Human Trafficking Awareness Week to Culminate in NEEDTOBREATHE Concert on April 28

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It is estimated that two million children are forced, sold, or abducted into sexual slavery every year.  As part of Human Trafficking Awareness week at Gardner-Webb University, recording artists NEEDTOBREATHE will be in concert April 28 at 8 p.m. in Paul Porter Arena with musician Ben Rector scheduled to open the show. Half of the concert ticket proceeds will benefit Project Rescue, an international ministry that rescues women and children from human trafficking and sexual slavery.

Because of NEEDTOBREATHE’s previous work with Project Rescue, the much-anticipated concert will be the culmination of a week-long awareness effort at Gardner-Webb related to human trafficking.

Several special events are planned to take place throughout the week.

“It is really exciting to see other people passionate about this week. We can make an impact,” said GWU freshman Jen Wahlers, who has helped plan the week. “Students will get more excited about these issues when they see their classmates becoming involved in trying to spread awareness about the problem of human trafficking.”

The week kicks off Monday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. in Blanton Auditorium with the showing of the documentary “Nefarious.” The film exposes the global injustice of human trafficking and shares the story of a growing abolitionist movement. Following the documentary, Mandolyn Orrell, who was once a victim of sex trafficking, will share her story and facilitate discussion.

On Tuesday, the campus will take part in the Kony 2012 campaign, a nationwide effort to expose the human trafficking crimes of Joseph Kony. Then at 8:00 p.m., the “Invisible Children” documentary will be shown in Dover Theater. The film depicts how Joseph Kony’s Rebel War affects children in Central Africa.

Wednesday will feature a human trafficking awareness fair on the quad from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.  Information will be distributed on human trafficking issues, and ways to take action through small changes to our everyday lifestyles.

On Thursday, there will be a letter writing campaign from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m in the Fireside Lounge, located inside the Dover Campus Center. This event gives students, faculty/staff, and community members the opportunity to voice their opinions to lawmakers, and affect change. Paper, pens, and addresses will be provided, or participants can bring laptops to type emails.

Friday at 6 p.m., in Rich Banquet Hall, representatives from Project Rescue, an international rescue ministry, will share stories of how their ministry frees and protects victims of sex trafficking.  Light refreshments will be served.

Throughout the week, donations will be collected for the Hope House in Asheville, N.C., a safe haven for women and children who have been trafficked in the U.S. Items needed include paper products, trash bags, feminine products, hygiene products, dish and laundry detergents, tissues, and cleaning supplies.

The week will culminate with the NEEDTOBREATHE concert on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the Paul Porter Arena. Half of the concert’s ticket proceeds will benefit Project Rescue.

Tickets for the show can be purchased through for $20 per person, $15 each for groups of 10 or more, and $10 for GWU undergraduate day students.  Tickets can also be purchased in the Student Activities Box Office.

Ben Rector is scheduled to open the show at 8 p.m., and NEEDTOBREATHE takes the stage at 9 p.m.  More information is available by calling Haley Pond at 704-406-4268.

Monday, April 23 at 6:30 p.m. – Blanton Auditorium
Nefarious Documentary

Tuesday, April 24 All Day
Kony 2012 Campaign

8 p.m. – Dover Theatre
Invisible Children Documentary

Wednesday, April 25 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Quad
Human Trafficking Awareness Fair

Thursday, April 26 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. – Fireside Lounge
Letter Writing Campaign

Friday, April 27 6 p.m. – Ritch Banquet Hall
Project Rescue Presentation

Saturday, April 28 8 p.m. – Paul Porter Arena

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University was founded in 1905 and is home to over 4,300 students from 37 states and 21 foreign countries.


 Written by communications students Elizabeth Parker and Travis Sherrill.