#minorsextrafficking | Atlanta Mural Aims To Draw Attention To Child Sex Trafficking


ATLANTA, GA — Atlanta residents and commuters may have noticed a huge sign in downtown Atlanta that reads, “1,053 children trafficked,” and for good reason.

In honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day on Monday, Georgia’s Own Credit Union partnered with local nonprofit Street Grace to raise awareness about the child victims and survivors of commercial sexual exploitation, according to a Jan. 11 press release. This effort included the displaying of a 174-foot-long digital mural atop the Georgia’s Own building on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, that reads “1,053 children trafficked” — the number of child sex trafficking survivors identified in Georgia in 2020.

The mural will be on display until the end of the day Jan. 12.

Georgia’s Own commissioned local Black artist Jasmine Nicole Williams to paint the mural as part of a separate partnership between the credit union and Emory University’s Ethics and the Arts program, the release said. Williams is known for her woodcut relief printmaking and abstract mural work, according to the press release.

“I specialize in portraying Black childhood through my portraiture and pattern work,” Williams said in the release. “The commercial sex economy in Atlanta is a multimillion-dollar business that exploits this community disproportionately. I hope my art on the Georgia’s Own sign reminds survivors that they are not alone and informs the public about this scourge happening in our state.”

The installation was inspired by the work of Street Grace, a local nonprofit focused on ending the sexual exploitation of minors. Georgia’s Own is also working to educate the public about this issue through a Facebook Live webinar with Street Grace, which can be viewed here.

“We’ve found that with increased education, more victims are identified and provided with the resources they need,” said Camila Zolfaghari, executive director for Street Grace, in the release. “Given this devastating issue has only been amplified during the pandemic, we are incredibly grateful Georgia’s Own Credit Union is helping us share this important information that can literally save lives.”

According to trends observed by Street Grace, children have been more vulnerable than ever due to the amount of time they are spending online during the quarantine period of 2020 and continued remote learning in many parts of the state.

“We view our sign as a digital canvas to serve the community, and this is one way we can use it to advance an important cause,” said Dave Preter, president and CEO of Georgia’s Own Credit Union, in the release. “We are proud to work alongside Street Grace on this initiative and hope the public takes advantage of this opportunity to learn how they can make a meaningful difference.”



Source link