At times some of the best efforts behind the best causes are unassuming and subtle. Walk into Wesley Owens Coffee & Cafe and it’s unlikely you’d notice one of the greatest things that local coffee is achieving on the global scale.
The cafe itself is a superb location for those long study sessions or bookclubs or sourcing hard-to-find UK treats. Current owners Fabian and Lindsey Leite hail from South Africa by way of London, and British influences throughout the cafe are hard to miss. However, what the baristas will gladly tell you is that they are the sole location serving Global Grounds Coffee. And each bag of coffee subtly states: “A portion of sales donated to fight human trafficking.”
Global Grounds has chosen to look beyond the local coffee scene, even beyond the coffee industry as a whole, and turn their attention to a larger metanarrative at the global scale. For half a decade, Global Grounds has been donating a portion of their proceeds to the fight against human trafficking. By partnering with Exodus Road, further resources are being funneled into the work of “gathering evidence, utilizing technology, supporting locals, and facilitating rescue missions.” Since their inception in 2012, Exodus Road has worked in four countries, rescued more than 1,300 survivors and seen 647 perpetrators arrested.
Such success is to be admired. Many visionaries, such as Matt and Laura Parker of Exodus Road, Rob Morris of Love 146 and Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission, have sacrificed and risked much in the pursuit of justice and equity for the oppressed and marginalized.
Contrary to common thought, such world changing work is not necessarily beyond the scope or ability of us “everyday” “common” folk. Sipping our coffee and enjoying a seasonal muffin may not seem life changing (although that pumpkin muffin at Wesley Owens Cafe is excellent), but when the right people are involved along the supply chain, the many small decisions of many contributing individuals can and will aggregate into a global impacting difference.
So, while you may not be able to relocate to Southeast Asia to fight the exploitation of boys and girls in the gruesome sex trade, you can play your part in patronal support of small businesses with large visions like those of Wesley Owens, Global Grounds and Exodus Road.