End Slavery TN abolitionists recently completed participation in a project that epitomizes the grassroots nature of our work. The fruition can be found in the song “Stolen” and accompanying music video: WARNING. POTENTIALLY DISTURBING IMAGES. NOT FOR CHILDREN. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnK5mOgYI4c&feature=player_embedded]
The process, in microcosm, looked like this:
I shared some of my Power Points, information and the story of a local victim with a local pastor.
The pastor, Michael Reddish, talked to his congregation about Human Trafficking, and told the survivor’s story.
A musician in the audience, Brian Terry, heard the story, talked to me afterward, and bought the book “Not For Sale.”
The story inspired Brian to write the song “Stolen.” Reading the book burned the issue into his heart, inspiring determination to do whatever he could to cripple slavery.
3 Minutes to Live band members joined Brian, who is their lead singer, in performing and recording the song. Some who heard “Stolen” encouraged the group to create an accompanying music video.
I sent word out to our network of area abolitionists and:
- An apartment manager, Diana English, arranged for us to use one of her show apartments as a location.
- Bill Harding, a student and colleague working with Stop Child Trafficking Now, took on the role of videographer and was able to use his school’s equipment because he made this his class project.
- Marla Shelton, who works in the Service Learning Dept. at Volunteer State Community College, got the word out to students about volunteer needs. (Marla, and many of the students involved also heard me speak to their classes about Human Trafficking and were informed and eager for a chance to engage. )
- These students, along with Marla and other area activists and some of Brian’s friends and family, and the band members of 3 Minutes to Live, played the parts of victims and traffickers, made signs, took out trash, created bruises and black eyes from make-up , took down and set up furniture and props and did everything else needed for this work-intensive weekend. Other team members included: Kate Harris, Jamie Burton, Tina Newman, Amber Terry, Adam Wolfe, Brittany Bertolli, Isaiah White, Jerry Martinez, Megan Mitchell, Kiersten Joyce Butler, Leslie Zellaya, Raymond Wolfe, and Samara Williams.
- (I don’t want to brag, but I actually had the most important role as “Official String Cheese Provider” for the cast and crew. I did make people string their own cheese. Can't do everything.)
So now we have a powerful tool for raising awareness of this heinous crime and raising funds for anti-slavery work.
But the grassroots effort is not done. Now it is YOUR turn. You determine the effectiveness of all the work done thus far. Please send this blog or the link to www.3MTL.com to everyone you know. Or send them to our website where recipients will find the link and ways to become further informed and involved. If you have media connections, send the video to them. Rate it on YouTube to help it get more exposure there. Post it on your social networks.
Don’t wait for “someone” to do “something!” WE are the “someones” who can make ripples—and waves—with far reaching consequences for good. Take 5 minutes to pass this on, and be part of the grassroots movement to end slavery in our lifetime. Thanks, team!