At this year’s annual UN Day celebration, the joint DC graduate chapters of the historically Black Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. chose to bring attention to the issue of human trafficking abroad and here in our own backyard.
The event began with an introduction by Rachel Pittman, Membership Director of UNA-USA, who applauded the sorority’s long-standing partnership with UNA-USA and their commitment to raising awareness and funds for humanitarian issues around the world. Next, DC Community Engagement Fellow, Joy Robertson (herself a member of the sorority), gave an introduction to the film “Not My Life” – which displays child exploitation on five continents through an astonishing array of practices including forced labor, domestic servitude, begging, sex tourism, sexual violence, and child soldiering.
After screening the film, a panel of experts in human trafficking included Anna Patrick (Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons), Sarah Bendtsen (Shared Hope International, and Shamere McKenzie (Sun Gate Foundation), as well as Community Engagement Fellow, Joy Robertson, spoke on the current state of affairs with trafficking domestically and internationally, then ended with an engaging Q&A session.
Through “Not My Life” and the panel discussion, participants in the UN Day program received a sobering dose of reality on the way we fail children around the world, but also tangible ways to advocate for and protect trafficked children.