Christine Vinson, the president of the Junior League of New Orleans, has felt strongly about human trafficking for a while. In May 2019, after meeting Truckers Against Trafficking, Vinson had a plan for how her Junior League could make an impact in New Orleans.
“We’re not necessarily trying to reinvent the wheel, but more or less trying to bring awareness and education to the topic,” said Vinson.
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, in 2018, there were over 10,000 individual cases of human trafficking and over 23,000 survivors. Truckers Against Trafficking is using the Freedom Drivers Project spread awareness on how to stop human trafficking and they’re bringing the show on the road.
Truckers Against Trafficking is a non-profit organization and has been around for 10 years. In its 10 year existence, Truckers Against Trafficking has trained over 800,000 drivers and over 2,000 calls have been made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline from truckers alone.
“We educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking industry to notice signs of sex trafficking and fight it as part of their everyday job,” said Susan Dold, systems administrator for Truckers Against Trafficking.
The Freedom Drivers Project, a custom 18-wheeler full of first-hand accounts of truckers who helped stop human trafficking, personal stories from women who have been trafficked and objects involved from stopping human trafficking, helps educate members of the trucking industry and the general public about the realities of domestic sex trafficking and how the trucking industry is combating human trafficking.
“I hope that the takeaway is that people see it as a real issue and a real problem not just in our community but in our nation and also globally,” said Vinson.
Even though the Freedom Drivers Project will come and go from New Orleans, Dold hopes that people remain inspired to do whatever they can in the fight against human trafficking.
“Its an everywhere problem but an anyone solution. It’s not one person is gonna solve it, or one industry is gonna solve it,” said Dold, “We have to discover and disrupt human trafficking wherever its happening and everywhere its happening.”