In 2002, the founders of Love 146 travelled to South East Asian brothels where children are sold for sex. Little girls vacantly immersed in cartoons stood opposite a glass pane, as a crowded room of men made their selections based on numbers pinned to the girls’ chests. The children, some as young as seven, suffer from verbal, sexual and physical abuse. Their vacant stares revealed a sincere loss of will.
“Except one girl,” writes President and Co-founder of Love 146 Rob Morris. “One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. . . She was staring out at us, with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl.” With number 146 as inspiration to fight for these children, Love 146 works to prevent and restore victims of human trafficking.
Friday evening, Big Car Gallery became a hub for information about Love 146 and human trafficking. The gallery, famous for cultural collision, provided a space for social consciences to convene. A group of eight bicycle riders begin a cross-country trek from Indianapolis to New York on Sept. 24 to spread Love 146’s message. With events planned throughout their journey, the riders will share information about human trafficking with residents of four states. Kaylin Linneman, one young biker, began training in April. With a heart touched by the stories she heard, she could no longer stand inaction. When she was invited to participate in the ride, she jumped at the chance to stand up and do something to help create “an open conversation” among Americans.
NUVO’s own Austin Considine also spoke at the event, sharing his experience investigating human trafficking in Dubai. After uncovering Dubai’s dependence on a foreign labor force, who are hoodwinked into working for no pay and live in uninhabitable conditions, Considine came to a greater understanding of the loss of ethics in large corporations lured by Dubai’s questionable economic policies. Describing the economic structure as a “paradigm for the global economy,” Considine likens the labor pyramid to a Hershey ‘s kiss, with an extreme stratification of wealth from bottom to top.
Speeches from Linneman and Considine were quick, encouraging further conversation throughout the night. DJs spun music, bands took the room and one artist, Blaze, raffled off a painting made on the spot, with proceeds benefiting Love 146. Though the night was a fractional offering of support for Love 146’s cause, growing awareness in Indianapolis and across the country empowers us to stand up, like Kaylin, and do what we can to end slavery in the world.
Read Austin Considine’s article: http://www.guernicamag.com/features/1476/bubble_city/
Follow Kaylin Linneman’s Trek: http://www.ridefor146.org/blog/
Learn more about Love 146: http://love146.org/