Exploitation Issues in Birmingham
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 18, 2013) – A group of national and Birmingham-based non-profits are joining forces with to host the first annual Freedom Night: Abolishing Exploitation and Modern Day Slavery event at Railroad Park on Friday, Oct. 18. Led by local activists Melea Stephens and Sonya Hornsby, the event will be a fun, festival-type event.
Stephens, a local resident and marriage and family therapist, launched an anti-pornography, anti-trafficking billboard campaign on I-20 in front of downtown Birmingham in the spring of 2013. This stretch of highway is known as “the human trafficking corridor in the US.” The attention-grabbing billboard asked “How Much for Your Daughter?” and sparked a national movement, with similar billboards going up in several other cities across the US.
Conversations about the links between illegal pornography and the growing demand for trafficked women and children in our city started to grow. Children are trafficked from our local schools and sold into slavery and studies indicate that 10,000 women and children are trafficked through our city limits each year.
The event will include a benefit concert by Sister Hazel, an awareness walk, a silent auction, activities, food from local vendors and more. Future billboard designs will be unveiled and funds will be raised to help the non-profits rescuing victims of modern day slavery. It will be a night of hope and celebration as the city of Birmingham comes together to learn about how we can prevent and stop all forms of exploitation on a local and national scale. More information can be found at www.freedomnightbirmingham.com.