Discussing sex trafficking and sexual exploitation in a way that is meaningful, sensitive, encompassing, yet still powerful can be an arduous task on its own. Even for well-versed advocates, properly explaining trafficking to an audience you’re unfamiliar with can pose great difficulty. The Voices and Faces Project channeled these types of concerns into “Marketing a Movement”, a travelling workshop created to translate research and survivor testimony about trafficking and sexual exploitation into messages that will change the minds and hearts of people everywhere about this serious, yet often misunderstood, human rights issue.
The Voices and Faces Project, along with World Without Exploitation, partnered with the CSE Institute to bring “Marketing a Movement” to the Philadelphia community on October 13, 2017. Held at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law, the workshop informed attendants on how to use messaging and survivor storytelling to shift the cultural narrative. “Marketing a Movement” centered around The Voices and Faces Project’s successful, “Ugly Truth” campaign against trafficking and sexual exploitation. The strategies of this large-scale campaign were explored throughout the workshop by presenters Katie Feifer and Anne K. Ream.
“As an anti-trafficking advocate, ‘Marketing a Movement’ was an immensely valuable experience,” said Sarah Robinson, the CSE Institute’s Justice for Victims Fellow. “The audience was filled with people from diverse backgrounds and varying levels of anti-trafficking knowledge, which made for spirited and thoughtful discussions.”
“I gained practical strategic and messaging insight from talented communications insiders and learned how to apply communications concepts to many facets of my advocacy,” Robinson continued. “Best of all, the presenters gave us an in-depth view of the ‘Ugly Truth’ campaign from development stages to quantified outcomes. I highly recommend this program to any advocate, whether you are new to this movement or a seasoned ally.”
Audience participation was a vital part of “Marketing a Movement’s” ability to further connect participants with the workshop’s overall positive message about using what we, as advocates, already know to create our own movement. “I appreciated the open discussion at the end of the workshop, where people of all different backgrounds, including concerned citizens, education providers, law enforcement, and district attorneys could share their concerns with how to make commercial sexual exploitation awareness and promotion a bigger part of their work-space,” Kaitlyn Macaulay, current CSE Institute extern added. “The entire group seemed to leave hopeful knowing that this kind of movement was tangible and practical for them to accomplish.”
The workshop will continue its nation-wide tour into next year, heading to Wisconsin on November 29th and Chicago on April 8, 2018. For more information, visit The Voices and Faces Project’s website.
All views expressed herein are personal to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law or of Villanova University.