What is A21 and why is Selena Gomez upset it wasn't covered more in Elle's piece?

Korin Miller
Writer


Selena Gomez appears on the latest cover of Elle magazine, but she admitted in a recent Instagram post that she’s “a bit bummed” that some of her charity work wasn’t featured as heavily in the story.

“Alright. Speaking from my heart for over an hour to someone who puts those thoughts into paid words can be hard for me. The older I get the more I want my voice to be mine,” she wrote in the post. Gomez wrote that her purpose for doing in the interview was to focus on “my work with A21, my new collection with Coach, and some new music.”

Selena Gomez sports short hair at WE Day California on April 19, 2018. (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

“I understand that reporters are working to grab the attention of a reader, however I will always work to ensure that what is public represents my truth,” she continued. “I’m a bit bummed but rarely surprised.”

“So I’ll post some of MY photos from the collection and work with A21,” she wrote. “My heart. And maybe edit my actual lyrics as you will all hear it soon.” She also encouraged fans to visit a link to A21 in her bio for more information.

She posted the same message in another series of photos that showed her with various children and families.


Gomez name-checked A21 several times, but she didn’t explain what the organization is. A21 is an Australian-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) that fights human trafficking, according to the organization’s website. There are 14 locations across the world, including two in the U.S. (in Charlotte, N.C., and Costa Mesa, Calif.).

A21’s operational strategy is to “reach, rescue, and restore” victims of human trafficking, the website says. The NGO tries to prevent slavery through events, student presentations, and education programs. It also works closely with law enforcement to help identify and rescue victims as well as works with victims of slavery to help provide them with access to housing, medical treatment, counseling, education, and employment.

People who are interested in helping the charity can join one of the NGO’s “A-teams,” which provide resources and information on how to help on a local level.

Gomez hasn’t spoken much about her work with A21 in the past, but reveals in the article that she’s been working with the organization since March. To be fair, the Elle article talks about A21 a lot —and the interview was initially conducted in one of the nonprofit’s offices.

“I wasn’t going to immediately start discussing it. It’s out of my comfort zone. I needed to be fully immersed in it,” Gomez said in the article. “What a great thing another celebrity is doing — that’s not why I want to talk about it. I can’t be silent about this.”

“The idea of human trafficking to me is … I’m flabbergasted.” Gomez said. The article also points out that she “immediately” began volunteering five days a week, except when she has work obligations.

Gomez didn’t specify what, exactly, she was disappointed with in the article and its coverage of A21, but one thing’s for sure: She definitely raised the profile of the organization.

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