LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Local human trafficking survivors reluctant to talk about their experiences are finding their voice via photography as part of a University of Louisville research project. Their work will be showcased at a free, public film showing and panel discussion Feb. 20.
The noon short-film screening of artwork by participants in Project STAAR: Survivors of Trafficking Creating Art, Agency and Resilience will be in Chao Auditorium, Ekstrom Library. Panelists will be Kent School of Social Work faculty members Maurice Gattis, Lesley Harris and Jennifer Middleton, as well as survivor Angela Renfro, director of the nonprofit community partner Kristy Love Foundation Inc.
Project STAAR aims to help Kentucky child trafficking victims in several ways including documenting their lives using a “photovoice” technique allowing them to capture images that express their feelings and spark discussion about issues they face as survivors, as well as to increase community awareness.
The Project STAAR partnership is supported by UofL’s Cooperative Consortium for Transdisciplinary Social Justice Research.
Exploitation of people for sex or labor trafficking is considered a fast-growing criminal industry globally and a serious risk in Kentucky. A 2016 study by the UofL Human Trafficking Research Initiative found that 40 percent of homeless youth in Louisville and southern Indiana surveyed reported being trafficked for sex, mostly in exchange for money or lodging.
For more information, contact Diandre Glover-Thomas at 502-852-2430 or firstname.lastname@example.org.