Photographer Documents Kilimanjaro 'Climb for Peace'

Helps Women Weave Activism into Daily Lives

By Megan Perkins ’18
Monday, February 22, 2016

Photographer Chelsea HudsonChelsea Hudson’s greatest fear is wasting her life. A 2004 JBU graduate, Hudson is a photographer, anti-trafficking advocate and mother of three who is about to take on the biggest challenge of her life.

On March 8, 2016, International Women’s Day, Hudson and 15 other climbers plan to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in support of the anti-gender violence organization One Million Thumbprints.

With a summit of 20,000 feet and a climb requiring 38,680 steps, Mt. Kilimanjaro’s challenging ascent will be scaled by women from all walks of life to “honor the voice of the 17 million women affected by gender violence in war zones and raise a banner of peace,” both literally and figuratively, on the summit of the largest free-standing mountain in the world. Hudson will document the climb of Tanzania’s “Mountain of Light” on behalf of One Million Thumbprints.

Primarily a fundraising event, Hudson and the other participants in the “Climb for Peace” will independently collect contributions to be used, with the help of World Relief, in grassroots programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Syria and Iraq.

This climb with One Million Thumbprints is just one example of how Hudson combines her passion for photography and her abolitionist heart. In 2014, Hudson traveled to India to photograph the efforts of fellow JBU grads Dylan and Molly Fila in their social enterprise, Daughters of Hope. A fair trade organization seeking to fight poverty and empower women, Daughters of Hope provides training and employment to the impoverished women of India.

“For the first time, I felt like I was operating on all cylinders,” said Hudson, “like everything had led to that moment and my passions and my skills had finally aligned for good.” Hudson frequently partners with various fair trade non-profits doing product photo shoots, and funds her advocacy work by selling her fine art photography.

Hudson’s anti-trafficking and anti-slavery advocacy work began in 2010 through an experience ministering to exotic dancers with an outreach program she helped to establish at her church. Frustrated and struggling to find a way to take action while busy being a mom of three small children, Hudson decided to start a website that “just curated ideas, suggestions, and opportunities for the busy suburban mom/woman to be able to get involved with the pressing issues in our world.”

Hudson’s website, www.doalittlegood.com, encourages busy women and mothers to become involved in the fight against extreme poverty, child trafficking and modern slavery by transforming their frustration, passion and empathy into action. Do a Little Good provides a range of resources including moving stories of the work women are doing on the front lines of these issues.

“I want it to be a place where people can figure out how to weave activism into their daily lives,” says Hudson.

Hudson admits that juggling a family and trying to make an impact in the world is a constant struggle, but her message to mothers is that “it is never either/or.”

“We all have a responsibility as human beings on this planet to care for our fellow human beings. And we all have a role to play. We don’t get a pass on this,” said Hudson. “Do something.”

 

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