Shedding Light on Darkness

 Written by: Megan Coates, World Relief Spokane Anti-Human Trafficking Intern

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

January 11, 2015 was Human Trafficking Awareness Day.

In order to raise awareness and spread light onto a dark and often hidden topic, Lutheran Community Services Northwest held a candlelight vigil at River Park Square.

(Clockwise from bottom) Brooke Grissom, Lauren Louden, Logan Shenkel Grace Barnes and Jeannie Husskison, perform a dance, "Your Story. My Story. Our Story," choreographed by Karla Parbon. - YOUNG KWAK

A couple hundred people attended a candlelight vigil at River Park Square on Sunday January 11th for Human Trafficking Awareness Day. An art walk depicted human trafficking as appeared to the artist, accompanied by two local young girls played the violin and cello.

Lewis and Clark freshman Rayna Flores, left, and 14 year old Sacajawea Middle School 8th grader Ellary Lockwood perform. - YOUNG KWAK

Milling Goodman shows her 7 year old son Gabriel "Looking Below The Surface," a multimedia collage. - YOUNG KWAK

Speakers included Pastor Amber Dawn McCall who was born into human trafficking 38 years ago in British Columbia. She was rescued and raised by her aunt and uncle in Sandpoint from age of 6, after her mother died. Amber Dawn McCall is also a Pastor at Hidden Valley Worship Center in Sandpoint, Idaho.

Hidden Valley Worship Center Community Pastor Amber Dawn McCall speaks. McCall was born into human trafficking 38 years agoin British Columbia, Canada. She was rescued and raised by her aunt and uncle in Sandpoint, Idaho from the age of 6, after her mother died. - YOUNG KWAK

Several members of the community spoke out against human trafficking, including two city council members, and members of Lutheran Community Services.

Jeff Rutherford’s theatrical piece “Which Is It” was performed by Mary Davies and Taylor Pedroza in front of 150 people in attendance. Mabel Elsom, Lutheran Community Services Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, asked everyone to take out their battery operated candle and hold it up in support of the survivors, and in honor of the victims. Several dancers then performed a dance titled “Your Story. My Story. Our Story.”

Edie Carlson observes a moment of silence. - YOUNG KWAK

As the vigil occurred, several hundred people stopped to ask questions and observe the scene that was taking place. In the middle of a highly concentrated traffic zone in downtown Spokane, this event raised awareness about human trafficking. Approximately 27 million people are currently enslaved around the world.


For the full photo-gallery provided by The Inlander, please visit:

For other sources providing information about the subject, we encourage you to visit:

We encourage you to learn more about World Relief’s Anti-Human Trafficking program. Get in touch with Megan Coates or World Relief Director, Mark Kadel, at or email the!


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