On my second date with Jason, over tapas and red wine at restaurant in New York City, I let it slip that if we were together in a year, I’d travel to Paris with him—something he’d long wanted to do, but never had. Instantly, I regretted opening my mouth, assuming that my unintentional reference to our “future together” would send this guy packing (alone, without me!). In fact, the opposite actually happened—Jason never left my side and we got engaged two and a half years later.
While we still haven’t made it to the City of Lights (someday, we hope!) Jason and I have devoted as much time and resources as we can to traveling to other, far-flung places together. While the majority of our explorations have been romantic and inspiring, others have forced us to encounter aspects of the world and our society that are a little unsettling—or even downright upsetting.
In going overseas, we’ve observed how women and girls aren’t always treated equally and at times, are even abused by the family and community members who should be protecting them. It's unthinkable to us that human rights violations such as slavery and sex trafficking are still happening in the year 2012, but they are—and we want to do anything and everything we can to see these practices come to an end.
That's why we're teaming with dozens of our friends and family to participate in The NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile Presented by Nissan. We can’t think of anything that will draw more attention for a women-rights issue then a huge group of people (men and women!) sprinting down one of New York’s most iconic streets in a big, poufy bridesmaid dress! When I told Jason about the race, he was immediately game—and he started recruiting his friends to participate too.
Since we’re also getting married this year, Jason and I decided to start a Charity Registry with TheKnot.com and Crowdrise, and are asking our loved ones to donate to the New Light Foundation rather than giving us china and linens. We figure that we've gotten this far without a ceramic gravy boat or a crystal vase, and that our guests' generosity will go much farther if its directed toward a cause we believe in.
We know that these efforts are just a start, but we hope as we begin our life together, we can start affecting the kind of change that will help women and girl in need establish a wonderful new life of their own.