An Open Letter About the Social Justice E-Book Project

Dear Artists, Photographers, Poets, and Writers;

This is an open letter to those of you who have previously expressed interest in contributing to the Social Justice E-book Project. I will be emailing this to the email addresses of those on my list, but just in case I miss anyone, I am also posting it here.

(If this is the first you have heard of the project, and you would like more info, please click the button on the menu to the right labeled “E-Book Project”.)

After much consideration, I’ve decided to set a final deadline for submissions of July 31, 2011. Without a deadline, I’m afraid that this project will never be completed. If you would like to see the latest preview of the E-Book, please comment on this post.

In the past few months, I have backed off. My computer died and I stopped bugging everyone for their final submissions. I was beginning to wonder if all this was really worth it or if modern slavery is just an evil that cannot be exterminated.

Then, just the other day, Michael Crichton’s memoir, “Travels” happened to drop into my lap. I was nonchalantly flipping through it, not terribly interested, when I stumbled across his account of a trip he took to Thailand. The excerpt I am about to share with you inspired, no, more like horrified me into picking the Social Justice E-Book Project back up.

The door opens. We see a handful of prepubescent girls. They look ten or eleven. Their eyes are dark and smudged. Their postures are coy; they strut and throw glances over their shoulders. One girl walks unsteadily in high heels too big for her.

“What do you say, guys?” Ed says. He’s grinning with excitement.

I just want to get out of there. I don’t care if they think I’m effeminate, I don’t care what they think. I just want to get away from these poor children and these reeking corridors with people pulling at me, touching me, little fingers reaching up for me. “Mister… mister…”

“I think I’ll pass,” I say. “I’m a little tired.”


Well, at least he had the decency to refuse, right?  I started thinking. We automatically loath his “friend”, Ed. But isn’t looking the other way; isn’t doing nothing, almost as bad?

We partner with the abusers by our silence, by our apathy.

This dilemma is faced over and over again around the world. Isn’t the life of just one child precious? The question shouldn’t be about what Mr. Crichton could have done. The question should be; what will I do? What will you do? Will any of us do anything?

If this project helps to save one child from a life of prostitution, slavery, or ignorance, it will have succeeded. 

Thank you once again for your interest and participation in this project.


Toni L.A. Cross
Project Facilitator

Artists and Writers Needed To Fight Injustice!

Recently, a visiting speaker spoke passionately at our church regarding social justice and human trafficking, I began seriously thinking and praying about what I could do to help.

I am in the baby stages of putting together a self published book through’s CreateSpace.

It will be a collaboration of artists and writers, containing short stories, poems, and original art centered around raising awareness of current social justice issues. Our goal would also encompass raising funds to help end modern-day slavery, in all its forms.

We would like to donate the full proceeds of the book, (minus the cost of publishing) to the Not For Sale Campaign.

If you as a writer and/or artist would like to contribute to this project OR if you know someone who might be interested, comment on this post and I will email you as soon as possible.

Thank you so much,

Toni L.A. Cross

Slave in Waiting… A Multimedia Poem by Toni L.A. Cross


She peers out of broken glass

Smeared with all that’s crude and crass

The glass is like her life

It cuts her with its knife

She is old and broken

Her pain pools unspoken

No way to escape

This endless rape

She peers out with shattered eyes

Heavy with tears she never cries

The tears are like the curtain of beads

Strung and hanging useless weeds

Tacky and in the way

Like the thought that she should pray

If God did care

She should see Him somewhere

Won’t He send someone

To undo what is done?

Does no one know

That she is here down below?


YOU can fight injustice!

You may have noticed the new glowing orange button on the righthand side of this website.

I often blog about issues related to injustice and suffering. Well, today, a friend of mine inspired me to actually start researching what I can do to make a difference.

You see, I think about social justice issues often, but I don’t usually think about the fact that I can do something to help. And I think there are probably lots of other people out there- just like me.

You want to help, you just don’t know how.

Please, take a few minutes and watch this video. It is beautifully artistic and yet raw with emotion.

Find out what you can do!