Before my mother founded this coalition it was hard for people to grasp the concept that human trafficking is not some foreign issue. That it REALLY happens right here, in the USA. In small towns. Probably in your town. She spent hours online viewing literal people, children for sale. Being a mother of four, it changed her life. I saw it. She founded this coalition help people get informed. The first step is believing this horrible reality exists. People are living through it right now. First thing YOU can do to help fight against human trafficking is to get informed. Believe the people who have survived it. Support the people who are taking action.
What can I do to Raise Awareness about trafficking? One of the most impactful experiences I’ve had is listening to others speak about it. Be it my mother from her experience with the coalition over the years or Leslie F. King, a Survivor Leader & Author, about her very real and very intense experience being trafficked. I’ve heard Leslie speak twice and both times she shifted my perspective with her powerful message. If you want to raise awareness on the topic of trafficking you can request a speaker from the Kalamazoo Area Anti Human Trafficking Coalition to present to your office, friends, or community.
In March this year Leslie F King had a book signing with KAAHTC. I’ve been reading her book ‘When Angels Fight Back’ which is her story about escaping trafficking and ‘leading a revolt against the darkness’. Her story is not fiction - it’s very much a reality for some and her experiences are not foreign. What happened was right here in the state of Michigan. Trafficking is happening al around us. Are you brave enough to face the issue?
I’ll never forget spending time with my mother in Lansing. The power of being present and advocating for others. We were in the capital building speaking to real people about the coalition to help make change. Days like today, where we are voting fir elected officials, are when advocacy matters most. Send letters to your elected officials. Find out what your state, city, or county are doing about human trafficking in your area.
If you have the time and ability - volunteer! Not in the Kalamazoo area? You can find your local non-profit organizations that assist with any one of these ways to fight human trafficking. There is so much that can be done to help with the cause.
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About the Author & Artist
Megan LaCroix also known as Citrine is the daughter of a Navy Veteran. She’s lived all over the US but has roots in Michigan where her family is from. Spending summers in Northern Michigan exploring nature inspired her to create art work starting with jewelry and photography. She’d spend hours looking for rocks and creating assorted beaded jewelry with her sisters. In 2014 She graduated from University of Michigan School of Art & Design with a BFA then moved to Detroit where she is currently living and working. She is a multi-media artist with ever expanding skills but is best known for her jewelry, screen printing, photography, and paintings. Detroit Graffiti has a significant influence on her painting and drawing style. She’s participated in ArtPrize 2015 & 2021 and currently has a studio in the Village Arts Factory of Canton, MI.