AWARENOW AWARENESS TIES PRESENTS
OFFICIAL MONTHLY MAGAZINE FOR CAUSES
HUMAN TRAFFICKING A LOOK THROUGH DIFFERENT LENSES ELIZABETH BLAKE-THOMAS DIRECTOR OF SHORT FILM UNSEEN ISABELLA BLAKE-THOMAS SINGER/SONGWRITER OF ANGEL WINGS ROGER MARTIN FOUNDER OF MODELS AGAINST TRAFFICKING MICK MCKEOWN FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE BLUE CAMPAIGN
Hi. I'm Allié. Welcome to the very first issue of AwareNow - the official magazine for causes Glad you're here. We are so very excited to share with you each month: Interviews, Features, Entertainment, Information, Nonprofits, Celebrities, Artists, Industry Leaders and amazing individuals, perhaps like yourself, who are doing incredible things to raise awareness for causes. The absolute first step in solving any problem is awareness. We believe awareness is at the heart of it all. That's where change begins. Today, it seems that so many of us are affected by more than one cause. Personally, I'm affected by 8 of the causes we represent. My husband and CoFounder, Jack, is connected to 9. Currently, Awareness Ties supports 21 different causes. You or someone you know or someone they know is affected by all of them and you may not even be aware. Whether it's you, a family member or a friend, we are all are tied together by these causes. This is why we built a platform to stand tall on alongside one another to truly make a difference in the world. One action can inspire another action. One heart can heal another heart. One person becoming aware could change everything. Like Ekhart Tolle said, "Awareness is the greatest agent for change." And let's face it. The world is in need of great change. We are here to change it with you. Visit www.awarenessties.us Sincerely,
Allié McGuire P.S. I almost forgot to invite you to subscribe: www.awarenessties.us/magazine
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06 AWOKE: Introduction to Awareness Ties Ambassadors
14 BETWEEN THE LINES:Â Featuring Singer/Songwriter Isabella Blake-Thomas
22 NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT: Models Against Trafficking
10 UNSEEN: Award Winning Short Film on Human Trafficking
16 PROFIT WITH PURPOSE: Using Ties to Raise Awareness and Funds
24 NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT: ArtWorks For Freedom
12 IN HER OWN WORDS: Interview with Director Elizabeth Blake-Thomas
18 TECH TAKES ON TRAFFICKING: Interview with Founder, Roger Martin
26 TRAFFICKING THROUGH THE LENS OF LEGISLATION: Feature with Mick McKeown
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JACK & ALLIÃ‰ McGUIRE FOUNDERS OF AWARENESS TIES
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THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY AWARENESS TIES FOUNDERS SHARE HOW THIS STARTED
"I'll no longer wait for permission..." I've always known I wanted to change the world. As a little boy growing up in Flint, Michigan, I dreamt of so many fantastic ways I would right all the wrongs of the world. Who was I to know that the wrongs of the world weren't the same for every person? I've heard "the things that pull us together are sometimes the same things that pull us apart”. This statement weighs heavy on my heart. How do you change a world with so many different views? The answer is clear. We educate and let people know that it's ok to be different and that it's ok to believe what you want. What we need now more than ever is unity and standing behind what makes each one of us uniquely different that's the beauty of humanity and the reason for Awareness Ties. Despite any of our differences, I stand up for you. As I always dreamt I would, I will no longer wait for permission to change the world. There are invisible lines that need to be crossed. I welcome you to this movement and can't wait to stand next to you. You inspire me.
"I never accepted the label." I never knew I was different until the 3rd grade, when in Mrs. Cronk’s class we studied slavery. When told by a boy sitting next to me to clean up his desk because I was brown and that meant I was his slave, I went into the girls bathroom, looked in the mirror and noticed the color of my skin for the first time. Growing up in an all white community, my sister and I were mixed (mother English/French and father African American/Native American). We were labeled as the only ‘black people’ for some time. However, I never accepted the label. I refused the label ‘black’, ‘mixed’, ‘half-breed’ and all others. I wore no label. Today, I wear a tie. The Unity Awareness Tie. It’s my cause. It’s my tie. It's my mission... to be part of something bigger than I am, and to invite all of you to join me. As Maya Angelou said, we are more alike my friends than we are unalike.
Allié McGuire 5
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We are proud to present the Awareness Ties
OFFICIAL AMBASSADORS Each represents a cause, with a story to share and a mission to raise awareness. We invite you to get to know our ambassadors. Learn more by clicking on their photos.
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I AM A COMMODITY HUMAN TRAFFICKING SPOKEN IN SHADES BY ZOSCHA LUCYNA Sometimes, you find a piece of art that makes you stop, and then you start. You start to think about the emotion poured out and preserved in paint and the feelings shared in various shades. You ask yourself, "If this painting could talk, what would it say?" Silently, you ask yourself this question and then look to the painting's title for the unspoken answer provided. This piece is by artist Zosha Lucyna who noted, "Slavery still exists." You may click here to view the original post.
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UNSEEN THE AWARD WINNING SHORT FILM ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING Inspired by true events, UNSEEN follows the story of a small-town girl (Rhyon Nicole Brown) as she makes a simple social media mistake, leading her down a dangerous path, never to be seen again; bringing into light the role technology plays in the facilitation of human trafficking and child exploitation. Carly, 17, like most teenagers, wants to have her own money, be seen at parties, get out of her small town and find something better, even become famous. Carly’s way out of her current situation comes in the form of a social media advert that she sees on her phone. An agency looking for models and offering them a prize of $1000. Due to some everyday white lies, Carly puts herself in an unsafe position. Carly’s lies lead to her being unseen, never to be seen again. The next day when family and friends realize that no-one knows Carly’s whereabouts, it’s too late. This is “fame lure” and can happen to any child, anywhere at anytime.
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ELIZABETH BLAKE-THOMAS DIRECTOR & WRITER AWARENESS TIES AMBASSADOR FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING
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IN HER OWN WORDS AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR ELIZABETH BLAKE-THOMAS ON 'UNSEEN' Why are you drawn to the human trafficking cause? As a mother, this cause is very close to my heart. I strive to protect my daughter and believe I do the best job I can. However there are so many situations that can occur from trafficking that people are unaware of. I hope to share that information in a way that can save lives. We have came so far with awareness on human trafficking, something unknown to so many only a few years ago. What changed and what else can we do? It’s about starting and continuing the conversation. It needs to be a subject that’s spoken about amongst everyone, all ages. It is about education. Giving our children the tools to stay safe. What nonprofits have you found doing the most for human trafficking? Thorne is the biggest one but there are many smaller ones such as the Polaris Project. How has the response to your film, 'UNSEEN', been so far? Incredible. The support from everyone has been encouraging. People want to share the story as it’s based on truth. They realise that this could help save lives. Any plans on a feature length film on this topic? Yes, it has been written and we are looking to shoot it next year. It tackles how and why trafficking occurs and what can be done to stop it at its grass roots. What does being an ambassador for Awareness Ties mean to you? I feel a huge responsibility by being an ambassador to help bring awareness to such an important topic. I hope to be able to do whatever I can. Spreading the word through film. A medium that I believe can be the answer to helping us educate.
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ANGEL WINGS Running, running for my life I can’t look back, gotta make it out alive Chasing, they’re chasing me away But If I stop now they’ll want me to stay Fly like a bird, got to fly away Don’t hold me back, it’s not my turn to play Angel wings are spreading in the dark Can’t hold on got to never ever let go If I let go, I’ll never come back but maybe that’s for the better Flying, flying far away Don’t clip my wings, don’t lead me astray Soaring, soaring through the sky They’ll never let me leave, so I’m just gonna cry Fly like a bird, got to fly away Don’t hold me back, it’s not my turn to play Angel wings are spreading in the dark Can’t hold on got to never ever let go But If I let go, I’ll never come back but maybe that’s for the better Flying on the outside, never stopping me Don’t try to look for me cause’ I’ll be far away Angel wings are spreading in the dark Can’t hold on got to never ever let go But If I let go, I’ll never come back but maybe that’s for the better
ISABELLA BLAKE-THOMAS ACTRESS, SINGER, WRITER & PRODUCER AWARENESS TIES AMBASSADOR FOR SUICIDE AWARENESS
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BETWEEN THE LINES A LOOK AT THE LYRICS OF 'ANGEL WINGS' WITH ISABELLA BLAKE-THOMAS All of my music is written from the heart. Whether it is about an emotion or a situation, I want people to be able to relate to all my lyrics. Angel Wings is about feeling trapped, lost and scared. In the movie Unseen, these themes are heavily used due to the subject of the movie. Iâ€™m honored that Awareness Ties wanted to use Angel Wings as part of their campaign and I hope the song gets the message out there.
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RAISING FUNDS & AWARENESS ONE TIE AT A TIME FUNDRAISING TO PROFIT WITH PURPOSE As the ‘Official Symbol of Support for Causes’, Awareness Ties™ are designed to raise both awareness for causes and funding for organizations. Each tie comes in a color corresponding to the cause it represents. Designed for men, women and children, these symbols of support are 'zipper ties'. Simply slip it on and zip it up.
It’s a fact. Fundraising is a necessity. We can’t change that. What we can change is how we do it and why. Let’s educate and empower. Let’s instill a sense of purpose and pride. Let’s do the right thing with a fundraiser that promotes awareness and personal growth. Join us and so many others as we change the landscape of fundraising to raise more than just funds one tie at a time. The Awareness Ties Fundraising Program™ offers schools and organizations an opportunity to raise funds and awareness with profit and purpose. Earn $10 for each Awareness Tie sold, while raising awareness for the cause with a visual symbol of support. Request Awareness Ties Programming & Guest Speakers for events and assemblies. To learn more, visit www.awarenessties.us/fundraising
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ROGER MARTIN CEO OF MODELS AGAINST TRAFFICKING
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TECH LEADER TAKES ON TRAFFICKING INTERVIEW WITH ROGER MARTIN, CEO OF MODELS AGAINST TRAFFICKING & FORMER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, CHIEF IP STRATEGIST AT QUALCOMM Going from 'tech' to 'trafficking' is quite a shift. Why did you decide to get involvedÂ in this cause?
"I learned... most trafficked kids first met their pimp online, and the most frequent place to meet was Instagram... this information hit home for me." My background is not in the modeling or fashion industries. More than 25 years ago, I started working at a small tech company that became one of the largest in the world. As I was preparing to retire a couple of years ago, I was contacted by some non-profits that were fighting human trafficking. I learned from them that most trafficked kids first met their pimp online, and the most frequent place to meet was Instagram. Additionally, the most common approach was for the predator to pose as a photographer or modeling agent and try to persuade aspiring young teen models to send nude photos or even meet in person. I have four daughters of my own. One is a model who got her start on Instagram before she got signed to an agency, so this information hit home for me. In my head, I pictured the predator scrolling through Instagram looking at photos and profiles of aspiring young models, searching for signs of vulnerability and deciding who they were going to approach. Based on my tech background, I realized that was the kind of problem that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would be very good at fighting. Together with some former co-workers, we developed an AI machine that could crawl through Instagram and identify young models who might be at risk of being approached by a predator. Our theory was that if we could reach out to them before the predator did, we could warn them about the common tactics the predator uses. That was the beginning of the idea for Models Against Trafficking â€“ a way to reach young models before the predator could.
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What is your vision for Models Against Trafficking? Models Against Trafficking works well for outreach to young models because every established model has had some personal experience with strange men or women reaching out to them on Instagram. These successful models understand that the young teens following them on Instagram are putting themselves at risk simply to become successful models themselves. They understand that they are in a unique position to influence and protect their followers.
"Their voice reaches louder than the trafficker." Our vision for Models Against Trafficking is that all models, whether or not yet signed with an agency, will respond to this universal problem that they all personally experience. We believe that they are the most powerful force against traffickers online. Their voice reaches farther than the trafficker. Their style is more influential than the trafficker. They can help make their followers safer by being the face of the Models Against Trafficking movement. By joining together, they take away the predatorâ€™s ability to pick off the unaware or the young.
How can people support your organization? The best way to support Models Against Trafficking is simply to follow @modelsagainsttrafficking on Instagram, and then tag us in their posts and stories with content that makes their followers aware of how traffickers use Instagram to lure young teens. For example, we encourage them to tag us in a post where they tell their own story about a shady DM they received. They can share and tag us in any of the content they see our other influencers posting, or even make something new in their own unique style. We have a Brand Book that they can use for ideas. And of course they can make a donation in any amount at our website. 100% of the proceeds go to fighting human trafficking!
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Human trafficking is a $150 billion dollar industry. Human trafficking is the worldâ€™s fastest growing criminal enterprise.
Of the 40 million victims worldwide,
10 million are children. In the U.S., more than 100,000 children are vulnerable to being trafficked.
The National Human trafficking hotline receives an average of
100 calls per day. 80% of sex trafficking victims in the U.S. were born in the U.S.
More than half of victims since 2015
first met their trafficker online. The most frequent places to meet were Facebook and Instagram.
The average age of recruitment is 14. 50% of victims say their trafficker was a complete stranger when they met.
Learn more at www.modelsagainsttrafficking.org.
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MODELS AGAINST TRAFFICKING FEATURED NONPROFIT Models Against Trafficking is an initiative powered by Humans Against Trafficking, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Working with our partner companies and non-profits, our mission is to reach and educate through the development of technology platforms and large-scale social movements that make it easier for all people to get involved in human trafficking prevention. As stated on our website, “Traffickers use tech to hurt children. Most exploited kids first met their trafficker online. Traffickers prey on large numbers of vulnerable kids on social media by exploiting their desire for connection, success and "likes". The reach and ease of connection of social media allows traffickers to continuously search for and recruit multiple different victims at once online. The most common apps used by traffickers and their victims are Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.” But “we use tech to protect children. Online education specifically focused on at-risk kids using social media is key to preventing their victimization. Using AI and image recognition technologies, backed by research-based understanding of traffickers and victims, we can identify at-risk kids on social media faster and at much larger scale than traffickers. By finding at-risk kids before the traffickers do, we can help educate and inoculate them against the trafficker's recruitment tactics.” Support Models Against Trafficking and learn more at www.modelsagainsttrafficking.org.
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What You See Is Not Who I Am: Portable Mural Series by Groundswell Teen Artist Apprentices
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ARTWORKS FOR FREEDOM RAISING AWARENESS FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING BY ART & BY AIR ArtWorks for Freedom is an innovative nonprofit that uses the power of art to raise awareness of human trafficking. We believe that awareness is the critical first step in preventing this largely invisible crime. By amplifying the voices of survivors and illuminating their authentic stories, we seek to inspire people from all walks of life to use their unique gifts in the fight against modern day slavery. Our multi-faceted arts-based campaigns have taken place in cities across the globe in partnership with local artists and arts organizations, civic associations, businesses, NGOs, faith-based organizations, foundations, educational institutions and grassroots community leaders. Now we are expanding our reach with a revolutionary new initiative -AIRPORTS TO FREEDOM, an interactive multimedia kiosk showing films and animated stories from survivors. The Airports to Freedom kiosk will be installed at major airports in the U.S. beginning in 2020 and at international airports from 2021 onward. We are confident that AIRPORTS TO FREEDOM will draw in millions of airline passengers over the coming years and engage them in the fight to end human trafficking in our lifetime. For more information please contact Kay Chernush: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 571.723.8955 Visit www.artworksforfreedom.org
Bought & Sold: Voices of Human Trafficking: Photographic Exhibit at University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Design for AIRPORTS TO FREEDOM Kiosk
MICK McKEOWN FORMER CHAIRMAN AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BLUE CAMPAIGN AND FOUNDER OF PENNOVIA INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED SPEAKER IN COMBATTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING
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HUMAN TRAFFICKING: A LOOK THROUGH THE LENS OF LEGISLATION PERSPECTIVE FROM MICK McKEOWN, INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED SPEAKER IN COMBATTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING, FORMER CHAIRMAN AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE BLUE CAMPAIGN AND FOUNDER OF PENNOVIA Finding common political ground seems to be increasingly difficult especially going into a Presidential Election year. However, the fight against Human Trafficking is one of the few issues that both sides of the political aisle can agree to work together on. One of the most important reasons that legislation has been so effective in the fight against Human Trafficking is because all sides agree on a singular definition of the crime. A basic definition is that Human Trafficking is the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. Any conversation about US legislation regarding Human Trafficking needs to start with the monumental passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. This legislation created the foundation for federal policy to combat human trafficking. In the twenty years since its passage, the government has created a strategy that touches almost every federal agency and producing partnerships within the government and with outside partners, such as Polaris which runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline. This approach has been emulated around the world. Each agency plays an integral role in this fight. Health and Human Services (HHS) help raise awareness through various campaigns and by helping fund the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) raises awareness through the Blue Campaign and its component agencies such as Homeland Security Investigations investigate human trafficking cases involving foreign nationals. The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) does the bulk of the caseload involving minors. The Justice Department prosecutes these cases. We all play a role in fighting this heinous crime. Learn more about the signs of Human Trafficking and put the number of the National Hotline into your phone. Be sure to learn more about everyday citizens like Roger Martin, CEO of Humans against Trafficking and Kay Chernush, Founder of Artworks for Freedom and the work they do to raise awareness. 27 AWARENOW / JANUARY 2020
Make the next selfie you take make a difference. (It's free. Only costs you 40 seconds of your time.)
SELFIE TO SUPPORT SUBMIT SELFIE. SELECT CAUSE. SHARE ONLINE.
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'SELFIE TO SUPPORT' A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN & A PERSONAL INVITATION Some prefer to put a face to a name. We prefer to put a face to a cause. Selfie To Support is a national invitation to raise awareness for your cause by submitting your selfie. It's easy. 1) Upload your selfie 2) Select your cause We'll email you with your 'Official Selfie To Support' with your cause color. Then there is just one more step: 3) Share your 'Selfie To Support' via social media These selfies will not only be featured on social media. They will be used in print ads, videos and billboards as part of the 'My Cause My Tie' campaign. Be seen. Be heard. Help others be aware. Consider this article as your personal invitation. Join the camapign at www.selfietosupport.com.
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Why is blue the cause color for human trafficking? For Human Trafficking, the color blue represents the sadness of those who are trafficked while reminding us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings. The use of the blue UN color also demonstrates the commitment of the United Nations to combating this crime against human dignity.
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HUMAN TRAFFICKING AWARENESS GUIDE GET HELP. GIVE HELP. GET INVOLVED. We've done our homework. Here are eight incredible resources to get support from and give support to.
Polaris Project www.polarisproject.org
Human Trafficking Hotline www.humantraffickinghotline.org
Children of the Night www.childrenofthenight.org
Just Ask Prevention Project www.justaskprevention.org
LifeWay Network www.lifewaynetwork.org
Models Against Trafficking www.modelsagainsttrafficking.org
ArtWorks For Freedom www.artworksforfreedom.org
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AWARENESS IS THE GREATEST AGENT FOR CHANGE Eckhart Tolle