Written by: Mark Kadel (World Relief Spokane Director)
HUMAN TRAFFICKING FILM BRINGS ISSUE TO THE COMMUNITY’S CONSCIOUSNESS
150 years ago this year, our Nation’s President at the time, a fellow by the name of Abraham Lincoln, signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves in this country. Yet today, internationally, most authorities acknowledge there are more slaves that at any time in human history. The issue for the Christian community 150 years ago and was convincing a skeptical public that slavery was wrong. Today, the issue for advocates of ending modern day slavery is to convince a skeptical Church that slavery exists! That issue, in part, was the reason the World Affairs Council, partnering with World Relief Spokane, hosted a film screening of Not My Life on Oct. 3rd at the Bing Crosby Theater with a panel discussion afterward with local and national experts in the field.
Filmed on five continents, in a dozen countries, Not My Life featured more than fifty interviews with trafficking victims and their advocates in government, law enforcement, civil society, and the private sector. From 10 year-old girls raped in USA truck stops or brothels in India; to street beggars in Africa; to domestic servants in Washington, D. C., Not My Life took viewers into a world that is difficult to imagine. Turnout at the theater was moderate, but of those who came, many were passionate about the cause. Those interviewed afterwards all agree that although the film was good, the best part of the evening was the panel discussion afterwards.
Along with local Spokane Police and FBI representatives, the panel also included a WA State representative and representatives from local social service agencies, World Relief and Lutheran Community Services. The featured panelist was Sandie Morgan, Director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University. Sandie’s expertise in issues surrounding awareness, education, victim centered services and comprehensive advocacy for changing the public’s perception of women, girls and boys caught in the net of trafficking brought this issue to a new level of consciousness. Anyone who attended the film screening came away with a new appreciation and level of understand of the magnitude of this evil human rights disaster in our land.
Sandie spoke and a variety of different venues throughout the weekend, including Moody Bible Institute, Gonzaga University, Whitworth University, World Relief Spokane and New Life Church in Spokane Valley. Recognized internationally as an authority on human trafficking, Sandie shared her passion to inform and provide practical ways people can become involved in the movement to end the demand for forced labor and sex trafficking in our own community. It was a privilege for World Relief to host Sandie Morgan this month and if you want to learn more about this issue or how you can become involved, please visit our website at http://worldreliefspokane.org/anti-trafficking.