When I was a junior in high school, I joined an organization called Council for Unity. Each year the organization focused on an issue happening around the world to raise awareness to the whole student body in a mandatory forum. Everyone apart of this organization had a role, but the most important thing we did collectively was research the annual issue.
The year I joined, the issue was Human Trafficking. All of my life I never knew such a heinous operation was occurring in the world. We are taught to believe that slavery was abolished in 1863 but it still occurs and millions of men, women, and children are victims of this crime. Human trafficking is a billion-dollar black market industry and despite efforts to contain this problem, it’s growing rapidly.
As a result of my research while in Council for Unity, I was shocked, afraid and empowered all at the same time. I wanted to know everything I could about this issue. I became dedicated to researching and raising awareness about human trafficking. All I could think of was those poor children in Thailand forced to have sex with men, three times their age or the women who put their trust in someone that tells them they can make their dreams of becoming a model come true, only to be tricked into prostitution. Can you imagine being kidnapped, stripped of your passport and identity, beaten, and raped repeatedly, only to feel like there is no way out? To be honest, after learning about human trafficking I was never the same; a part of my innocence was taken away from me after researching these vile things but can you imagine the pain and trauma of these victims?
I continued my fight throughout college. About a year after I graduated I met Tiffany Wright. Tiffany’s looks are striking and smile is contagious. Her voice is rambunctious and commands attention. What you would never know about Tiffany is that she was caught up in the world of prostitution. I say caught up because at one point there was really no way out. She was lured into this life by the fast money and a man that she thought could fill the void she had after her dad’s tragic death. She was abused, kidnapped, sodomized, and raped more times than one can count. Her broken heart finally couldn’t take it anymore and she escaped the life for good. When I heard her story for the first time I realized why I was so passionate about this issue. There are thousands of young girls and women just as broken as Tiffany was that needed to be saved. Not everyone has Tiffany’s strength and resilience. The way Tiffany tells her story is so bold and brave. She owns it. It happened to her but she’s moved past that part of her life and now her purpose is to help other young girls and women dealing with the same issues of self-worth.
I find purpose in the empowerment of women. I know firsthand how hard it is to be a woman in a society that upholds you to unattainable standards that put pressure on us. I also know that when dealing with an issue such as human trafficking or prostitution, we cannot be silent. We have to raise awareness about the issue. There are so many people out there who have no idea this is going on or don’t fully understand the parameters around the dehumanization of these women and children. As a society, we are quick to judge and lack compassion, but the more people know about the sick nature of human trafficking the more they will want to help and also be enlightened to the signs of trafficking. Whether it’s spotting a victim or a whole underground operation we all can help put an end to this horrific epidemic.
This July, I will launch my first documentary. It will be on the life of Tiffany Wright. Tiffany’s story shows me that no matter how lost you might be, God can lead you back on track. She is an inspiration and I enjoyed working with her. I thank her for trusting me with her story, as this is something not to take lightly. Our goal with this documentary is to save lives and encourage women. If you are in the NYC area and want to attend RSVP here