AnnJanette Alejano-Steele, Ph. D.
Research Director, The Colorado Project
LCHT Co-Founder and Board Chairperson
Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking
Music cue: Chariots of Fire
(honestly, when else would I find this truly apropos AND dorky at the same time?)
To listen to this blog’s music selection is to elicit images of youth running with abandon along a beach.
I pose to you an entirely different image to accompany this hopeful, inspiring and dramatic tune. Mostly because we’re not a group of Olympic athletes. Nor do we have expansive beaches of this sort in land-locked Colorado.
What we do have is a team of people passionate about human trafficking and drawing attention to the work of the Laboratory to Combat Human Trafficking. As one of the Charity Partners, we have four relay marathon teams, three kids and two marathoners all running for a shared reason. We’re educators, law enforcement, computer science folks, physicians, designers, engineers, social justice advocates, development folks, researchers, carpenters, parents, students…kids.
And why would this dedicated team decide to run together for this Colfax Marathon?
I think they should speak for themselves.
"Running on LCHT's team matters because..."
…this is a reflection of the way in which we do our work: team, team, TEAM!
…we need to draw attention to this human rights issue, and this is my part.
…we can’t do this work alone.
"LCHT rocks because..."
…they are the only organization dedicated to ending human trafficking through investigation and reason, and not blind passion or hyperbole.
…they get out there and do it - they're on the ground looking for real solutions to the actual problems confronting trafficking victims and the people working to help them.
"I am dedicating my run to..."
…all the Moms in my life, who took care of and take care of their children by making their worlds, both small and big, safe places in which to grow and thrive.
…my mom, I love and miss you.
…to people who may not feel seen or heard, but who REALLY matter.
"Training for this marathon has involved..."
…buffing up on my LCHT facts to spread the word!
…slow and steady prep, like the tortoise.
…a great deal of procrastination, but also a few magnificent days, and a few opportunities for exploration.
…almost no physical activity but a large portion of hope and enthusiasm.
…stressing out about running in high altitude!
…confronting my own fears, and pushing past them.
"The adrenaline from my runner's high makes me..."
…feel like I can keep running forever.
…feel grounded, energized and creative.
…feel like I can take on anything.
…feel like there is possibility.
"I care about LCHT's efforts because..."
…[their] analytical approach has helped me look human trafficking right in the eye. Now I want to stare it down!
…they think critically and thoughtfully in everything they do.
…someone has to do it, and I’m glad it’s them!
…they are doing the right thing and doing right by the communities they work with.
…they work on an important issue, that can easily be sensationalized, with patience, grace, and compassion.
…they make spaces for people, ideas, and communities to grow.
On the behalf of this co-founder, I’m grateful for the passion and energies of our runners for the Colfax Marathon. I’m also grateful for those of you staffing our tent in the Charity Village in City Park, and for the countless numbers of those helping to raise awareness and funds to sustain us. Running or not, please join us along the marathon route wherever you can, to cheer us all on!
And to my co-runners: see you in the last hundred yards near the finish line!