology), who built the RIJI Green website, says while at RIT, she and Leung were part of the Asian Culture Society and would often do Indian dance performances.
“Her love for India/South Asian culture, and its people, combined with her passion of human rights led her to start RIJI Green and fight human sex trafficking,” says Goyal, a Web and graphic designer with her own business called Launching Frog.
Along with running RIJI Green, Leung is a stay-at-home mom for her two boys, Oxford, 5, and Tovi, 4. She is married to alumnus Sam Graham ’02 (mechanical engineering). She met Graham on a mission trip to Jamaica with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship while they were students.
“I am balancing being a mom and being who I am, which is an abolitionist. I care about this issue. Slavery is bigger and uglier than it ever was. But at the same time, slavery has been overcome in the past and I truly believe that if we work together we can overcome this new form of slavery. I am just doing my part.”
To learn more
Go to www.rijigreen.com.