Sorry that this update is coming so late in the month. It has been a very busy month in anti-trafficking work.
First I would like to thank every one who helped support our efforts last year. We would not exist for the efforts of a few stalwart individuals and I am humbled by your efforts. On top of all this, we want to thank all of our donors and sponsors who help to fund our efforts. We especially want to thank John Deere for the matching grant they awarded us that will enable more free talks about trafficking in the Tri-states this year.
The Coalition Against Trafficking in the Tri-States had two billboards posted that promote the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, partnered with the RiverLights 2nd Edition Book Store to have a month-long anti-trafficking display in their front window, obtained proclamations from the city and county of Dubuque declaring that January is Human Trafficking Awareness month.
Set Free Dubuque held our monthly Gathering to Set Free at the Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark on the first Saturday of the month at 10 AM. We began exploring human trafficking and will continue that topic next month. Same time, location. See you Feb 6 at 10:0 AM, if you are interested. We will be on the 2nd floor in the Platinum B Room.
Last week, our Exec Dir. Suzie Wright attended a proclamation signing in the Iowa State Governor’s Formal Receiving Office. While in the capital, she and Sr. Pat Conlan met with House of Representative Charles (Chuck) Isenthart to discuss ways that the state could better support the trafficked survivors and anti-trafficking efforts in the state.
She also met with Vanessa McNeal, a filmmaker wanting to make a documentary about human trafficking in Iowa. Click here for a link to the film’s crowd funding campaign if you are interested in knowing more or want to support their efforts to make Gridshock.
Because film is truly one of the most effective teaching mediums, Set Free Dubuque partnered with the Coalition Against Trafficking, the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival and a grant from the McDonough Foundation to bring the film I AM STILL HERE back to Dubuque. After the screening there was a Q&A session with a panel that included Dubuque’s Chief of Police Mark Dalsing, Set Free’s Suzie Wright, University of Dubuque Professor Kim Hilby, the film’s writer/director Mischa Marcus and Iowa State’s Human Trafficking Coordinator Celine Villongco. The next day, the film was screened at Mount Carmel for the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and most of the panelists were able to attend. Here is a little responsive video the BVM team made.