Not only does slavery still exist, it exists right here, in our backyards -- with cases of human trafficking having been reported in every single state in just the past two years. Today, as part of the mtvU Against Our Will Campaign, we’re launching a new set of spots featuring poems written by survivors of sex trafficking; the moving spots are narrated by Alicia Keys, P!nk, and Jada Pinkett Smith, who wanted to lend their voices to help amplify the voices of the survivors.
Each of the six videos feature excerpts from poems written by girls associated with Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), an organization that helps girls and women who are the victims of commercial sexual exploitation in New York City. The poems illuminate some of the issues survivors face, ranging from abusive pimps and johns to grappling with self-worth and self-discovery. We’ve included a few videos below, but you can check them all out, as well as the full poems, on the Against Our Will website.
Today, we’re also revealing the winners of the Against Our Will Challenge. Kristen Hotz, Jasmine Jones, Danielle McLean and Liz Ramirez, from James Madison University, came up with the idea for an interactive video project highlighting the backstories of sex and labor trafficking survivors; it’s a work in progress, so come back to Against Our Will in early 2013 to check it out (we promise it’s worth the wait!) In the meantime, get involved with the fight against modern-day slavery by joining our second Slavery Footprint Campus Challenge. Take the Slavery Footprint survey to find out how many slaves work for you, then join together with your classmates and earn points by taking action against modern-day slavery. The top activists at the winning school will get a shout-out on-air on mtvU!
We’re also releasing a new interview with Rhea, a survivor of sex trafficking who made it out of the life and is currently studying to become a nurse. Check it out at our website -- and while you’re there, get watching, reading, sharing, and taking action.