I’m sure you’ve noticed that haven’t made any posts the past two days. That’s because on Thursday I drove up to Richmond, Virginia to attend a screening of a movie called Call + Response. It was held at Richmond’s Byrd Theatre and was organized by the Richmond Justice Initiative and the International Justice Mission. I attended the screening with Greg Collier the CEO of Geebo.com. The movie was also attended by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Janet Polarek.
Ms. Polarek spoke before the movie stating that the issue of human slavery and human trafficking was not an issue of Republicans or Democrats but an issue that we all need to be concerned about.
The funny thing was that when Greg and myself were talking to people before and after the movie that were completely unaware that craigslist and backpage were such huge sources of human trafficking in this country.
The movie itself was spectacular. It was a bout a musician who wanted to get other musicians together to bring awareness to the slavery that was still going on in the world today. Not only abroad but also in the US. It included music performances and interviews with politicians, journalists and activists. Unfortunately I was not moved by the movie. That’s probably because I’ve been writing about horrors like this for the past 10 years. However I am sure that most ‘normal’ people would be moved by it.
After the movie some of us retired to a restaurant across the street where a Q&A session was held. The one thing that stood out to me about the Q&A session was a woman who stood up and addressed the crowd. By looking at her you would think that she was just a regular person that you would see in an office setting or at the store or whatever. Her story was anything but regular as she told her story about how she was held in slavery in this very country as a prostitute.
After hearing her story about how many times she was almost killed and had her freedom taken away from her under the threats of extreme violence. I was so fascinated by her story I introduced myself to her using my real name. I told her about my website and how I’m using the site to call on sites like craigslist and backpage to end their facilitation of human trafficking and how I was working with Geebo to show that it can be done. When I was done she did the most amazing thing ever to me. She thanked me. For the first time in a really long time I felt like what I was doing was helping.
Which ties in with something that movie’s producer, musician Justin Dillon, said in the movie. He said if you want to help, find what you’re good at and use it to bring awareness to the problem. That’s what I am doing. I hope I can call on you to find what you’re good at and use it to bring awareness.