SGA Senator-At-Large organizes Anti-Human Trafficking Walk

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SGA Senator-At-Large organizes Anti-Human Trafficking Walk

All the participants wear black to signify the struggle to freedom as they plan to walk in silence in downtown Macon.

All the participants wear black to signify the struggle to freedom as they plan to walk in silence in downtown Macon.

Jen Andrews

All the participants wear black to signify the struggle to freedom as they plan to walk in silence in downtown Macon.

Jen Andrews

Jen Andrews

All the participants wear black to signify the struggle to freedom as they plan to walk in silence in downtown Macon.

Jaclyn Ramkissoon, Staff Writer

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On Oct. 14, around 60 people gathered for a silent walk in Tattnall Square Park. On the same day thousands of people gathered for 700 silent walks around the world.

Walk for Freedom is a worldwide event hosted by A21–an anti-human trafficking organization founded in 2008. Walks took place all over the world on Oct. 14 to raise awareness and money in order to fight human trafficking.

Clark Myers, junior biochemistry and molecular biology major and Senator-At-Large, organized a local Walk for Freedom here in Macon in partnership with A21. Myers said he likes working with A21.

Jen Andrews
Clark Myers, coordinator of the Walk to Freedom from Slavery, poses next to one of his participants, Alex Kirschbaum, a junior.

“Their success is very, very tangible for us…. It’s not just money going to an organization and you don’t know what’s happening. That’s a really big concern of mine,” Myers said.

This was the first large-scale event Myers said he’s planned, and he did it by himself. He’s been planning since June.

Myers said he also planned to raise $5,000 dollars by the event, but it proved to be difficult.

“I couldn’t organize both the event and do all the fundraising myself. So the fundraising is going to be a semester long project that we’re going to be doing,” he said. “We’re partnering with Traffick Jam on the fundraising portion.”

The money collected will go to A21.

Myers has been involved with anti-human trafficking organizations since 2013, most notably The End It Movement, a coalition of the top anti-human trafficking organizations. Myers said it’s something he’s passionate about, and the walk is an opportunity to educate people.

“So [people] might know ‘okay I don’t like human trafficking, how real is human trafficking?’ It’s an opportunity for us to discuss human trafficking to them, to give them statistics, show them how successful of an industry it is,” Myers said.

According to humanrights.org, human-trafficking brings in $150 billion dollars every year. While Atlanta has been named one of the top human-trafficking hubs in the United States according to FBI statistics, Myers hopes people realize human-trafficking happens in Macon too.

“If you ask anyone that’s from Macon, they will fully tell that they see it regularly,” Myers said. “I heard that and it just absolutely broke my heart.”

Jen Andrews
The Mercer Volleyball team was all ready to take part in the Walk For Freedom in downtown Macon.

Among the attendees of the event was Mercer’s volleyball team. Senior volleyball player Morgan MacGilvary is also a member of Traffick Jam.

“We just really want to bring awareness to the community, because any of us could be affected by it, and anyone in the community can, so we just really wanted to be a part of something that could help change the community,” MacGilvary said.

In the future, Myers hopes to continue to partner with Traffick Jam, as well as 1 in 4, an initiative started to bring light to sexual violence. He said he’s also concerned with the lack of statistics on human trafficking in Macon.

“Data collection is also something I’m interested in. I don’t know how to go about getting that setup, but maybe talking with the QEP office and partnering with them,” Myers said.

Myers said he wants to cause an outrage against human-trafficking.

“I really want the Macon community to know that we don’t stand for injustice. We don’t stand for human trafficking, we’re not okay with it,” Myers said. “It’s just a way for us to stand in totality and push against it.”

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