GWU Student Club Fights Human Trafficking Through Action Week, Feb. 25-March 1

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‘Release the Captives’ Offers Tangible Ways for Advocates to Get Involved

An image of a hand marked with a red X. The End It Movement asked the anti trafficking community and its followers to shine a light on slavery by drawing a red X on hands on February 27th. That red X means that you're telling the world that slavery still exists and you won't stand for it.th
The red X is a symbol that means slavery still exists and you won’t stand for it.

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, North Carolina is one of the top 10 states for human trafficking, and Charlotte is the No. 1 city in the state. To bring awareness to efforts to prevent and end this injustice, the Gardner-Webb University club, “Release the Captives,” is hosting Anti-Human Trafficking Action Week (aHTAW) from Feb. 25 to March 1.

During the week, club members will highlight the work of “Present Age Ministries,” an anti-human trafficking organization in Concord, N.C., that provides case management, counseling and housing for victims. Awareness activities are scheduled and donations will be collected for the ministry.

Release Club Vice President Grace Lodholz (Cary, N.C.) said the club’s intention is to offer tangible ways for advocates to get involved. “The variety of events allows everyone—no matter what you’re interested in—to join the fight,” shared Lodholz, a senior nursing major.

Jasmine Dee (Stanley, N.C.) joined Release when she came to GWU as a freshman. “I love being able to share what I know about combating human trafficking and seeing others begin to take steps to help combat it too,” affirmed Dee, a sophomore psychology major. “It is truly incredible to see others want to help our movement and stand up against slavery.”

Release members have planned the following events for Anti-Human Trafficking Action Week. All activities are open to the public.

  • An image of items for sale at the Fair Trade Market. Fair Trade products combat human trafficking through business models that provide fair wages and safe working conditions for their workers. Our vendors support these values, allowing you to make ethical purchases that help change lives.
    Fair Trade products combat human trafficking through business models that provide fair wages and safe working conditions for workers.

    Feb. 25 – Art and Activism, 7-8:30 p.m., Tucker Lobby, create water color art pieces that will be donated to “Present Age Ministries” to encourage minors rescued from trafficking

  • Feb. 26 – Candlelight Prayer Vigil, 9 p.m., back patio of Tucker
  • Feb. 27 – Open Mic Night, 7-9 p.m., bottom floor of Tucker, donations accepted for “Present Age Ministries”
  • Feb. 28 – Fair Trade Market, 2-6 p.m., Faith Hall, Tucker, Fair Trade products combat human trafficking through business models that provide fair wages and safe working conditions for workers.
  • March 1 – Balloon Release, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., front of Tucker, write your commitment to anti-human trafficking efforts on a biodegradable balloon. Release the balloon afterwards as a reminder of your support.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university, Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.