Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Last year, Obama proclaimed January to be National Human Trafficking Prevention month.

Last week, Notre Dame’s “Students Against Modern Slavery” partnered with the YWCA’s “chalkboming” campaign to inscribe Downtown San Jose with messages of awareness in celebration of FREEDOM WEEK.  I have seen countless people stop on the street to read what we have written. Check it out:

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(photos courtesy of Alexis Ajluni)

To get involved, come join the YWCA in any of these FREEDOM WEEK activities:


Free to Be Open Mic Night
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Fahrenheit Lounge
99 E San Fernando St, San Jose, CA 95113
Join us for an Open Mic Night in collaboration with Poetic Justice. Whether you have a terrible case of stage-fright or not, this is an event you will not want to miss. The night will be filled with powerful performances exploring the themes of freedom and slavery, comical commentary by our emcees, and important information about the cause of human trafficking. You can speak with our knowledgeable staff about how to get involved in the modern abolitionist movement and pick up informational materials about the issue. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.
*Please contact Jessica Boyles at if you would like to sign up to perform.

52 Letters: A spoken-word performance written and performed by a trafficking survivor
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Café Stritch
374 S. First Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Local trafficking survivor and top-prize winner at the SF Fringe Festival , Regina Evans, shares her powerful and compelling performance, 52 Letters. 52 Letters explores the themes of violence, oppression and survival coming together in the life of a trafficking victim. Open discussion afterwards with Regina and Jessica Boyles from the YWCA. Food and drinks will be available for purchase as well as informational materials about human trafficking.

What is Labor Trafficking?
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
YWCA Silicon Valley
375 S. Third Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Rooms B & K
A panel of local experts discuss the details of Forced Labor Trafficking. Hear perspectives from law enforcement, the legal field, and direct service providers on what labor trafficking is and how it affects Bay Area communities.

Flesh: A Documentary and Discussion
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
San Jose City Hall
200 E. Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Council Chambers
Join us for a compelling documentary exploring the sex-trafficking industry in the United States. Though difficult to watch at times, this film will increase your understanding of how this horrific crime thrives in our society, how it impacts victims and their families, and what it will take to bring it to an end. The screening will be followed by an open discussion and Q & A. Informational materials about the issue will be available.

Breaking Chains
1:00 – 3:00
YWCA Silicon Valley
375 S. Third Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Rooms B & K
This is our capstone event for Freedom Week 2014. Breaking Chains is an opportunity to reflect on our role in the global tragedy of human trafficking as well as an opportunity to become personally and locally involved in fighting against it. Together we will create a community art project visually depicting our complex role as critical links in both the problem of human trafficking and the solution to it. We will also put together care packages with much needed personal supplies, messages of hope, and information about rescue for those who remain captive to their traffickers. At this event, you will have an opportunity to learn more about the issue, dialogue with others to gain understanding, express and celebrate your own freedom, and bring practical aid and hope to victims.



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