I was sitting beside my seven year old son, Sam outside of the auditorium of the Calvary Church, listening to Stephanie Page, a speaker at the Empower Ladies Conference entitled Proclaim Freedom, when he said, “She’s talking about you.” He thought the speaker was talking about me because he heard Page said the word, “human trafficking” in a statement she had made in her presentation. Empower Ladies Conference was a human trafficking awareness event, which we attended as vendor for The Enitan Story.
About 20 vendors were displayed on the red and light brown ceramic tile floor hallway facing the church’s auditorium. The Enitan Story shared a table with Family Life Ministries, a couple counselling program in Brooklyn Park. As I sat at my table glancing here and there, nicely made handmade jewelry were displayed on the table covered in black table cloth in front of the bag display table on my left hand side. There were other exhibits, including handmade bags, purses, crafts and things at the venue. United 1 Front is another nonprofit working with aftercare givers for victims of human trafficking in the Twin Cities. A considerable amount of crowd gathered for the two-day event. Perhaps, about 100 guests were present.
Fierce Freedom, a nonprofit focusing on education and awareness in Eau Claire, Wisconsin is one of the three organizations that the event was raising funds for. The other two were Stories Café and People Serving People. Founder of Fierce Freedom, Jenny Almquist had come to get coffee from the Ray’s Roast Coffee table displayed opposite The Enitan Story’s table when she invited us to join her upfront, close to the auditorium in order to listen to the speaker. I promised to join her and went into one of the classrooms facing the hallway to get a chair. Sam got one too. For a minute, Sam went to the mirror on the display stand by The Fierce Freedom’s table checking himself out. I didn’t even know it was a mirror until Almquist told me later that she saw Sam checking himself out in the mirror. She said, “He is so cute. He was looking at himself and checking out his teeth.” I could not hold my laughter back when I said, “I had no clue that was a mirror.” I was seeing it from the back, so I thought it was a sign of the organization used to display scarfs, because a scarf was sitting on it.
Well, I was curious about why my son thought that the speaker was talking about me for mentioning “human trafficking” in her statement. He said, “Because you do human trafficking.” Then, I said to him, I do human trafficking advocacy.” He struggled to pronounce advocacy for a minute, but I helped him to pronounce it and also asked him to say “human trafficking advocacy.” I told him that “I am doing human trafficking advocacy because I want to help others.
I am not surprised that he knows my work has to do with human trafficking. When I began to produce Imprisoned Show at the North Metro TV in Blaine, I used to take him to the studio in his car seat, where he sat or took a nap during our production. In that process, he has learned about the topic that his mother has been working on.
I began Kids Against Trafficking on the show to sensitize children about the issue of human trafficking at their level. Human trafficking awareness does not have to be revealed to children in a gory state; it can be taught in a way that will help them learn about the issue.
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