For most, “human trafficking” doesn’t happen “here.” Yet in malls across the country, predators look to find the lonely, disenfranchised young teen ripe for a friend.
Since 2012, Women in Homeland Security has focused its January programming on human trafficking with awareness programs and interactive art projects to educate parents, professionals and the community on the threat of trafficking here in the United States. On Jan. 25, the group hosted “Human Trafficking: In Your Neighborhood and Across the Globe” with author Dr. Kimberly Mehlman-Orozco, a human trafficking expert who wrote Hidden in Plain Sight: America’s Slaves of the New Millennium – an intellectually rigorous and emotionally affecting account of modern enslavement.
Women in Homeland Security has also partnered with Artworks for Freedom, a nonprofit organization that uses the power of art to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and human trafficking. In 2015, WHS worked with the organization to create “Golden Door to Freedom,” a participatory arts project that turns abandoned doors into dramatic vehicles for communal focus on human trafficking. Guided by master gilder William Adair, members and friends of WHS embellished the door with messages, artwork, and drawings to raise awareness.
Artworks for Freedom has developed 12 doors with organizations like the National Truckers Association’s Truckers for Freedom.