artists ending slavery

Human Trafficking Haiku

Lonely and depressed,
inadequate and worthless.
Please, even one friend?

Online chatting fills
this void in my heart.  He says
that he “treasures” me.

We plan to meet soon.
Friday at a street corner.
We’ll ride in his car.

So, we meet at eight.
But his face does not show the
worth he made me feel.

I’m locked in the car.
Not one man, but two up front.
Confusion and fear.

Later, a basement.
Both my body and my soul
in chains.  I am drugged.

If I tell, they kill
my family.  No escape.
Stuck in a nightmare.

Selling my body,
twelve times a day.  What happened?
Acceptance and love?

I feel as if I
merely watch myself living
this hell in a dream.

Reality.  My
reality.  Forever.
Hope does not exist.

But wait, too good to
be true.  He is arrested:
the man who constrains!

I have never been
so glad to be taken.  I
go to a shelter.

Seven years of dark.
I am now given freedom
to speak, act, and live.

Freedom, choices, life.
Never valued these more than
now.  Goodbye to force!

For rescue, refuge,
safety, my forever thanks
to End Slavery.

-Anonymous

Ignoring Child Sex Trafficking Doesn't Make It Go Away

 

by Philipa Booyens

We had a woman recently unsubscribe to our mailing list. Her reason? She said she couldn't look at "this." She couldn't see or deal with "it."

My response: (See photo)

8day 2

8 DAYS opens with these words:

(AMBER)  Darkness breeds darkness. It hides monsters in closets and under beds. I used to think closing my eyes and covering my ears would make them go away... I used to think a lot of things.

When I was a child, I used to think such childish things. I'm not a child anymore. Child sex trafficking (what many in Homeland Security Investigation call MODERN SLAVERY) should NEVER be easy to look at. But, here's the thing: ignoring, hiding, closing eyes and covering ears will NEVER make it go away. This kind of thinking, this apathy and fear has led our culture and county to the place it is in. A place where three year old children are sold and raped repeatedly. A place where traffickers molest and move children over our southern border, requiring every girl over 10 to take a pregnancy test. Today in the United States of America children are sold by their families. Girls are locked in closets for years. People are beaten and abused, kidnapped, murdered, branded, "owned" and treated likes slaves.

Don't like it? Don't want to look it? Good. NOW DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Individually, if we bless one life, we are making a difference. Together, we can change the world. I believe that. I know that. I've seen that through this filming process. Margaret Mead once said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Let this be a call to all "thoughtful, committed citizens." It is up to us to fight the crime of child sex trafficking, Let's stop hiding and ignoring this problem that is right under our noses. Let's stop "waiting on the world to change," and make it!

 

Philipa Boooyens is the screenwriter for 8 DAYS (www.8daysfilm.org) and the Creative Director for After Eden Pictures (www.afteredenpictures.com).

South of the City

 

On July 19th, local musicians, artists, and their fans gathered at the Brentwood Contemporary Music Center for a night of music and human trafficking awareness!  South of the City, put together by End Slavery Tennessee’s friend and hero Andrew Yontz, was a benefit concert for our organization with the purpose of bringing together local talent to help raise awareness and funds to fight the sex trafficking taking place in Nashville.

southofthecityWhile the audience’s ears were filled with moving song lyrics and harmonies, they were also given the opportunity to take part in live art – taking trash and scraps of unused paper, writing inspiring messages, prayers, and quotes for human trafficking survivors on them, and then pasting them to a canvas. The piece was then given to ESTN to hang in our office for every girl and survivor who passes through our halls to read.  Another art piece was also created live by Christi Getzen Schroader throughout the entire event.  The piece was entitled "We Are Not Finished."  More of Christi's work can be found at her website, Light Beneath. Other artistic talent for the event included the musicians of Jorand Minton, Cammie York, Flying Colours, and Old Friend.southofthecity art

Andrew kept the event hopping with raffle prizes, an upbeat atmosphere, and excitement! “I hope everyone who attends this event will feel equipped and inspired to find a cause in their life they are passionate about and do something about it through their gifts and talents,” said Andrew.

Derri Smith also spoke during the session and explained the mission of End Slavery Tennessee She shared the story of one of our survivors who is ready to have a voice!

Extra thanks to Andrew for all the work he did for this event, all the musical and artistic talent that preformed, and the supportive individuals who made the night a grand success!

Slavery is appalling! But what can *I* do?

A LOT, actually:

· Raise awareness and funds by organizing a Ride for Refuge (bike ride) in Nashville. 

· Support survivors by organizing Freedom Fighter's Parties. (Just heard from a courageous woman in a closed country who shelters survivors. She has a waiting list, one in the hospital-- and $44 left in her bank account. Selling more of the jewelry her ladies make would be a huge help to her and other front line heroes.)  

· Gather a prayer team and pray for victims, workers and slavery issues locally and globally.Ask for requests.   

· Use your skills Design brochures, bookmarks, posters, stickers with hotline info and other tools designed for local use. Write a blog or letter to the editor. Create a painting or write a song to be a voice for the voiceless. 

· Help us enter the 21st century by setting up a widget for donations for song downloads, a way to text donations or a twitter or Facebook auction. 

· Open eyes and dispel apathy by showing "Faces of Slavery" to your church, home group, professional org or  family and friends in your home. Write for a free disk: derri.smith@iteams.org

· Prevent slavery and rescue victims by starting a community watch type program in your neighborhood or throughout Tennessee. (We can help.)

· Donate a car, like Susie and Nick Young. Get a tax write off and free some people. Cool! (International Teams is the charity-be sure to earmark for anti-slavery work.) 

· Encourage survivors by writing letters to rescued victims in shelters in the U.S. Write for addresses and guidelines.

· Educate tomorrow's decision makers by donating books and media on human trafficking to libraries-school, public, church etc.(Let us know you did, so we don't duplicate.)

· Entertain with a purpose by showing a movie about human trafficking and discussing modern slavery with your friends. Ask us for a list of recommended movies. 

· Join a monthly volunteer group! Get inspired and work together! Nashville group: contact Pax Franklin: Contact Bria

· Help us work intelligently and effectively by assisting with research for a resource catalog we're creating for front line workers. 

· Make sure victims are identified and helped by inviting us to speak or train members of your profession.

· Ignite a wild fire by devoting your Facebook status once a week to anti-slavery info. Retweet our tweets

· Fund the Cause by holding an awareness/benefit concert or other fundraiser. Ask, if you want ideas

· Create some drama and perform for schools and youth groups, to warn about trafficking tactics and thus prevent bondage. (We have ideas!)  

 · Pass this list on to your friends!

 Or share your own creative ideas! We’d love to hear them.

A Glimpse at Grassroots Activism: The making of “Stolen”, the song and music video

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!

To Abolition!

Derri

GivStory- We need you to make this go viral!

We temporarily interrupt our normal broadcast to make this announcement:  

 GivMusic is an awesome group of good hearted people connecting artists with causes. Derri Smith and our local work is highlighted on their site right now.  Please- read it-- then pass it on to everyone you know! Thank-you!