A Future Not a Past

To give girls in the sex industry “a future not a past”– this is the mission of many organizations around Atlanta fighting child prostitution. Yesterday, I took 4 students and one dad to Candler Park to take part in this 5k. Although they were happily the loudest and some of the slowest on the course, it is clear we are building momentum for this cause.

Did you know that 7200 men purchase sex from adolescents in Georgia every month? Did you know that 42% of this happens north of the Perimeter? These are stats I learned yesterday; they are certainly staggering. So how DO you stop demand? This report from the Barton Law and Public Policy Clinic has some good information about the penalties men who take part in this industry face. Part of stopping demand is increasing enforcement of the law.

But this type of behavior must start somewhere. What causes men to buy prostitutes? How do we teach our men and boys to respect women as people and not a conquest? How do we fight the desire for men to dominate women and use them as sexual objects?

Check out this (graphic) TEDIndia talk on sexual exploitation in India.

Human Trafficking

There are more slaves today than at any other time in history.

As I continue to research human trafficking with my students, I continue to be knocked off of my feet by the horrors of this industry. The proximity of it is equally as horrifying. Atlanta as a hub? I struggle with knowing how to approach the topic with my students. They are clearly passionate about it, but what does it look like to expose them to issues that are “age-appropriate?” For example, one of my students this week said, “I’m going to the airport this weekend. I’m going to look for slaves.” One thing I know to be true: with the reality of so much suffering also comes the assurance of hope. There is light shining in this dark place. More and more people and organizations are taking action against sex trafficking in Atlanta and the world. Coming up in ATL…

Date: May 2, 2010
Time: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm (two showings of the film)
Location: The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University 80 Forsyth Street NW Atlanta, GA 30303

Playground Trailer

Are they too young to really understand? Should they know? After watching the trailer for this documentary, I know I can’t bring my students to see it, but the tension is that they are the same age or older than many of the victims…it’s a reality too risky to avoid.

“Justice is what love looks like in public”–Cornel West