Mariano Vivanco
September 04, 2018 02:50 PM

Selena Gomez‘s personal life may often take center stage, but there’s one passion the superstar has managed to keep secret for the last six months: her work with anti-human-trafficking nonprofit A21.

In her new cover interview with Elle, the “Back to You” singer, 26, opens up about volunteering for the organization and why she’s kept her involvement under wraps — until now.

“I wasn’t going to immediately start discussing it. It’s out of my comfort zone,” says Gomez, who is the face of Coach and has a new collection with the brand. “I needed to be fully immersed in it.”

The entertainer also understands there will be naysayers who claim she is now speaking out to get attention, but “that’s not why I want to talk about it,” she says. “I can’t be silent about this.”

According to the outlet, Gomez began working with A21 in March after being introduced to the organization by co-founder Christine Caine, a friend the star met through church.

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“The idea of human trafficking to me is … I’m flabbergasted,” says Gomez — who has her own key to their Southern California office — about women and young children who are forced into sexual slavery.

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After a year filled with ups and downs, the 13 Reasons Why producer says she’s more inspired than ever to make a difference with her platform.

Says the star, who shared more photos and videos on Tuesday from her trips with A21: “I had been working for so long, and I don’t like taking things in my life. I just wanted to serve.”

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