Community-wide “White Out for Freedom” Shares Opportunities to Serve Survivors of Sex Trafficking
On December 31, 2012, President Obama gave a proclamation declaring January 2013 National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, asking our nation to rededicate ourselves to ending one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time.
“As Americans, we have long rejected such cruelty. We have recognized it as a debasement of our common humanity and an affront to the principles we cherish. And for more than a century, we have made it a national mission to bring slavery and human trafficking to an end.” – President Barack Obama
The month of January leads up to National Freedom Day, celebrated on February 1. On this day, the White Umbrella Campaign is encouraging locals to wear white to symbolize the purity and protection we desire to see cover survivors of human trafficking and abuse. Wearing white makes a statement, saying, “We will not stand for injustice; we will stand with those who have been exploited and abused…until slavery exists no more.”
“We encourage everyone to visibly take a stand for freedom by wearing white on February 1. White is a symbol of purity and innocence, something that has been stolen from theses survivors,” said Mary Frances Bowley, President and Founder of Wellspring Living. “You can choose to be a White Umbrella for a girl in our city by wearing white and tangibly giving to provide freedom.”
The White Umbrella Campaign is a subsidiary of Wellspring Living, an Atlanta-based organization on the frontlines of combatting trafficking and abuse of women and girls. The campaign plans to visit several of the 14 cities cited as major hubs for trafficking and exploitation, including Atlanta, Tampa, Dallas, San Diego and Washington D.C.
While an umbrella is a seemingly pedestrian item, it is often taken for granted until needed most, in a downpour. Survivors of childhood sexual exploitation understand what it is like to go through life without an umbrella—without anything to protect them from the storms of people who believe they can be bought and sold.
To join the White Umbrella Campaign and participate in “White Out for Freedom,” simply wear white on Feb. 1. The organization is also asking locals to post a picture of their support on Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook using the hashtag #WhiteOut4Freedom.
About The White Umbrella Campaign
The White Umbrella Campaign launched in October 2012 in Atlanta, Ga., and will travel to cities across the U.S. including Sarasota, Dallas, San Diego and others to educate, encourage and empower communities to take a stand against the issue and walk with survivors. The White Umbrella Campaign will come to life by shedding light on the organizations, churches, law enforcement and community leaders who are working together to confront this issue.
About Wellspring Living
Wellspring Living is a non-profit organization that confronts the issue of childhood sexual abuse and exploitation through awareness, training and treatment programs for women and girls. Founded in 2001, the organization is home to the largest residential program for Childhood Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in the United States. Wellspring Living provides safe and therapeutic environments that are key to the healing and successful futures of the many survivors whom the organization serves.
Who Will Be Wearing White?
The White Umbrella Campaign, in partnership with 11Alive and Star 94, asks Atlanta businesses, schools, organization, churches, law enforcement, community leaders and individuals to wear white on February 1.
Why White Out?
Atlantans will wear white for the 27 million slaves on the Earth currently trapped in the trenches of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Did you know that’s more than ever before in history?
White symbolizes the purity and protection we desire to see cover survivors of human trafficking and abuse. White makes a statement, saying, “We will not stand for injustice; we will stand with those who have been exploited and abused…until slavery exists no more.”
How To Get Involved:
To join the White Umbrella Campaign and participate in White Out for Freedom, simply wear white (and spread the word) on February 1. Participants can show support on social media by post a picture wearing white on Twitter, Instagram and/or Facebook using the hashtag, #WhiteOut4Freedom