Human trafficking highlighted during Slavery Awareness Week

Kate Fechter / Washburn Review

This week is the sixth annual Slavery Awareness Week. Washburn’s Social Justice League plans and facilitates the various events. The events started on Monday and will continue through the end of the week.

Monday at 8 a.m. was the installation of the “Reflections on Modern Slavery” art show. The art work is in the Mabee Library and will be up through the end of the month. At 11 a.m. was a reception for the art show, and during that time, Vicky Luttrell gave a presentation on domestic child trafficking in the U.S.

Tomorrow is the World Slavery Awareness Film Festival. The films that will be featured are: “Trade,” an anime; “Intersection,” a documentary and a Radiohead music video.  This event is from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. in Mabee Library.

Friday at the Washburn School of Law Library there will be a lunch with Laura Leaderer, a Georgetown University law professor. Leaderer is a former presidential advisor and the vice president of policy and planning for Global Centurion, an organization that fights child sex trafficking. The lunch is at 11 a.m.  At 1 p.m. Leaderer will give a lecture at the Mabee Library.

Friday night at 7 is “Jam for Justice.” This concert is at the Live Music Institute on SW 17th Street and will benefit Veronica’s Voice, an organization from Kansas City that helps girls who are being held as prostitutes escape and start a new life. They were one of the main speakers last year.

On Saturday at Mabee Library there will be a discussion- “Human Trafficking: Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership.” This discussion will be led by Senator Sam Brownback and Attorney General Steve Six.  Refreshments will be served. This is from noon to 3. At 4 p.m., Highland Park students will perform a play, “Body and Sold: Stories from Victims of Domestic Sex Trafficking” at the Georgia and Andrew Neese Gray Theatre.

There has been a lot of opportunities for community participation this year. The art shown at Mabee Library was submitted by students and community members. Anyone could submit up to three pieces of art as long as it was related to some form of slavery.

“Anyone from the community can participate,” said Resa Boydston, student and Social Justice League member. “This isn’t just for Washburn students; this is for the whole community. You can participate as much or as little as you want.”

The Social Justice League works to keep things interesting every year. There are some new things included in Slavery Awareness Week.

“The play “Body and Sold” is different from last year,” said Boydston. “We tweaked the film festival. We also did a thing where people could write songs and submit them. There were 10 or 11 submissions. We are going to put them on a CD and sell them for $10.”

Boydston feels that art and music are powerful ways to reach people and that this is an issue that is relevant to everyone because it is a human rights issue, and anyone could be a potential target.

Come check out the events this week and learn about this global issue.