Feminist activism in the digital age leverages technology to raise awareness of, and to mobilize support for, important issues and causes. Human trafficking is one such cause, and preventing it is included as a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls. This study sought to understand the digital activism strategies of one women's civic leadership organization, the Junior League, for human trafficking awareness. In addition, this project analyzed how those digital activism strategies did or did not align with social justice approaches to human trafficking and how those digital activism strategies did or did not translate to offline action. To address these research questions, a three-pronged, feminist approach to data collection and analysis examined textual documents and included a qualitative survey and follow-up semi-structured interviews. Analysis revealed the overall disconnect between the mission of this women's civic leadership organization, its human trafficking awareness work, and its offline actions. Recommendations offered for this organization and for any nonprofit working in the anti-trafficking space include messaging and campaign goals for digital activism; connecting online efforts with offline action; developing organizational partnerships that consider multiple perspectives versus only a law-and-order angle; and including survivor voices and experiences into all anti-trafficking work.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Rister, Alex, ""Taken in by the 'Man in a White Van' Story": The Digital Activism Efforts of One Women's Civic Leadership Organization in Human Trafficking Awareness" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1081.