By Memory Camero | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sell Art Not Humans, a silent auction where students, professors and local artists auction off artwork, seeks to raise money for the rehabilitation of human trafficking victims.
The event, hosted by the Flagler College Social Sciences Club, is a continuation of previous on-campus awareness campaigns. Last year, the college hosted “Human Trafficking Awareness Day”, an event organized for raising awareness of sex trafficking around the globe, including the United States.
According to World Relief, between 14,500 and 17,500 people in America are victims of human trafficking. The problem is also closer than many think. Jacksonville is a hotspot for human trafficking and Florida has the third highest rate of human trafficking in the U.S.
The money from the event will go directly to the Northeast Florida Human Trafficking Coalition where they will use the money to finance any necessary housing, feeding, education, health screening and documentation. They do this to encourage victims to not rely on their abusers for money or support.
Kiara Sanchez, Jaqueline Bantad, Kayla Thompson, Sara Pedigo, Julie Dickover, Angela Varga are among the artists who have donated their work. Additional donations were made by TradeWinds Lounge, Juniper Market and the Spanish Dutch Convoy.
Not only is the event a good opportunity for the community to come together to support a cause, but draw business away from large industries, who have large demands that contribute to human trafficking.
Though St. Augustine is a small town, the event can inspire people to see the bigger picture, get more involved and ultimately raise awareness.
Tyler Lunsford, president of the Social Sciences Club, believes the event can make a difference.
“Anything we’re doing is a step in the right direction and it can just grow from there,” Lunsford said.
The event will be held on April 24 at 6:00 p.m. in the Crisp-Ellert Art Museum. There is no charge, although donations are appreciated.