Alicia Keys, P!nk Featured in “mtvU Against Our Will Campaign”
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mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, today launched a series of six powerful new spots with Alicia Keys, P!nk and Jada Pinkett Smith, in which they voice thought-provoking poetry written by human trafficking survivors from Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS). Part of the "mtvU Against Our Will Campaign," which seeks to galvanize the growing student movement to end modern day slavery, the spots will roll out online and on-air at noon ET/9 a.m. PT to more than 750 college campuses and 9 million college students nationwide on mtvU.
mtvU and LexisNexis® Legal & Professional also announced that four students from James Madison University won the "Against Our Will Challenge" and a $10,000 prize for imagining an innovative digital tool to raise awareness of modern-day slavery. The concept from the winners – 21 year-old Kristen Hotz, 20 year-old Jasmine Jones, 21 year-old Danielle McLean and 20 year-old Liz Ramirez – is an interactive video project that illuminates the backstories of sex and labor trafficking survivors, expected to launch in early 2013. Additionally, mtvU is partnering with Slavery Footprint for the second "Slavery Footprint Campus Challenge," which encourages students to take action to fight modern day slavery via the Slavery Footprint app. The top student activists at the winning college or university will be rewarded with a segment on mtvU. The first Slavery Footprint Campus Challenge was part of the "mtvU Against Our Will Campaign's" launch on September 22, 2011 at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting.
The six new poetry spots include:
"Pimps" – Alicia Keys reads an excerpt from the poetry of Alexis, an 18-year old trafficking survivor, as she talks about self-worth and loving herself, despite her pimp's exploitation of her.
"Children of the Night?" – Written by Leisa, Jada Pinkett Smith reads a portion of a poem about how deception by pimps leads to the destruction of those who are trafficked.
"I Remember" – P!nk voices the words of Jennifer, a trafficking survivor who writes about remembering who she is.
"Nightlife" – 21 year-old Jennifer comes to grips with the traumas she experienced and warns other girls in the excerpt of this poem read by Jada Pinkett Smith.
"My Life" – Voiced by Alicia Keys and authored by 16 year-old trafficking survivor, Sheena, who writes about the abuses she faced, and her difficulty leaving.
"Look in My Eyes" – Monique, a 19 year-old trafficking survivor, writes of people willfully seeing a false image of her in this spot voiced by Jada Pinkett Smith.
Each spot is available on mtvU.AgainstOurWill.org, where the poems can be read in their entirety and users can learn more about the issue and how to take action. mtvU.AgainstOurWill.org will also premiere a new interview with trafficking survivor Rhea today. Rhea was coerced into sex trafficking as a teenager in New York City, but was able to escape and is now studying to be a nurse.
mtvU's new initiatives are part of the "mtvU Against Our Will Campaign," which, in partnership with Free the Slaves, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) and Polaris Project, taps into the growing student movement to end modern-day slavery. The campaign makes it easy for young people to take action to help stop one of the greatest human rights atrocities of our time and galvanize the college audience's efforts, as there are currently more than 300 student organizations on campuses around the country taking action to stop human trafficking.
According to The National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline, incidences of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states in the past two years. As defined under U.S. federal law, victims of human trafficking include children induced into the sex trade, adults age 18 or over who are coerced or forced into commercial sex acts, and anyone forced or deceived into different forms of "labor or services," such as domestic workers held in a home, or farm-workers forced to labor against their will. Every year, human traffickers generate billions of dollars in profits by victimizing millions of people around the world, and here in the United States. Human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries in the world (source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services).
For more information on the "mtvU Against our Will Campaign" campaign, visit mtvU.AgainstOurWill.org or mtvU.com. To report a tip or connect with anti-trafficking services in your area, call The National Human Trafficking Resource Center at: 1-888-373-7888.
Broadcast to more than 750 college campuses and via top cable distributors in 700 college communities nationwide, mtvU reaches nearly 9 million U.S. college students – making it the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S., as well as on cable systems from Charter Communications, Verizon FiOS TV, Suddenlink Communications, AT&T u-Verse and nearly 70 others. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are: on-air, online and on the campus. mtvU programs music videos from emerging artists that can't be seen anywhere else, news, student life features and initiatives that give college students the tools to advance positive social change. mtvU is always on campus, with hundreds of events per year, including exclusive concerts, giveaways, shooting mtvU series and more. For more information about mtvU, and a complete programming schedule, visit www.mtvU.com.
About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis® Legal & Professional (www.lexisnexis.com) is a leading global provider of content and technology solutions that enable professionals in legal, corporate, tax, government, academic and non-profit organizations to make informed decisions and achieve better business outcomes. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. Today, LexisNexis Legal & Professional harnesses leading-edge technology and world-class content to help professionals work in faster, easier and more effective ways. Through close collaboration with its customers, the company ensures organizations can leverage its solutions to reduce risk, improve productivity, increase profitability and grow their business. Part of Reed Elsevier, LexisNexis Legal & Professional serves customers in more than 100 countries with 10,000 employees worldwide.
About Free the Slaves
Free the Slaves is one of America's leading anti-slavery organizations. We liberate slaves in hot spots around the globe, help survivors rebuild their lives, and attack the systems that allow modern slavery to exist. Our research is widely quoted by universities, governments and journalists. Our documentary films and videos about slavery, and news coverage of our innovative efforts to end it, have reached hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Free the Slaves has student chapters at 27 college campuses across the U.S. For more information, please visit: www.freetheslaves.net.
About Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS)
Girls Educational and Mentoring Services' (GEMS) mission is to empower girls and young women, ages 12–24, who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential. GEMS is committed to ending commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth. For more information, please visit www.gems-girls.org/.
About Polaris Project
Polaris Project is one of the leading organizations in the global fight against human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Named after the North Star "Polaris" that guided people held in slavery to freedom along the Underground Railroad, Polaris Project is transforming the way that individuals and communities respond to human trafficking, in the U.S. and globally. By successfully pushing for stronger federal and state laws, operating the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline (1-888-373-7888), conducting trainings, and providing vital services to victims of trafficking, Polaris Project creates long-term solutions that move us closer to a world without slavery. For more information, visit www.PolarisProject.org.
About Slavery Footprint
Slavery Footprint works to personalize the issue of modern-day slavery. Based in Oakland, California, the nonprofit organization engages with individuals and businesses to build awareness and create deployable action against forced labor, human trafficking, and modern-day slavery. We provide consumers with an opportunity to have a deeper conversation with the companies that manufacture the goods they purchase and use in their daily lives. Our collective goal is to use the free market to free people.
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