On The Cover

30 Years of
NCAA Sports

Brand New
University debuts fresh look and feel

Giving Back
Service-learning shapes students

On Top Of The World
Barry pride displayed around the globe

Fall 2013, Volume 18

Campus Currents I Spotlight On Sports I Barry Beat I Features


Students display posters and taped mouths in silent protest

A Peaceful Protest Brings Awareness To Human Trafficking

BY EMILIE WERNICK

On a warm Saturday in March, about 20 Barry University School of Social Work students joined together to attend the raucous Ultra Music Festival, a two-week outdoor electronic music event in downtown Miami, Florida. The students were not there to revel in the thumping music; instead they were there to bring awareness to the disturbing reality of human trafficking in Miami.

“When I walked into the Christ Fellowship Church, where volunteers met ahead of time, I saw posters stating things like ‘Human Trafficking Happens Here’ and ‘Real Men Don’t Buy Sex,’” said Chelsea Baker, a Barry student majoring in social work. “I was prepared for a day of the typical chants of protest.” Baker was in for a change. The mission of the day was not to confront or condemn, but to show love. The volunteers donned matching t-shirts, taped their mouths shut in solidarity with the silent victims, picked up posters and headed towards the festival. Proudly displaying posters and handing out information, the group conveyed a simple message: stop human trafficking by stopping the demand for sex workers, many of whom are children. The experience proved to be enlightening and sad at the same time as it became clear that most people have no knowledge or understanding of human trafficking in their own backyard. The lack of awareness only increased Baker’s passion to create change. “While the continued victimization of children makes me very angry, I must rely not on that anger, but instead on compassion to catalyze me to movement,” Baker said. “Love and solidarity must be the foundation for any successful social movement. It is my hope that with a solid foundation I will have an opportunity to watch this movement flourish to one day witness a world free of human trafficking and childhood sexual exploitation.”

“The mission of the day was not to confront or condemn, but to show love.”

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