I love this season! It's a time to start fresh, embark on exciting adventures, set (and reach!) challenging goals and nurture deeply held passions. It's a time of year that fills me with hope for all that is yet to come.
So it makes sense that January, a time for renewed energy and commitment, is also National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month here in the United States. As you invest time and energy into turning your own resolutions into reality, it's also a good time to recommit to ending human trafficking.
With all of our combined efforts, small acts have a huge impact and we challenge you to think about how to get involved. How about volunteering with an organization supporting trafficking survivors? Donating to an anti-trafficking non-profit? Organizing an awareness event (maybe a book talk or a film screening) in your home? Each individual step makes a big difference!
At ArtWorks, we are renewing our commitment to reaching new audiences, working with new partners and sharing more stories of inspirational people who choose to contribute their talents toward an end to human trafficking. What is your commitment? I'd love to hear from you.
We look forward to sharing a year of new adventures and fulfilled dreams with all of you!
4 Ways to Get Involved This Human Trafficking Prevention Month
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month in the United States. Corporately and individually, it's a good time to focus on what human trafficking is and how it affects vulnerable women, children and men in our own communities, country and around the world.
This month is also a great time for those of us who care about this issue to go further in our involvement in the anti-trafficking movement by getting our friends, family, co-workers, classmates and faith communities involved. Here are a few ideas on how to take action human trafficking that are tailor made for you to get others around you involved.
Use National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to spur involvement:
In Your Family: Set aside time to discuss the signs of human trafficking with your family. Look for a child- or teen-friendly guide to help you discuss the issue with the young ones in your family. For example, this Child Sex Trafficking Youth Discussion Guide published by YouthSpark offers help on starting a conversation with youth 11 years and older.
In Your Local Community: Many cities and states convene human trafficking task forces (see examples from Maryland, Michigan and Georgia). Find out if your city or state has organized a human trafficking task force and, if so, visit the website to learn what they are doing, when meetings are held and if they are open to the public. If you can, plan a visit to one of the meetings to learn more about what your community is doing to address the issue.
In Your School, Office or Faith Community: Contact a local nonprofit organization or social services agency that provides support services for human trafficking survivors and ask if they need supplies like toiletries, books or other materials. Organize your classmates, co-workers or church members to collect supplies to offer as a donation. Online databases like Idealist.org and Volunteer Match can help you find an organization that serves survivors in your area.
In Your Social Media Networks: Tweet/post/share one message a day to bring awareness of human trafficking and human trafficking prevention month. Visit our social media pages for posts to retweet and share.
These are just a few ideas to help you brainstorm ways to get active in January for National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. You're involvement doesn't have to end in January, but it's a great month to get started!
Embrey Family Foundation
The Embrey Family Foundation is a long-time supporter of ArtWorks for Freedom, and we are grateful for their continuing support!
Funding from the foundation supported the creation of the ArtWorks mobile mural "What You See is Not Who I Am" in partnership with the Groundswell Community Mural Project in Brooklyn, NY, recently on display as part of our Freedom Expressions ATL awareness campaign in Atlanta, GA. This year, our partnership with the Embrey Family Foundation extends to our new Golden Doors to Freedom Initiative, a participatory arts project that turns abandoned doors into dramatic vehicles for communal focus on human trafficking.
"ArtWorks for Freedom truly embodies what the Embrey Family Foundation is passionate about - raising awareness of social justice and human rights issues, especially using the arts as a platform to promote social change," says Gayle Embrey, Embrey Family Foundation vice chair and ArtWorks for Freedom advisory board member. "By supporting ArtWorks for Freedom's human trafficking awareness campaigns, we are furthering our mission and helping to create a more just and free world."
The Embrey Family Foundation has played an integral role in our work bringing awareness of human trafficking to the world through art and we are so thankful for their support!
ICYMI: Last Month On Our Blog
ArtWorks Contributing Artists Shared Thoughts on Art & Activism
HOLLY BASS believes in the ability of the arts to open eyes and engage audiences confronting complex social issues. As a multidisciplinary performance and visual artist, writer and director, Bass regularly uses her artwork to draw attention to subject matters ranging from the objectification of black bodies to race and urban gentrification. Read how Holly fuses art with social justice awareness.
ArtWorks for Freedom will participate in the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai, India, February 6 - 14, 2016 with multiple ArtWorks contributing artists showcasing their work. The festival will feature:
Are you a writer or digital content creator looking for a way to help end human trafficking? We’re looking for volunteer bloggers to share local stories of anti-trafficking work. This is a great opportunity for students, freelancers and blogging enthusiasts! Email our blog editor Courtney McSwain for more details.