If We Don’t Talk About It

We can’t eradicate it.

Today, I had the opportunity of a lifetime.

Back before it was a popular buzzword, I was learning about human trafficking.

What shocks me, truthfully, is that more people are not aware of what is going on in plain sight.

It was an intimate group of powerhouses.

People who are in the trenches, loving on people who have been victimized by other people for money.

One of the women is a survivor of human trafficking. If you saw her…you never would’ve guessed that she was a victim.

She doesn’t fit the bill.

She doesn’t look like a victim.

The woman who arranged it, Monica Watkins, got her start as a model. She went on a trip to Haiti and encountered a young girl who was ensnared in human trafficking after the earthquake that ravaged the island and claimed her family.

Now, the organization that she runs, Beauty for Freedom, has impacted the lives of over 2000 human trafficking survivors and at risk youth.

All it takes is one encounter.

All it takes is one person to start.

All it takes is one action.

What struck me the most about the whole day is the role that art is playing in the healing of survivors. Sometimes you don’t have the words…but you can create art that speaks louder than words.

What feels like a lifetime ago, my friend and I went into Philadelphia when President Bush was really starting to raise awareness on human trafficking and on helping non-profits get grants. I may have almost followed Franklin Graham into the bathroom…but that’s a story for a different time.

That day, again, I went because I thought it would be cool to hear the president and Franklin Graham speak. I had no clue that today I would be at an intimate panel in the NY Times building with people who were holding major corporations and brands accountable to doing their part in stopping the trafficking of human beings.

Why the hell are we having that conversation in 2019 still?

Because there are people who are still willing to BUY another human being.

There are people who make billions of dollars selling human beings.

Keep your eyes open. You know someone who is a slave. They may not have metal shackles on their ankles or chains on their arm, but you have encountered someone who is enslaved.

If you suspect that someone you encounter is there against their will, call the hotline. 888-373-7888.

Silence is complicity.

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