Written by: Kedrick Nettleton, Staff Writer
Oklahoma Wesleyan has always taken seriously its responsibility to fight for the rights of vulnerable people across the planet. This week, that fight is taking center stage. Orange Week, an annual awareness campaign from OKWU’s Orange Movement, takes place February 17-21.
The Orange Movement was launched at OKWU in 2010 as a way to fight against the human trafficking industry. The name comes from Orange Scott, a nineteenth century abolitionist in the Methodist Church. Scott became convinced that the church should take more action in the anti-slavery movement than it was at the time, which ended up getting him in some hot water with the Methodist church authorities. In the end, Scott became one of the founding members of what would eventually become The Wesleyan Church, presiding over the first meeting of churchmen under that name.
“I felt it my duty to call the attention of my countrymen to the wrongs and outrages suffered by the wretched slaves of our land, to which I had been so long indifferent and a stranger,” Scott is credited as saying. “That by having a torch light presented to the slumbering national mind, it would be roused to see the evil and defilement of the land, and throw off this great abomination.”
By taking Scott’s name for the Orange Movement, OKWU continued The Wesleyan Church’s strong focus on social justice, and the results of the campaign speak for themselves. Since the Orange Movement’s founding, thousands of dollars have been raised to help fund safe homes in southeast Asia for girls who have been rescued out of human trafficking. OKWU’s continued financial support is a huge reason that this ministry remains viable and prospering.
In addition, OKWU raises money and awareness for the cause through the annual Orange Week campaign. In past years, students have exchanged cafeteria meals for support, have taken part in fundraising events and banquets, and – most recently – have participated in the Venture Miles campaign, in which OKWU students pledged to run a mile every day to raise money for vulnerable people groups.
This year, Orange Week activities are designed to raise awareness about the movement around campus to students who are new to OKWU and the Orange Movement. Teams from the movement will be visiting classrooms throughout the week to educate students about the cause, and Friday’s chapel will be entirely devoted to the topic. A few fundraising activities will also take place throughout the week – for students, t-shirts will be sold outside the cafeteria, with anyone who purchases before Wednesday being entered into a giveaway, which will then be announced at halftime Wednesday night.
“I felt it my duty to call the attention of my countrymen to the wrongs and outrages suffered by the wretched slaves of our land, to which I had been so long indifferent and a stranger, that by having a torch light presented to the slumbering national mind, it would be roused to see the evil and defilement of the land, and throw off this great abomination.”