Catalyst for Change
With her Twitter profile proclaiming, “Dreaming’s what I do,” Grecia Ocampo ’14 obviously believes in the power of big dreams. Serving as president of Bradley’s Anti-Slavery Coalition and the Association of Latin American Students (ALAS), she recently became a founding member of campus’ new International Humanitarian Law Campaign organization. Sponsored by the American Red Cross, the team starts work this year to help students understand and respect international humanitarian law and principles.
A political science major with minors in Spanish and French, Ocampo first heard about human-trafficking crimes and the Anti-Slavery Coalition two years ago from her roommate, Melissa Zacarias ’14, the coalition’s then-president. Zacarias’ passion intrigued Ocampo, so she began attending related events with her, watching documentaries in disbelief, and coming to the conclusion that “people in the United States aren’t really aware of how far-reaching human trafficking is; some of the documentaries are so intense that students are left shocked and speechless.”
ALAS also educates students on the relationship between immigration and human trafficking. The group screened a documentary last semester, Lives for Sale, that showed how the two issues feed off each other. “We like to open students’ eyes to critical issues,” Ocampo noted. “Perhaps if we solve one problem, we can impact the other.”
The Chicago native acknowledges growing up in a bubble and being unaware of how dangerous the world can be. Since her involvement in the coalition, she has become inspired to reach out to the homeless population: “Ideally, I would like to work with the homeless because human-trafficking crimes occur so much more readily against needy people with no one looking after them.”