Human Trafficking…a TUF discussion

Hey guys! Two days ago I had the honor of helping a friend by moderating/hosting an event that brought awareness to a huge epidemic globally…particularly right here in our backyard in Atlanta…human trafficking.

12804723_966902942921_7823358997167822800_n

It was quite the eye-opener for me as I was doing research and preparing for this event. I didn’t know much about human trafficking until I saw the movie, “Taken” with Liam Nielson. Even then, I didn’t know there was an official name for that type of crime.

Fast forward to the Summer of 2015, when I worked on a set as a Production Assistant on a webseries, called “Magnolia Avenue”. This series was written for the sole purpose of bringing awareness to one the biggest hubs for human trafficking…Atlanta, GA. I couldn’t believe it.

Human trafficking is actually a $150 billion dollar (and rising)  industry second to illegal drugs and arms in the world. Although it boasts of millions and millions of victims in Cambodia and India, it is prevalent in other countries such as Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Nigeria just to name a few and of course…right here in the “land of the free”.

I found out that human trafficking is not only selling of a human being for sexual exploitation, other types of human trafficking involves organ harvesting and forced labor. However, 75% – 80% of this disgusting crime is used for sex. Women, children, men, transgender all fall victim to this heinous crime…children being the #1 target.

I was nervous about moderating this round-table discussion on this topic. Once I got over my nervousness, which was the day of, I learned so much and I’m glad I was apart of it. It is definitely a topic we should keep in the forefront of our minds. Children go missing all the time and there’s a good chance they are probably snatched by someone who will exploit them sexually or worse.

IMG_1176

The event was great and successful. Everyone who came out had great input and information to share to help us become aware of suspicious activity that could lead to saving someone’s life.

IMG_1170

November is far off, but please remember to vote “Yes” for Safe Harbor/Rachel Law in your state. We need to make sure laws are put in place to protect our loved ones and friends from human trafficking. If you want to know more about it, I highly recommend you check out my friend’s website, http://www.theurbaneflower.com  It’s a cause she’s very passionate about…we all should be passionate about.

IMG_1185

Find out how you can help.

Young Republicans and Democrats…by default

5th grade students viewed a recap of the presidential debate via CNN Student News.

I’m a part time 5th grade reading tutor/teacher’s assistant at an elementary school. I saw something very interesting today at work. I was grading papers and the teacher called everyone’s attention to the front. So I stopped what I was doing and decided to check this video that she was setting up. On the projector I saw CNN Students News. Of course, I really got interested since I’m a Broadcasting major. I thought the kids were going to see students/interns doing their thing at CNN, but I saw something instead. It was actually coverage from last night presidential debate between President Barak Obama and Governor Mitt Romney.

The enthusiast news person highlighted some of the topics they covered and even showed some clips from last night’s debate. I’m thinking, “Do these kids know what’s really going on besides America trying to decide who will be our President for the next four years?” We’re a few minutes into the video and I’m scanning the room for glazed over faces of boredom and random doodling at their desks, but all 21 pairs of eyes were glued to that screen up front. Here’s what really got my attention though. As the clips are shown, one guy would come up on the screen and I heard some cheers and even saw some fist pumps. Then the other guy would pop on the screen talking and I saw thumbs down and even heard, “LIAR!” I thought, “Wow. Now that sounds familiar, but among kids???”

Biases are easily formed especially among children. However, in a situation like this, I really hope these kids are asking questions at home and getting the facts…I hope. I think it’s wonderful that they are interested in the political process. But what I saw today seemed to be mimicking of what they see and hear at home. Would it be too much to explain to them what’s really going on without overwhelming them? I mean afterall, they are in the process of learning about colonies and which wars formed America.

One of the kids asked me who I’m going to vote for and at first I was going to keep it to myself, but I told him and he gave me a 5th grader approved nod and fist pump to match. His classmate sitting next to him just kinda shrugged his shoulders.