Page 1

YEAR 3: THE YEAR OF

REBIRTH


TABLE OF CONTENTS

72 EMErGING HOPE

4 MISSION: KIMPOSSIBLE What do you know about B.Kim, Freedom and Fashion’s CEO? What makes her tick and keep going? Find out more about her life and the mission that she’s on.

8 OUr PArTNErS There are six new groups in 2011 that we support and want you to get to know.

33 OUr YEAr IN FrEEDOM

–/ Edith Yang

Sex exploitation is often a touchy subject to talk about. We often don’t know much about the subject if nobody tells us. FNF searches to find the causes of this human generated problem that ultimately begins and ends with us as a people.

77 SPONSOrS 78 OUr THANK YOUS

What’s been happening in the world of Freedom and Fashion? Everything.

34 SPILLING THE BEANS –/ giovannY Panginda

How much do you know about chocolate? We uncover the dark side of chocolate before its made into one of the most sought out foods.

38 THE STOrY OF TIFFANY MESTEr Take a journey into the life of Tiffany, a former trafficking victim who found hope after escaping.

42 MUST DO’S 44 SPOTLIGHT: MODELS FOr CHrIST 45 THINGS WE LOVE 47 SEX & TECHNOLOGY –/ YEn LE

The Internet – powerful, ever-present and useful. FNF explores the dark alleys of cyberspace and sheds light on the way human trafficking functions

50 FrEEEDOM PrODUCTS 52 THE 2011 FrEEDOM AND FASHION LINE The year of rebirth – Freedom and Fashion launches a whole new line with recycled material giving new life to old clothing and exploring the narrative of new life amoung those who were once trafficked.

** ALL CONTENT, DESIGN and PHOTOGRAPHY are the intellectual property of and copyrighted under FREEDOM AND FASHION™ and may not be sold, distributed, replicated, promoted, or used for advocacy without prior consent. Please contact info@freedomandfashion.com for permission before use.

Find us Monday Nights at:

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Follow us on Twitter:

Twitter.com/FreedomnFashion


Dear Reader,

EDITOR’S LETTER

All the best things come in threes, and in this 2011 issue, Freedom and Fashion marks three years of existence, and a landmark year of great changes and many advancements. In the midst of an ever-expanding organization and many dreams being realized, our mission remains the same: passionate, effective activism through the multi-faceted lens of both our own activities and our unique promotion of other non-profits. In last year’s issue, we sought to educate readers on the often-overlooked realities of human trafficking and human injustice in the world today. This year, in keeping with our theme of “rebirth”, we wanted to present a little more hope, the other side of the story. So in this magazine, you will find the story of a human trafficking victim who is now free from that life, who has found new hope and identity in a life of freedom and faith. You will also learn of the increasing resources for victims of violence and abuse, as individuals and communities create shelters and homes to provide hope for life after rescue. We also constantly have in mind the reality that drives us, however, so we delve even deeper into the world of trafficking with articles on overlooked and groundbreaking topics. In-depth articles explore the world of chocolate (an industry that can be darker than even the richest of its products) and the relationship between the Internet and the industry of human slavery. This 2011 issue sprang, as always, out of hope and awareness. Hope, that the actions of even one individual, especially when put in concert with those of others, can create ripples that change and help to cleanse the world of evil. And awareness, driving awareness, that everywhere around us, in the United States, in Asia, in Africa, everywhere one looks, is need – human need which can be assuaged and violence and injustice which can be stopped. With this magazine, as always, our desire is for you to be educated and inspired. There’s a movement rising, in the United States and in the world, of individuals, organizations, and consumers becoming more and more conscious of the reality of the injustice around us, and rising up to do something about it. Our hope is that you join this movement – that you have eyes to see and ears to hear what goes on around you. And that you reach out... To the child in Africa who needs food or education. To the teenager in the juvenile center in your neighborhood who’s never heard a loving word in his life. To the woman on the streets or in the shelter not far away who has been driven into that lifestyle by poverty or childhood abuse. All around us is need. All around us, in small, simple acts, exists the possibility of changing the world. So open your eyes, and reach out with us.

CLAIRE HELLAR

editor-in-chief


Every single week, a tireless warrior seeks to eradicate slavery and inspire others to be the voice to the voiceless.

MiSSion:

Bonnie Kim.

CEO, FrEEdOm & FashiOn

this is her story.

impossible

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THE YEAR OF REBIRTH


how did Freedom and Fashion begin?

how do you keep going? describe an average day or week running FnF.

In 2008, I was a master’s student at UCLA, and going through the darkest period of my life. Dealing with thoughts of suicide and feelings of abandonment from friends, I heard God speak. He told me, “Times of refreshment will come.” I didn’t understand how this was even possible and if there was a God that cared for me. It was during those same months in the Fall of 2008, that I also heard God speak the phrase, “Freedom and Fashion.” Each night, I could not go to sleep because I would pray and end up receiving visions about a “Freedom and Fashion” show and what it would look like. It began with gathering a few students together at my apartment to talk about how this can happen, and culminated with over 800 people attending the first event. I was blown away that this was becoming a reality. The second year was even more exciting as we saw over 16 non-profit partners and over 1300 people attend the show, allowing us to raise over $25,000 for FNF and our partners in one night. The funny thing about all this was, I had created and was operating FNF with no former fashion, production or nonprofit management experience whatsoever. It’s completely God’s idea and me following His directions!

With more power, networks, and success comes more temptation. More difficult than the temptation to quit my volunteer position at FNF and work for big companies (who have offered me a potential position, and a sizeable salary) is the temptation to be proud. By proud, I mean to think all this was done by MY hard work alone. Every day I am faced with the admiration of strangers through Facebook messages, or people telling me that I “inspire” them. While flattering, nothing matters to me more than to know that I’m walking into the purpose that I was created for. While being on this earth, I want to be an agent of love, of radical change that comes from humility and sacrifice. Though I don’t make a lot of money at my part-time job, and often my body hurts from working so much, I am extremely blessed to be living in the U.S., to have gone to a school, and to be able to drink clean water and eat food every day. I am blessed to bless others and want to lay down my life for others.

Was there a particular moment or setback that discouraged you the most or in which you were the closest to giving up? If I could be completely transparent…It was this January that I sent an email out to friends asking for prayer and whether to give up on Freedom and Fashion. I recall there was a time when I gave so much trust to a person only to find out that they had slandered me and caused a lot of pain in the organization. I know I haven’t done my best to communicate to this person before frustrations arose in the organization so it was somewhat deserved. However, after I heard all the slander and the subsequent lies, I was so heartbroken and felt like giving up. Yet, I decided to ask people to pray for me and I also prayed. I then asked myself, “Is this more difficult than dying for humanity’s ills on the cross?” I got back up and kept going.

?

active members

60

50

45+

40

30 20

10

14 7 YEar 1

YEar 2

What has surprised you about the process of creating and running this organization and/or about the way in which Freedom and Fashion has developed over time? It always is about prayer. It will always be about prayer. Over nine car accidents this year alone, as well as multiple sicknesses, family crises, and more should be indicators that we are on the right path. For some reason, there is another force that does not want us to succeed in what we are doing. And because of it, we know we are doing the right thing. The most surprising part about Freedom and Fashion is the ability for us to endure all of these personal tragedies and still keep pressing on to serve our partners. Our partners do the front-line work of

This YEar

YEAR 4

ending human oppression. They have to work directly with former victims and find a way for sustainable freedom. We at Freedom and Fashion know that our troubles are momentary in comparison to the amazing returns we will see. Recently, I received a call from one of our new 2011 partners. I was giving some advice on ways that this person (the founder and CEO) could solidify a partnership with a major department store in the U.S. He was very happy that Freedom and Fashion supports his organization through our magazine promotion, fashion show, social media and consulting advice all at no charge to him. He shared his heart for the communities that needed his services and how his products were helping the communities so much. This encouraged me to know that others are working as hard or even harder than Freedom and Fashion and that we need to keep going no matter how difficult life got. THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

5


"if you really want to help people, you have to embrace suffering."

6

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

B.KiM CEo


What has surprised you about the process of creating and running this organization and/or about the way in which Freedom and Fashion has developed over time? When a few of us prayed this year, we got the word, “REBIRTH.” After feeling so defeated, 2011 felt like a fresh start. There were new staff members, a new office space, a new air of hope that came from knowing that God wasn’t done with us yet! We have now over 45 staff members, and the love for one another in our FNF family is growing. There have been so many stories of people mentioning that they feel so loved and at peace when they come to the office, and how they are so blessed to be on the team. It truly feels like a family.

What dreams do you have for FnF? Where do you see Freedom and Fashion in three years? In the next three years, we plan to have an office in New York City, partner with major companies to sell our merchandise, and be working with key legislators and advocates to bring sustainable ways to end trafficking. We want to work with donors willing to invest in the various ways we provide resources to our non-profit partners. By year five, we want to have an after-school program focused on the arts, and to create a new platform for what conscious consumerism looks like.

What makes FnF different from other organizations? We are the first non-profit organization that combines fashion, social justice and faith. We have a very difficult model when it comes to operations. Most companies and non-profits focus on very rational means to obtaining a return on an investment. At Freedom and Fashion, we pray and have faith that God will do something for us since He wants His company to do well. An 18-year-old intern is just as savvy and worthy of sharing his or her thoughts on markets and trends as a 30-year-old who comes from a corporate finance background. We have a holistic development program where volunteers have the option to seek counselors, watch inspirational movies, and take part in our life studies sessions. Because we are a humanitarian organization, we ourselves seek to be cultivating the humanity in our organization. We cannot try to fight the battle that is human trafficking if we ourselves are bleeding from past wounds or issues we haven’t dealt with: it isn’t efficient or loving.

“We are the first non-profit organization that combines fashion, social justice and faith.” if you could tell a potential activist, or someone out there with dreams of helping people, one thing, what would it be?

Where is FnF now compared to three years ago when it began? In three years we have: obtained a new office space, started FNF networks within New York City and Europe, obtained our 501c3 status, partnered with the official Fashion’s Night Out, recruited more than 45 staff and interns, created our own products, hired former victims of sex slavery to earn a fair wage by making our products, produced an even better magazine, and so much more. We have become more professional and the love for one another is ever increasing in this family!

If you really want to help people…you have to embrace suffering. I’m not talking about being a masochist. What is love but to sacrifice yourself for someone else. If you want to see revolutionary change, the foundations of that desire cannot come from a selfish motive or else time will reveal that the desire to help someone wasn’t really to help them, but to help you. Be willing to endure people’s scorn of you as you walk into the unknown. Be willing to be lectured about how “irrational” your decisions may be. Be also willing to know that you will be lonely – many times. But I tell you. A true leader serves the people. Jesus was an example of such a leader, and He teaches me everyday how to “help” people. I do it not only because it is rewarding (though it is very rewarding), but also because he was the meekest person I’ve ever known and that’s very admirable. The second big thing you need to understand is that those who hurt people (human traffickers, johns, child molesters, etc.) are those who also need love. I’m sure they didn’t grow up wanting to be in those professions. Somewhere along the way, their passion for good turned into something else and that’s why we as a society have to figure out the root cause of their actions. I really hope someone out there can create an organization that reaches out to the traffickers, child molesters, rapists and johns in society. Yes, this is bold of me to say, but to me, even Jesus loves these people so I want to see them become whole again. THE YEAR OF REBIRTH 7


Founder: Allison Parris / 2008 Merchandise: Contemporary day & cocktail dresses Cause: To produce eco-friendly & socially conscious clothing that are classically feminine with positive standards Website: www.allisonparris.com

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PARRIS NIGHTS AND

NEW YORK MORNINGS Retaining moral values and being able to make beautiful, well-made clothing are not mutually exclusive actions.”

A

llison Parris describes the

audience. And so Allison Parris New York

item that has people excited is the edgy

moment as “do or die” – a

was born, combining Parris’ original

sweet chain belts that are made in-house

chance meeting with one

vision of creating an eco-friendly, socially

by independent seamstresses earning

of the producers from

conscious line with a vision for clothing

decent wages.

her graduating showcase

that had a luxurious feminine appeal for all

had just landed her a spot to debut her first collection in New York’s Fashion

women.

Parris’ designs have been featured in magazines such as Women’s Health and

The brand describes the clothing

Vibe, among others. The brand continues

Week, with a sponsorship from Aveda.

as “classic designs that can be worn for

to be a favorite among celebrities such

With encouragement from her business

several seasons in a row and make a

as Reshma Shetty from “Royal Pains”

partner, Marissa Kim, Parris designed an

woman feel good about herself and her

and Bethenny Frankel from “The Real

entire line of luxuriously ladylike creations

body,” and explains, “Our goal is to have

Housewives of New York.”

within three months – all while keeping

all aspects of our company represent

production ethical. Everything from the

positive standards.” Allison Parris strives

beautifully conscientious clothing, Allison

patterns to the beading was completed by

to extinguish the stereotype that eco-

Parris New York still makes it their goal to

Parris, while Kim worked on getting people

conscious clothes are homely.

give their clients a positive experience with

to the show.

It would be hard to call anything in

After almost three years of making

their well-made line. Their goal is that you

A whirlwind of activities later, their

this line “homely”, especially with elegant

should never have to choose between

presentation landed them glowing reviews

pieces like the silk wrap skirt with leather

being stylish or being ethical, and so they

from notable publications like WWD and

trim detailing, which utilizes raw organic

put it all on the line to design. As Allison

the title “Designer to Watch” in 2009.

silk from India and leather trim from New

Parris New York would like to stress, “We

The positive reception from the public

York’s Garment District. The satin lining

would like to show that one could choose

encouraged Allison to push forward

for most of Parris’s pieces is made from

products that have a positive impact on

and seek out like-minded investors and

PET, a repurposed material fashioned from

their community without giving up on the

directors to promote her line to a wider

recycled water bottles. Another popular

style that [one] craves.”

PhotograPher: David Kiang

ModelS: Lezlie Williams / Yesenia Earl

MakeuP /hair: AVEDA THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

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DRESSES

Starting at $275

Silk Shift with Beaded Pockets Raw organic silk shift dress with beaded pockets and exposed zipper in back.

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Silk Jacket with Beaded Collar Raw, organic silk jacket with beaded, gunmetal collar.

Beaded Fringe Dress Corseted silk strapless mini dress with beaded fringe skirt and exposed zipper in the back.

Tutu Recycled netting tutu with crinoline layer underneath with a hem just above the knees. Perfect with a jacket for daytime or a satin camisole for night.

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A

WORLD Of difference

COLLABORATIVE WORLD

‘gives’ away the secret to their success.

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SHirTS STArTinG AT

$20

W

hen Tyler Caroll and Dave Goodman first met, both knew that they wanted to change the world. Staying in contact, “every once in a while [we would] ask each other,

‘Well, are you changing the world yet?’” recalls Tyler Carroll, co-founder of Collaborative World (CW). Their conversations eventually evolved into weekly Tuesday night discussions in garages and coffee shops about how they could do the unthinkable. In the Fall of 2009, they came up with an idea that would put their 15+ years of combined experience in the clothing industry to good use: producing a clothing line dedicated to giving. “This clothing was made so that giving could occur,” said Carroll. Launching their Fall/Holiday clothing line in November 2010, the line consists of elaborately patterned clothing with designs that symbolize giving. From sparrows flying free out of an old-world birdcage to a feather pen scrawling “Collaborative World” next to an inkwell, the illustrations are representative of unleashing creativity and freedom. The purpose is to show that the wearer is actively participating in

being a citizen of the world. A truly global company, CW’s artists are designers from all over the world who share CW’s ideal of giving. “In the beginning, we often got discouraged by other businesses saying that it would not be possible to stay in business if we were giving 50% of the profits away,” said Carroll, co-founder of Collaborative World (CW). Despite doubts, their business model has prevailed. In fact, more organizations have joined in their ideal of giving. CW partners with three to four different organizations each season and makes them the focus of all their events and marketing campaigns. Their current partners are Living The Dream Foundation, Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, My Broken Palace, and Krochet Kids International. “Our mission is to actively pursue new and more extraordinary ways to give while encouraging others to do the same. Our vision is to amplify the efforts of individuals and organizations already striving to make a loving impact in the world.”

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WE ofteN get the

WHO DOES THAT?

WHO givEs

5O

BUT

percent of their profits away?

comments from other businesses,

We SAY, ‘Collaborative World! ’ insTEad OF TaKing ThaT as a nEgaTivE,

that’s who does it!

PhotograPher: Dondee Q. ModelS: Yoshua Surdarso Kyle Martin Greer / Daisy Oliver Natasha Violeta / Danielle Nicole hair&MakeuP: AVEDA 14

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sits DOWn With COLLAbORAtive WORLD Hi CW - Please summarize your organization in two sentences. Collaborative World is a for-profit apparel company that exists to support non-profit organizations. We are founded on Extraordinary Giving and donate 50% of the overall profit from the sales of our clothing to partners already doing good in the world.

Describe three things we and/or consumers should know about you. For Collaborative World, GIVING is the brand. Before we were a clothing company, we were a Giving company. It’s not a campaign: it’s the core of who we are. If we were auto mechanics, the model would be the same, we’d just need a much bigger warehouse. We take a “what’s in your hand” approach, and believe that everyone has something to offer to those around them. Whatever you’re good at, you can find a way to make your passion about others. We strive to inspire not just the for-profit world, but every individual to be passionate about love, giving, and nuturing relationships with others. We were inspired by the life-changing work of the non-profits. Instead of creating another one that would compete for their resources, Collaborative World was born to BE a resource to them. We strive to blur the lines between the for-profit and non-profit world, creating a new business model, the Co-Profit. It is our hope that this model creates a business shift, encouraging others to consider how they can Give.

Tell us a few fun facts. We have two celebrity look-alikes (Rainn Wilson and Jeff Goldblum), an Asian Cowboy, a self-proclaimed hypochondriac, a former Tipsy Turtle, a babysitter named Liz who keeps the boys in line and a frog shoe-wearing intern… running a business.

50 50 Our design process is open to everyone. We have printed work by amazing artists from our hometown in Costa Mesa, California. We also work with artists from Seattle, Washington to Cochabamba, Bolivia. Seth Richardson from The Moonsville Collective wears our gear, and he’s a huge deal in our book. If you’re positively impacting lives and waking up everyday looking for opportunities to Give, you’re the new celebrity. We like it when you wear our stuff.

Where would you like your company to be three years from now? Over the next three years, our goal is to grow the brand into a full line of apparel products of the highest design and quality. We want to be a premier brand represented along with other leaders in the industry. Only, we want to lead from a standpoint of managing a people-driven business, one that allows the consumer to participate in the amazing stories happening every day. The reason is simple: As the brand grows, so does the Giving. We’d like to say that in three years we’re no longer a 50/50 brand, but perhaps a 40/60 one instead.

What does changing the world mean to you? A changed world is one in which we all wake up each morning anticipating how we will better love and care for everyone around us. That we would be a people dedicated to compassion in every aspect of our lives. That is a true collaborative world.

Founder: tyler Carroll and dave goodman / 2010 Merchandise: Men’s and women’s apparel Cause: a clothing line found on the sole purpose of giving to the world. Website: www.thecwmovement.com/ THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

15


GET SMART. THE QUEST To makE THE world SmarTEr.

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Whoever said “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” has never met Read Wall. Torn between two career paths– working with a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Africa or starting a clothing company – Wall fused his opportunities to form Read’s Clothing Project (RCP). RCP is a DC-based start-up clothing company with lofty aspirations. Its mission is to create a sustainable fundraising model for schools and other educational opportunities in Africa. 20% of all profits are currently donated to the School of St. Jude in Tanzania, which provides education for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. After Wall’s visit to St. Jude’s in 2008, the school played a role in inspiring him to create RCP. The school is currently RCP’s education partner, but Wall plans to work with more schools in the near future. THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

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Shirts & Accessories starting at $36


Founder: Read Wall / 2010 Merchandise: Men’s Shirts Cause: Read’s Clothing Project donates 20% of all their profits to schools and education programs in Africa. Website: www.readsclothingproject.com/

RCP’s fabrics are sourced from all over the world – cosmopolitan essence sewn into preppy, slim-fitted, men’s button-down shirts for the global sophisticate. Fabrics currently come in Nederlander Royal Oxford, Manchester Gingham, and Pawleys Plaid. They are sold only through RCP’s website and a few carefully selected retailers. True to their cultivated outlook on changing the world, RCP’s shirts have a timeless touch with a great worn-in feel. RCP combines classic styling with a heart for children in Africa. “It’s as if Gitman Vintage started an NGO or if TOMS shoes made awesome button-down shirts. RCP is a unique merging of style and humanitarianism. Look good,feel good, do good.”

R.C.P.

Look good, feel good, do good Photographer: Annabel Park

ModelS: Seth Olson / Wesley Moomaw / Pierson Fode

HAIR&MAKEUP: AVEDA

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BOOTS

warming the world

WE SELL

to tHe fortunAte AND

gIVE BOOTS

TO THE LESS FORTUNATE OUR mISSION IS TO kEEp FEET

WARM & DRY 20

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Founder: Samuel Bistrian / 2010 Merchandise: Rain boots Cause: Providing boots for impoverished children in cold climates Website: www.romaprovisions.com

BOOTS FOr ME BOOTS FOr YOU

STArTING AT $85

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THE YEAR OF REBIRTH


Samuel BiStrian’S family haS a hiStory of helping otherS. After the family was forced to flee from Romania in the wake

Eastern Europe. Thousands of children die every winter from

of the Communist Revolution when Samuel was eight, his

hypothermia and pneumonia, while others lose their toes or

parents instilled within their children the responsibility of

feet due to frostbite.

going back and helping those left behind. Samuel’s older

Bistrian faced many obstacles in Roma Boots’ baby stages,

sister moved back to Romania and started Bethany House,

including an unexpected manufacturing delay during their

a place for orphans, and his oldest brother started a school.

first mass production. Forced to cancel orders and make up

Samuel, visiting Romania and Eastern Europe many times in the decade leading up to 2010, felt the same spark begin to

the cost, Bistrian borrowed money from everyone he knew to get the production underway.

grow. Each time, he would see children walking through the

“For a moment, I thought of giving up,” he said, “but then

snow, mud, and rain with either broken shoes or no shoes at

I realized that thousands of children will suffer a terrible winter

all. Finally, he had seen enough: leaving his successful position

with their feet exposed to the cold elements unless I pursue

at Nieman Marcus, he sold his car and borrowed money from

my dream.”

his family in order to help these children.

He was able to find other stores to purchase the boots

In February 2010, he started Roma Provisions, a socially

and Roma Boots did its first “boot drop” on Christmas Eve of

responsible company dedicated to providing rain boots for

2010. They went out into the streets of Calarasi, Romania,

children living in poverty.

personally found children wearing

The company is named

sandals or broken shoes, and gave

after the Roma or “gypsy” people who make up the largest majority of street children and orphans in

PhotograPher: Dondee Q. ModelS: Najarra Townsend / Karima Carter-Davis hair&MakeuP: AVEDA

thousands of children will suffer a terrible winter with their feet exposed to the cold elements unless i pursue my dream.

them a new pair of boots. Roma Provisions designs and sells rain boots primarily in the United States, while its subsidiary, Roma for All, distributes boots to children living in poverty. With a “buy one, give one” business ethic, Roma Provisions gives a new pair of boots to a child in need for every pair of Roma Boots sold.

With each boot drop, volunteers from the area or from other charities in the area write down the names of the children so that they can be helped again in future. Roma also gives out notebooks, coloring books, and writing utensils to the children in order to further their desire for education. “Our mission is to…provide a comfortable, durable, and practical pair of Roma Boots to every poor child living in cold and wet climates…Rain boots are the most practical and urgent solution due to the climate.” Roma rain boots are exclusively for women and come in plum, navy, grey, taupe, and brown. Made of 100% natural latex rubber construction with black trim, high-gloss or matte finish, they are available in sizes 6, 7, 8, and 9. They are available online and at select retailers across the United States. Each purchase gives an impoverished child a pair of boots.

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While working with NAG International Inc.,

“committed to giving 10% of its profit to improve

a custom jewelry manufacturing company, Kevin

the lives of children in need around the world

Kim wrestled with his desire to fulfill a personal

by both direct and indirect help.” They currently

vision. He wanted to help children in impoverished

sponsor children from Ghana and Ethiopia,

nations. With over 10 years of experience in

covering the children’s living expenses and

“After a visit to the Philippines … where he saw many starving children, Kevin decided enough was enough.” customizing jewelry and specializing in private

their education. Urban Natures hopes

labels, what came naturally to his mind, was to start

to expand to helping children in other

a company that creates jewelry to help children in

parts of Asia, especially the Philippines, in the

need. After a visit to the Philippines in December

near future.

2010, where he saw many starving children, Kevin decided enough was enough. It was time to launch

are made up of hand-enameled designs from

Urban Natures.

necklaces and earrings, as well as crafted

Starting a jewelry manufacturing and importing

24

Inspired by nature, Urban Natures products

metals combined with beads. The jewelry

company was a challenge. Despite the struggle

designs vary and can consist of rhinestones,

for financial stability, Urban Natures kept pressing

Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones, brass,

on, remembering the children they could help

fresh water pearls, and glass and acrylic beads.

through the company’s success. Urban Natures is

The Falling Leaf necklace, which comes in

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Jewelry

Starting at $16

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25


four design colors, is a cleverly crafted necklace with an intricate clasp. Products can be purchased on the website. Currently, Urban Natures sells women’s jewelry, but a men’s line is set to launch in the near future.

Urban natUres is founded on the

Simple Philosophy

• of giving •

hope An d

happiness — t h r o u g h j e w e l ry — Urban Natures is gaining momentum. Disney singer/star Selena Gomez and her group, The Scene, have been spotted wearing the Give Hope bracelet in several performances. Blogs have also featured Urban Natures. At the end of the day, Urban Natures wants its customers to have the assurance that “they are partnering with us to support children in need, while they purchase a unique jewelry design.” Each piece of Urban Natures jewelry is a statement piece with a noble mission. Founder: Kevin Kim / 2011 Merchandise: Jewelry Cause: Children in impoverished nations Website: www.urbannatures.com

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more on urban natures Freedom and Fashion (FNF) Can you summarize

FNF What are some quirky or interesting facts about

your organization in two sentences?

the members, your products or celebs who wear

Urban Natures was founded on the simple philosophy of giving hope and happiness through jewelry. We believe that we can give hope to children in need, and happiness to those who purchase Urban Natures by giving 10% of its profit to improve the lives of children in need around the world by both direct and indirect aid.

your products?

Urban Natures (UN)

FNF Describe four things consumers should know about Urban Natures. UN 1. Our jewelry is one-of-a-kind. Each piece is carefully designed, hand-enameled and hand-finished. 2. One of our top priorities always has been the safety of our products. We have a long operated comprehensive safety and testing program that has been in accordance with the most stringent global safety standards. 3. Many of our sources come from renewable energy. Most of our metals come from recycled jewelry metals. We melt down from the jewelry pieces that are found to have defects during the production or take retired jewelry to reuse them to make brand new Urban Natures’ jewelry. All of our cards for packaging are 100% post consumer recycled paper. Our company purchases office paper with recycled paper content for printing. For printers, we try to use as much recycled and refilled cartridges as possible as well as recycle our used ones. 4. Urban Natures is committed to contributing 10% of its profit to aid children in need directly by traveling to impoverished regions around the world to provide immediate and tangible aid and indirectly by financially supporting children network non-profit organizations like Compassion International. Standing firmly to our core mission, every one of you who purchases Urban Natures’ jewelry would become a sponsor of children in need.

UN Selena Gomez is the biggest fan of our Give Hope bracelet and gold braided snake chain. In fact, she wore our jewelry at the Santa Monica Concert this summer. This was her first comeback concert after being hospitalized. Thanks to Selena! She still continues to wear our jewelry. 90% of our jewelry is made of brass metal and each piece gets carefully hand-enameled which makes each piece unique like one of a kind piece. Compared to the workmanship that we’ve put into, the price is very affordable. Lastly, there is nothing like our designs. Not only because of the hand-enameling and the workmanship process, but also because of our unique designs that integrate Nature. As the result, each creation by Urban Natures is distinctive in its originality. FNF Where do you see Urban Natures in three years? UN My vision is to make Urban Natures a global brand so that every shopping center would have Urban Natures’ stores or products. FNF What does changing the world mean to you? UN Our company believes that changing the world starts from each of us. For us changing the world comes through our jewelry. We believe that we can give hope to children in need around the world and happiness to those who purchase Urban Natures’ Jewelry. Urban Natures is committed to giving 10% of its profit to improve the lives of children in need around the world by both direct and indirect aid. Giving 10% might sound small but still is a place to start for a starting company. We appreciate the opportunity to educate and inspire consumers about children in need around the world and invite them to change the world while shopping for Urban Natures jewelry.

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

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THE YEAR OF REBIRTH


Senhoa’s website might dazzle you with their but underneath that lustrous facade lies a of tragedy & redemption. Hong Le, a 17-year-old Vietnamese girl living in Cambodia, works as a pre-school mentor and has chosen a different path than her mother. Her mother runs an in-home coffee shop by day and moonlights as a sex worker by night. Le, working at a community center co-founded by Senhoa, has escaped becoming part of a disheartening trend:

30%

of the Vietnamese immigration population in Cambodia sells

their daughters to the sex industry to keep the family from poverty.

At Senhoa, Le learns a variety of sustainable techniques such as computer, math, and life skills, which keeps her and other at-risk girls from entering the sex industry. Lisa T. Nguyen, founder of Senhoa, believes that in order to save these young women from dangerous situations such as sex slavery, they need an education. That

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

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30

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH


“Remember that a little girl can have a different ending to her story through this jewelry.” - Lisa Nguyen

Photographer: Dondee Q. MODEL: Karima Carter-Davis HAIR&MAKEUP: AVEDA / Quyen Voung THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

31


is why the foundation offers assistance for victims of human trafficking and endangered girls through incomegenerating opportunities, social reintegration, and Founder: Lisa t.d. nguyen / 2010 Merchandise: high–end Jewelry

programs for self-empowerment. The skills that the foundation teaches at-risk girls

Cause: Supports victims of human trafficking by providing income–generating opportunities, social integration, and programs for self–empowerment

include the creation of high-end jewelry and the ins-and-

Website: www.senhoa.com

gems which are complementary to any outfit or occasion.

outs of running a jewelry business. The girls make the jewelry out of Swarovski crystals and other semi-precious

“We are trying to broaden our non-profit to reach not only ‘socially conscious’ women, but those who are ‘fashionably conscious’ as well.” Jenny Van, the owner and designer of JJBead Shop in Huntington Beach, California, designs the collection for Senhoa and teaches the girls how to create the designs through detailed instructional videos. The 2010 collection is The Pavo and Phoenix collection, a stunning array of drop earrings, bracelets, rings, and bangles. Nguyen says, “Senhoa’s jewelry collections are aimed at high-end fashion and are intricately designed for the modern day woman.” The line evokes just that with pieces such as the Antoinette drop earrings embedded with magnificent tearshaped Swarovski crystals – the perfect companion to any outfit in your closet. You can also swoon over the riveting Audrey necklace with its monochromatic color palette that would make you look ravishing in any setting. Senhoa jewelry has been worn by a diverse range of famous women including Miss Vietnam Global, Canadian singer Divine Brown, and supermodel Cocha Rocha, the last of whom proudly wore a Senhoa Champagne Delight bracelet on her wedding day. All of Senhoa’s accessories are available for purchase on their website. As you view their website to look at their gorgeous jewelry, remember that a little girl can have a different ending to her story through this jewelry. As Senhoa puts it, “This generation will hopefully lay the foundation for the next. And one day, a little girl can remain a little girl.” Make yourself an integral part of the change in these girls’ lives by accessorizing yourself with their beautifully crafted jewelry, and in turn you will adorn them with the hope for a brighter future. 32

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH


our year in freedom March/ interviews and restaffing begin / staff is built / fnf moves from meeting in houses to our office space in little tokyo / april / staff attends cgiu in san diego and learns about world issues / fnf collaborates with ucr for take back the night / model casting and photoshoot prep for the magazine begins / May / fnf holds a human trafficking forum at ucsd / b.kim, ceo lectures at the oc fashion show / preparation begins for a staff trip to cambodia in september / June / fnf starts registering for trademarks status/ fnf journeys to nyc to forge connections / fnf collection is done in-house. / July / the fnf global summer cloud project begins. / staff member journeys to china to work with starfish project / august / fnf unveils revamped blog / staff member goes to el salvador and works with living water international / fundraising continues for cambodia trip / septeMber / fnf is the first non-profit to join fashion night out +artwalk / team of three leaves to cambodia to develop and solidify ties / OctOber / preperations continue for fashion show / nOveMber / year wrap up /

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33


BY GIO PANGINDA I WAS IN FIRST gRADE WHEN I HAD my FIRST kISS. Rosyln, with her flowing brown hair that gleamed with the sun, came

beans is a child labor force that wields machetes, hacking and

over to my desk and gave me an envelope for Valentine’s Day. She

splitting cocoa pods to gather the cocoa beans needed to produce

stood across from me, eagerly waiting for me to open and read it.

chocolate. Working from a young age is a tradition of West African

Nervously, I broke the red heart-shaped seal and took out a card

families, a way to teach the next generation the family trade while

with a picture of a cartoon dinosaur containing a caption that read,

they study concurrently in school. The problem lies in the corruption of this system: it has inevitably fallen into the worst kinds of child labor.

“You’re dino-mite!” My heart fluttered. How did she know that I love dinosaurs?! As Rosyln saw the surprised look on my face, she leaned over and hugged me and that’s when it happened. She gave me my

West African children used to be able to attend school, but with a

first kiss: the chocolate kind.

corrupt government and a down-turning economy, the children are forced to work on their family farms to care for their families. The

That Hershey’s kiss was the start of my craving for chocolate. Research suggests that up to 97 percent of women and 68

the weight of poverty and the exploitation of child traffickers. Child

percent of men experience food cravings, with chocolate being

traffickers capitalize on a family’s desperation by giving them a

the most commonly eaten. Unlike Pavlov’s dog, we don’t need to

different alternative.

be conditioned to desire it; we seem to want it from a young age.

A trafficker tells parents that if their children come work on a

Seeing chocolate on holidays, whether it is in a box, wrapped

cocoa farm, the family would earn more money than if a child

in a foil as a bar, or in the form of an egg, we begin salivating,

stayed on the family farm. In reality, the money the child will send

relishing the aroma and imagining how it would taste in our mouths.

back is often less than expected, but by then it is too late. Steve

Chocolate even has an emotional component for us: we eat it when

Chalke, chairman of Stop the Traffik, has reported that often

we’re happy and crave it even more when we’re sad, devouring

parents knowingly sell their children because they have run out of

chocolate as if it had magical properties that could absorb the pain.

ways to earn money. When buying a child is not an option, child

It’s no surprise that in one year, Americans consume about 2.8 billion

traffickers resort to kidnapping. According to the International Labor

pounds of chocolate, nearly half of the world’s supply of chocolate.

Organization, at least 12,000 children have been trafficked from the

Yet there is a painful story behind almost every chocolate we consume, and when you melt down information about the chocolate industry to its truest form, the taste of the truth leaves an unsettling

34

traditional system of children working has increasingly derailed under

Ivory Coast alone to work in cocoa farms, with many other children trafficked from the surrounding West African countries. Working and living conditions on cocoa farms are hard,

aftertaste. About 60 percent of the world’s cocoa beans come from

unsuited for children. The children live in remote cabins that lack

West African countries: the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, and

running water and electricity. There are no health clinics, so younger

Cameroon. The Ivory Coast produces 43 percent of the world’s

children end up looking after the sick. Many children suffer from

cocoa beans. Behind the successful production of all these cocoa

work-related accidents from the machetes they use to hack cocoa

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH


THIS IS THE IVORy COAST. IN WEST AFRICA.

mANy TImES THEy LOSE THEIR LImBS, CôTE D’IVOIRE

OVER 12,000 CHILDREN HAVE BEEN TRAFFICkED HERE TO HARVEST CACAO BEANS

OR ARE

ExpOSED TO pOISON ALL FOR 80¢ A DAy.

CHILDREN LACk ELECTRICITy, RUNNINg

WATER AND HEALTH CLINICS.

THE IVORy COAST pRODUCES 43 pERCENT OF THE WORLD’S WORLD S COCOA BEANS.

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

35


beans, as well as back injuries from constantly carrying heavy

in the first place. But we can help in practical ways. According to

loads. Even worse, some of the children are forced to apply

the March 2011 Tulane University research report on international

pesticides on cocoa trees without the use of protective clothing,

child labor, the chocolate companies Mars, Nestle, Kraft and Cargill

which is not only hazardous for a child’s health but has long-term

have all “demonstrated the market viability of product certification

negative effects on the nervous system and endocrine system.

with their significant commitments to buy certified cocoa.” These

School is not an option as children are forced to work long hours

companies have made a step in the right direction, but still need

in intense heat. Any attempt to escape the cocoa farm is met with

to be more transparent to their customers. Hershey is the biggest

severe beatings.

chocolate company that needs to make a commitment. The biggest

After the cocoa beans are harvested by the children, the

way we can help is to overwhelm the chocolate companies with our

beans are sold at commodities exchanges. Major chocolate

letters demanding they raise the standard of their chocolates. We

producers such as Nestle, Hershey, and Cadbury buy these cocoa

can refuse to buy the chocolate from these companies until they take

beans and they are shipped, processed, and modified in other

the step to protect the children. But there’s more; we can directly

countries into the chocolate we eat. The result has made chocolate

purchase fair trade chocolate.

a multibillion-dollar industry – while the children who harvest the cocoa beans make an average of 80 cents a day. Trader Joe’s is known for stocking fair trade brand coffee, but not many people know that it also has a collection of fair trade In 2001, the first major legislation to govern the process of

chocolate. I recently made a trip down their chocolate aisle, a

chocolate making was passed: the Harkin-Engel Protocol, also

chocolate enthusiast’s form of heaven; there are chocolate bars as

known as the Cocoa Protocol. The Protocol set up an advisory

big as an iPad! I bought a fair trade Swiss dark chocolate bar and a

committee which implemented a series of standards and public

Swiss milk chocolate bar for $1.99 each. I took a quick sniff of the

certifications. Groups belonging to the World Cocoa Foundation

aroma surrounding the wrapper and the potent smell of cacao was

and Chocolate Manufacturers Association committed to the

both alluring and overwhelming.

Protocol to end the worst types of child labor in cocoa production, but not child labor in its entirety. Currently, the Ivory Coast labor

Foods, and you can also find fair trade chocolate online, such as

laws has set its minimum age requirement for “hazardous work” to

Theo Chocolate, Shaman’s Chocolate, and Nirvana Chocolate.

18 and “light agricultural work” at 12, but the country’s Ministry

For a full list of fair trade products and items, head over to the Fair

of Labor isn’t effective in preventing the cocoa farms that exploit

Trade USA website. The Free2Work organization has an iPhone

children.

and Android application that can be downloaded from their site

The average person in the U.S. cannot change government

and gives a report card rating for a list of companies based on the

policies in the West African countries, or fix the economy which

company’s “supply chain transparency, code of conduct, response to

drives the poverty and leads to the exploitation of the children

child and forced labor, and overall efforts to empower workers.”

WHAT’S

E D A R T R I FA

CHOCOLATE? Think you can’t make a difference against Hersheys, Cadbury, Mars and Nestle in the fair trade awareness? Here’s a brief explaination on how the process works.

36

There are other stores that carry fair trade chocolate, like Whole

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

CACAO BEANS ARE HARVESTED By DIgNIFIED FARmERS.

pRICES ARE TRADED FAIRLy FOR BOTH FARmER & pRODUCERS.


CHOCOLATE mONEy BROkEN DOWN.

68%

OF ALL CHOCOLATE COmES FROm AFRICA.

FOR EVERY DOLLAR SPENT ON CHOCOLATE:

TOp 3 CACAO pRODUCERS IN THE WORLD

34%

CôTE D’IVOIRE

70¢

GOES DIRECTLY TO THE CACAO PRODUCER

GOES DIRECTLY TO THE CHOCOLATE INDUSTRY

18% gHANA

15%

INDONESIA

0.1%

OF ALL CACAO IS FAIR TRADE

A sense of joy flooded my guilt-free conscience because of

situation. You get the flavor of high quality Swiss chocolate, as well as

supporting something fair trade. Although fair trade brand chocolate

the confidence of knowing the ingredients were purchased in a socially

was a few cents more than the popular brands, you and I have

responsible manner. How sweet it is.”

purchasing power and the mere act is a form of protest against exploitation. The writing on the wrapper put it best: “Fair Trade chocolate helps contribute to a better way of life for farmers and

I took a bite out of my new fair trade chocolate bar, quietly relishing my

their families. This method of buying cocoa beans and sugar offers

small form of protest. In its sweetness there’s a hope of freedom for the

small-scale growers a fair price for their harvest. It’s a win-win

West African children – and there’s no better taste than that.

FARmERS ARE ABLE TO ExpAND AND pAy FAIR WAgES TO WORkERS.

CHOCOLATE IS ENjOyED gUILT-FREE

CONSUmERS HAVE BUyINg pOWER OVER COmpANIES

Ain’t that Sweet? THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

37


thE StoRY oF

Tiffany MesTer Tiffany is a living testament to the darkness of this world and the possibility of hope if action is taken. Living with domestic abuse from a young age, she experienced the worst kinds of sexual abuse and exploitation. Her story is a lens into the reality of the sex slavery going on all around us.

O

ne of the few to have completely escaped from that life, Tiffany has turned it around to help those abused like her, and now speaks out with a powerful voice.

Tiffany’s earliest memories are of abuse. Born to unmarried parents who separated, Tiffany was placed with her father and a stepmother when she was 5. She lived with them for seven years of abuse and torment.

Forced to stand in corners for days with a web camera trained on her to watch her every move, she would be punished if she moved. Once, when she moved out of the corner while her father and stepmother were gone, her father came back and beat her 200 times with a stick. Another

time, her stepmother, in a fury, filled a peanut butter sandwich with the lint and rubbish from the contents of a vacuum bag, and made her eat it. Tiffany, already a victim of domestic abuse, became a victim of sexual abuse not long after, when a friend of the family began molesting her.

at 12 YEaRS oLd i ran away.

“My dad had a friend who would come over and he would touch me in inappropriate ways…I was afraid to do anything about it – I was 11 years old.” When her stepmother found out, instead of doing something about it, she pulled Tiffany aside and told her that she would never be anything but a whore. “She yell [ed] that I would be nothing more than a prostitute and whore and that I was ugly and worth nothing. Those words still haunt me to this day, that she thought that I was nothing. My whole life, my childhood was one of abuse.” When Tiffany was 12, her stepmother and father divorced, and she went to live with her father. Soon after he was arrested for drug use, and she

went to live in San Diego with the birth mother she hadn’t seen in years. The home situation was one of constant conflict and verbal abuse, and when her older sister decided to run away, Tiffany went with her. The two wound up in Los Angeles

at 11 YEaRS oLd i was molested.

38

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH


with some of her sister’s male friends – where what began as an adventure turned into a harsh reality. My sister, who knew what was going on, said “I’ll show you what to do. That night she took me to the streets and showed me how to work and prostitute myself...The first time I walked on the streets to work I was 14 years old.”

"afTer a few days of being on The run wiTh These Men They sTopped us and said ‘you need To Make Money, you need To earn your keep. you can’T jusT live for free.’”" After working on the streets for two weeks and witnessing her sister getting raped and battered, Tiffany decided that the life of forced prostitution wasn’t for her. Going back to San Diego, she entered a recovery home – her first glimpse of normality and peace.

OK

OK OK

at 15 YEaRS oLd i fell in love.

“I didn’t have to walk around on tippy toes to not disturb anybody, to not make anybody mad. It was just really relaxing and refreshing.” Leaving the recovery home after a few months, she soon found herself trapped back into the lifestyle she had fled from. She met a pimp who began pursuing her romantically, and she ended up going out with him. “I was almost 15 years old when I met him and I was so desperate for love and attention...he listened to everything, all my sad stories of my childhood. I wanted to believe desperately that he wouldn’t pimp me out.” After they had dated for five months, he asked her to work for him. She agreed. Barely 15, Tiffany worked on the streets for a year and a half. “During that time period I had guns to my head, had a knife to my throat. I’ve had to fight countless men off of me because they were trying to rob or beat me; had to jump out of a car on the freeway because they were trying to kidnap me. It’s been a really brutal lifestyle. At one point in time my quota was $2500 and if I did not make that quota I couldn’t come home. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat – I had to stay working on the street until I could make that quota…When I couldn’t make

the quota [my pimp] raped me and beat me. I was defenseless; I couldn’t do anything about it. I worked for him for about a year and a half and by the time I was done I was 16.” At 16, she was arrested and put into juvenile hall. After being released, she was put on probation for a year. Her pimp wanted her to run away with him, but she refused. “A couple days after that he got arrested and went to jail for five years for having cocaine on him. By the grace of God that’s where our ties got severed because I couldn’t see him anymore.” A few months after freeing herself from her pimp, Tiffany began dating her cousin’s best friend, Steven. Meanwhile, Tiffany’s mother had begun smuggling undocumented immigrants across the Mexican border, and she pressured the couple to make money to help the family live. Tiffany and Steven began helping her. Later, after Steven was arrested and then let go, they switched to robbery and selling drugs. “We did countless robberies and held people up at gunpoint and just did a lot of illegal activities while we were together.” That relationship ended in violence, however, when Tiffany became pregnant. She went into labor early and lost the babies. Devastated, Steven became violent. He began threatening to kill her, and Tiffany left him. Tiffany had maintained straight A’s in school during this entire time, and soon got her GED (the only person in her family to get a high school diploma). She began attending college and found something that made her feel whole for the first time – art. THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

39


‘god – if you want me here you need to show me.’ “[Art] gave me an opportunity to express myself subconsciously, and while I’m expressing myself I can work through my problems…It was very therapeutic for me.” But her brush with happiness and normality was short-lived. About a year after her breakup with Steven, she met and began dating an acquaintance of his. After a few months he invited her to a Super Bowl party. There, her world crashed in again. “He drugged me and raped me and let his friends rape me. I woke up about 3 a.m. in a daze. My face was completely black and blue. I was battered but I couldn’t remember anything. They said I got in a fight. Later in the day I had a flashback and remembered what happened. I just freaked out and broke down. I’ve been raped on the streets while I worked but never had it happen to me while I wasn’t working.” Broken and reeling with confusion about why another terrible thing had happened to her, Tiffany turned to marijuana for answers, and spent the following summer questioning everything. And then something happened that would provide her with the answers she was looking for. “After summer a friend invited me to go to church with him. I stood outside the church smoking a cigarette and said, ‘God if you want me here you need to show me.’ I was three hours early: I was beyond nervous and I desperately

wanted this relationship with our Maker, but I couldn’t figure out if He wanted it with me. So I gave him an option and I said ‘this is all you have, take it or leave it.’” Entering the Rock Church in San Diego, Tiffany could have no way of knowing that her life was about to be changed forever. The speaker that day was from JC’s Girls ministry at the Rock, a ministry founded by a former stripper that reaches out to adult entertainment workers. “This woman…was sharing her testimony and she was a high-end escort, which is basically a high-end prostitute and it just hit me at home to know that God loved me and could use me in the same way he was using her. That’s when I gave my life up to Christ and decided to completely change everything.” Tiffany quit drugs, smoking, and partying, and dedicated herself to God, finding a healing there that she hadn’t found in drugs or boyfriends or anything else in her difficult life. “The Bible verse that most touched me was John 8 – the whole chapter…the Pharisees bring an adulteress woman to Jesus and they want to stone her and Jesus says, ‘he who is without sin cast the first stone.’ That really strikes me because everyone’s sinful yet so many people try to judge and so it’s a matter of understanding and not judging…and loving each other.”

"i’ve forgiven my pimp, my ex-boyfriend, my sister… it’s kind of how i deal with the pain i went through as a young adult and as a child." 40

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

Over the next three years, Tiffany found healing to a miraculous extent. “I’ve forgiven my pimp, my ex-boyfriend, my sister…It’s kind of how I deal with the pain I went through as a young adult and as a child.” She also began studying art at Southwestern College, which has helped her recover. “[Art] gives me a way to express myself, to see who I am in God and who God is in me…It excite[s] me to have those eyes, to be able to see and share God’s love in those ways.” In the healing process, she has also gained perspective on what she went through. Human trafficking is often thought of as only the forcible moving of people across borders for the sake of trafficking. In reality, Tiffany began to see it is any act undertaken for the purpose of exploiting people. “At the time I wasn’t willing to admit that I was a victim of human trafficking because I was a prostitute, human trafficking is [different]. But I started working with victims of human trafficking and I realized I was a victim.” Tiffany can testify to the traumas that victims of sexual exploitation and human trafficking suffer. “There are many psychological aftermaths of human trafficking. For me I wasn’t comfortable with myself…I have or did have many problems with trusting people. I was always on edge, not really feeling safe in my surroundings. A lot of victims of human trafficking suffer similar things to war veterans – PTSD, loss of sleep… the core of that person has been totally broken and molded into something else.” If she could, Tiffany would tell a victim just one thing.


“One thing that I would want a victim that’s in the life to know is that they are of treasure and of worth and that they don’t need to find their value in money, in men, in friendship or anything like that. Those things let you down and God will never let you down…The things on earth that you put your value in fail. God does not.” Of her former life, Tiffany says fiercely, “I once was a slave to human trafficking and now I’m free.”

Meant for More

Growing up in a world of constant abuse and sexual exploitation, and having surviving through all of it, Tiffany was always haunted by a feeling that there was something more, something better out there for her, even if she didn’t know what it was.

"i once was a slave to human trafficking and now i’m free."

“When I experienced all these bad things happening to me I felt like there was something better…I can’t exactly put it into words, I just knew that something was strong inside of me and I felt like I was being called to do something.”

at 20 YEaRS oLd i became free.

One part of that “something” may be rescuing girls like herself. Tiffany is currently the outreach leader at Hidden Treasures Ministry at the Rock Church, where she leads a team that reaches out to women being prostituted on the streets.

talked for about half an hour and she told me that she knew I was different, that she could see the light of God in me, that she could see the Holy Spirit, and it just struck me that…she could see that transformation.”

“I’ve helped rescue women; I’ve stayed the nights with them in emergency hotels and walked with them through their recovery… I also work with kids at the church to make sure they don’t follow suit with what I did… That alone is a blessing, to be able to see people get out of the lifestyle, to know that I can help change people.”

Tiffany has a dream even beyond her Hidden Treasures work, however – one she’s had ever since she was a child. This dream would enable thousands of people to see and experience that same transformation, and to hear through her the reality of sex slavery.

One day, she experienced a small miracle. “One time I was on the street outreach and I was talking to this woman who I had seen a few times on the street before when I was working as a kid and she said, ‘You know, I remember you,’ and we

“[You] are of treasure and of worth and [you] don’t need to find your value in money, in men, in friendship or anything like that. Those things let you down and God will never let you down... The things on earth that you put your value in fail. God does not.”

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

41


T S U M D A E R girls Like us / Rachel Llyod rachel Lloyd is an executive director of Girls educational and mentoring services (Gems), but before she was an executive director of one the most groundbreaking nonprofit organization tin the u.s., she lived a life of abuse. in “Girls Like us,” she shares her life in the world of the commercial sex industry. from starting out as a 13-yearold sex slave to breaking free from her pimp, earning her GeD, and winning full scholarships to college and a graduate program, rachel Lloyd reveals her past and shares stories of the girls whose lives she has helped through Gems. this book is about one woman’s escape from one of the darkest industries of society today.

All that Is Bitter & Sweet: A Memoir / ashley Judd Award-wining actress, humanitarian, and advocate Ashley Judd shares a memoir of her own pain and how she has drawn from it the courage to serve others. called a “friend of the world’s forgotten” for her activism in slums, brothels, clinics, and orphanages, she reveals a childhood of neglect, molestation, and occasional abuse. her trip to the brothels and hospices of southeast Asia shaped her path to forgiveness and activism. “All that is bitter & sweet” is a story of heartbreak, courage, and resilience.

Ending Slavery / Kevin Bales Kevin bales’ Disposable People, a comprehensive look at world slavery, was featured in last year’s freedom and fashion magazine, “ending slavery” is the followup to that book, from one of the world’s leading slavery experts. bales gives a thorough overview of modernday slavery, then provides an in-depth guide to ending it at each of its levels, from the individual to the community to the international. immensely informative and inspiring, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the topic.

42

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

the Culture of Make Believe derrick Jensen Derrick Jensen, an award-winning author, explores the root of evil through a detailed look at history. beginning with imperialism and slavery, he tracks hatred and darkness, touching on subjects such as hunger, pollution, child prostitution, and other crimes of human injustice. critiquing the consumerism of Western culture and the indifference of a media which downplays horrors against humanity, he provides a searing and wide-ranging look at world evil.


T S U M ch t a w

T S U M T I S I V

Holly

IJM (International Justice Mission)

in 2003, the redlight children campaign and Priority films joined forces to launch the most comprehensive film project about child trafficking to date. holly is the project’s center film, a gripping story based on the writer’s real-life experiences in cambodia. Patrick (ron Livingston of sex and the city) is an American stolen artifacts dealer living in cambodia, comfortably numb with the country’s realities. then he meets holly, a 12-year-old Vietnamese girl who has just been sold into child trafficking. Patrick embarks on a desperate quest to save her from her fate. out of thousands, he is determined to save one.

http://www.ijm.org/

Sex + Money Driven by their passion for photography, a young group of photojournalists take on more than 20 countries to bring a collection of photos and stories to shed light on human trafficking. After returning from their travels, they put together a book and later a film that offer readers a global perspective on the dire issue.

the Whistleblower An all-star cast of international actors came together for this gripping tale of conspiracy and justice based on a reallife united nations cover-up. Kathy (Academy Award winner rachel Weisz) is an American police officer who goes to post-war bosnia as a peacekeeper, hoping to help the ravaged country. instead, she uncovers a bitter reality of sex slavery, corruption, and conspiracy. Alone, she fights for the truth. the film also stars Academy Award winner Vannessa redgrave, monical belluci, and Academy Award nominee David straitharn.

one of the leading human rights organizations in the world, iJm operates in countries all over the world to rescue victims of individual human rights abuse. the website features breaking stories of hope and rescue as well as a wealth of information and opportunities to get involved.

Anti-Slavery http://www.antislavery.org/english/ Anti-slavery international, based in the uK, is the world’s oldest international human rights organization. it works at local, national, and international levels to eliminate all forms of slavery around the world. the website features comprehensive and fascinating reports on all aspects of slavery, as well as striking stories of modern-day slaves and what is being done to help them.

Change.org http://news.change.org/humantrafficking one of the most effective petition and social activism sites in the u.s., change.org works with over 1000 of the largest non-profits in the world and boasts a team of hundreds of journalists and organizers. the website has a petition section for anti-human trafficking petitions and one of the best blogs out there for human trafficking topics.

Fair trade uSA http://www.transfairusa.org/ operating with the idea that every purchase matters, fair trade usA dreams of a world where u.s. consumers can choose a “fair trade Lifestyle” and shop responsibly in every product category. the beautiful website is nformative, interactive, and rich in resources that will help you live a fair trade lifestyle.

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MODELS FOR CHRIST “Our missiOn is tO glOrify gOd by presenting the gOspel Of Christ in and thrOugh the fashiOn industry as we enCOurage industry prOfessiOnals tO knOw, lOve, and hOnOr gOd”

Models for Christ was founded by husband and wife Jeff Calenberg and Laura Krauss in 1984, with the revolutionary goal of guiding Christians through the sometimes unscrupulous fashion industry. Jeff Calenberg, who had seen the need for spiritual support for people in the fashion industry while traveling and modeling around the world in 1982, felt driven to do something about it. When he and Laura met while modeling for Elite in New York, they began a small Bible study for models in New York City. Since then, Models for Christ has grown and expanded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Weekly Bible studies are currently held in NYC, LA, and Miami, with over 500 members in New York City alone, and partners have sprung up in Paris, London, Berlin, and Tokyo. “More and more MFC’s are being planted in fashion cities around the world,” current MFC director Christina Nearman reports, and MFC’s ultimate goal is to have support or an MFC branch in every city members travel to in the course of their careers. Meanwhile, MFC members who are traveling can take advantage of weekly online Bible studies, prayer, and support.

Anyone in the fashion industry is welcomed, and while some misconceptions about the organization originally occurred, these have dissolved over the course of time. Believers and unbelievers in the fashion industry are invited to the MFC weekly meetings, and, often fashion professionals are thankful to be connected with others going through and understanding the challenges they face. MFC is “a safe and intimate place that models, makeup artists, photographers, stylists etc. may come and be real and be supported”. “Christians in the fashion industry have the same struggles as every other person, but often these struggles are heightened because of…a focus on outward beauty, sexuality, etc”, reports Christina Nearman. “Wrong focus will often lead to drug/ alcohol/sex addiction, insecurity, eating disorders, depression, financial strain, suicide, and other serious problems at a young age. Jesus went to those struggling the most, and He brought hope”. One model, named Christina, came to MFC in the grip of alcoholism and depression. When she tried to commit suicide three times, MFC members flocked to her side to be there for her and to pray for her. After coming to know Jesus as her Savior, she grew in her relationship with God over the course of many months. She is now married, free from both alcoholism and depression, and reaching out to others who struggle. “[The fashion industry] may be a difficult place, but it may also be where one may shine the brightest and help those that are hurting”, says Ms. Nearman. MFC has made a difference in hundreds of models’ lives. 44

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the things we love /

/ freedom and fashion tell me tote

a CURatEd CoLLECtion oF oUR UR P PiCKS thiS YEaR

/ r.c.p p gingham bowtie

/ urban natures iris necklace / senhoa byzantine earrings

/ collaborative world 50/50 t-shirt

/ roma plum shiny rainboots / r.c. r.c.p c.p c. .p madras button-up button up shirt buttonTHE YEAR OF REBIRTH

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/ allison parris white beaded fringe / freedom and fashion love bunny mongolia

/ kristinit camel coat

/ anita arze ‘nina’ black crochet & ‘blossom’ crochet tunic 46

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SEX &TECHNOLOGY technology has many uses, mostly to help us facilitate life.But there is a dark side to technology that isn’t often talked about. Freedom and Fashion uncovers the truth behind the Internet.

In the Hollywood classic “Pretty Woman”, a handsome john named Edward pulls up in his silver Lotus Esprit SE to the beautiful prostitute Vivian to ask for her services for the night. Hollywood has historically often glamorized the illegal industry of prostitution. The truth of the relationship between a sex buyer and prostitute is far from the magic of movies. In the 21st century, prostitution is still thriving, but not always in the ways it was before; it has expanded beyond the street business portrayed in “Pretty Woman” and in the media. Nowadays, a faceless and techno-literate john rolls up his sleeves and turns to his silver Macbook or PC to choose his own version of “Vivian”. It could be a girl barely turned 13 who was picked off her pink bicycle in Mexico by some local traffickers. Or a young mother in Russia who left her country and her family to pursue a “job” she found on the Internet, and was forced into a different kind of work than she expected. Both are common stories, and have become a 21st-century horror tale instead of a fairytale. The unadulterated truth is that many women and girls globally can be delivered to the sex buyer’s door with a click of a mouse. Prostitution and sexual exploitation perpetrators are now foregoing the crumbling street corners and back alleys and adapting to the new way to set up shop -- virtually. Dr. Melissa Farley, a clinical psychologist who founded the non-profit Prostitution Research & Education, states that, “Fifty years ago, you had traffickers and pimps

doWnLoAd StARtIng...

written by Yen Le

selling women on the streets. Today, those transactions are happening online, and according to estimates from the police in Syracuse, New York, 90% of all prostitution in their city has moved to the Internet. I don’t think that’s atypical.” Most organized prostitution cartels, traffickers, and pimps embrace new technology, since it offers the advantages of being cheap, profitable, and easy to use for illegal purposes without attracting the attention of law enforcement. For example, through the simple investment of a webcam and high-speed Internet, a pimp can force a prostitute to do strip shows, live sex shows, and explicit chats. The images and video clips are then bought by sex buyers who can view it multiple times and then share it with others via peer-to-peer networks and file swapping programs like Napster, Scour Exchange, and Gnutella. Perpetrators get away with these corrupt practices because these programs have no centralized server so there is no record of transmission. The law has a hard time following up on technological changes, and law enforcements agents still don’t have the proper training or tools to track online sex criminals. Professor Donna M. Hughes, a world-renowned researcher of the trafficking of women and girls, stated

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the following in a 2001 article on information technology and sexual exploitation: “Technology has given the sex industry new means of exploiting, marketing, and delivering women and children as commodities to male buyers. A general principle to remember is this: When new technology is introduced into a system of exploitation it enables those with power to intensify harm and expand the exploitation. This characterizes what is happening as predators and pimps move to the Internet to stalk and market girls and women.” Among many ways that perpetrators and pimps pursue women and girls on the Internet is by perusing social media, chat rooms, and dating sites. It is an excellent way for them to pursue individuals and build relationships with their prey, until they eventually ask to “meet-up.” Many go so far as give their victims money for travel – buying them plane tickets and providing the necessary documentation to leave the country. A local contact is then enlisted to help transport the woman or girl to their location. Upon arriving, the victim quickly finds out that they are being trafficked, but by then they are trapped. A succession of beatings and forced drug usage strikes fear into victims’ hearts and deters them from running away. Shortly after this grotesque initiation phase, the girls are forced into prostitution – via either the web or live johns. When asked what was the most common way men used the Internet for sex, beyond pornography, Dr. Farley replied, “They are linked. I think we make a mistake of separating pornography, from trafficking, from prostitution. It’s especially clear to many of us on the web that pornography is advertising for prostitution, since a man is now just paying and directing women virtually to do sexual acts in order for them to masturbate. It’s actually not much different then the traditional route of both parties being in the same room together.” Sex buyers from across the globe have access to these images and videos immediately and anonymously by simply logging on to their favorite site. It’s less risky for them to seek an easy outlet for their sexual appetites at home rather than go out and hunt the streets to satiate their desires. The web offers a one-stop sexual shopping experience. Dr. Farley named Eros.com as one of the most ubiquitous websites. It includes everything 48

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Technology has given the sex industry new means of exploiting, marketing, and delivering women and children as commodities to male buyers. - Professor Donna M. Hughes

ExPLoItAtIon CEntRAL never has prostitution and trafficking been more central– ized and easier to hide. From the streets to the screen, technology has facilitated the guise of Johns as well as making them harder to track around the world.


doWnLoAdIng... from reviews of massage parlors and brothels in the area to the opportunity to book sex tours, download videos, and buy sex toys without the feeling of public shame. That feeling of shame is experienced solely by their victims, the women and girls whose images and videos are plastered on the web to be immortalized and circulated even after they leave the sex trade and escape that life. Dr. Farley comments, “When photographs or pornography are taken of their prostitution, they are haunted by that for the rest of their lives. Today, it’s online and all over the web. Their kids might see it.” Rampant misuse of the Internet for sexual exploitation and human trafficking needs to be stopped so that no one has to face this fear. We need legislation that makes pursuing this problem a priority. New laws need to reflect the new kinds of cyber-crime that are springing up – laws to prosecute criminals that try to use the web as a means to recruit or trafficked human beings. On a local level, law enforcement agencies in high-risk areas need grants and funding for human trafficking departments. Agents need to be equipped and trained to utilize the latest technology to combat pimps and organized crime groups. We can actively fight online sex slavery and trade by using the web ourselves to save individuals that have been kidnapped or forced into sexual service. Report disturbing websites that you suspect are trying to facilitate or recruit human beings for sexual exploitation. Harness social media as a way to warn family and friends against the dangers that are present in social media platforms. We fight a daily, often unconscious battle to protect ourselves and our loved

doWnLoAd noW thE intERnEt & PoRnogRaPhY $3,075.64 is spent on pornography every second.

25,258 users

are viewing pornography every second.

12% (25Million Sites) of the Internet is filled with Pornography

40 Million

American users are regular visitors to porn sites.

ones from danger. The difference now is that we need to step up to take that battle to the enemy and to fight online as well as in real life. The beloved story of Edward meeting Vivian is a lovely fairytale, but it’s also an arrow pointing at what is a bitter reality. Vivian was trapped in a profession she would never have personally chosen, and her “prince”, though he did ultimately save her, was no more than a john, a customer. Vivian’s situation is one faced by millions of prostitutes all over the world, but for them, love is not part of their story – there is often no escape. There can be no happy ending – unless we give it to them. doWnLoAd CoMPLEtE.

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the new 2011 Freedom and Fashion’s 2011 product is a sophisticated, black-and-gray carry-all. The "Tell Me" Tote is versatile, stylish, and a silent testimony of hope and survival. Handmade in Cambodia by women rescued from

sex-trafficking,

this

exclusive,

limited edition bag was designed by Freedom and Fashion’s own Eshie Kim. The fabric is lightweight wafer woven material while the contrast black straps are nylon polyester. The adjustable shoulder straps can be detached to instantly transform the tote from a purse to a book-bag. Freedom

and

Fashion’s

signature

"F"

emblem appears on the right corner, denoting quality and freedom. Proceeds from sales support Freedom and Fashion and Millionkids.org, an organization which fights child trafficking. The Tell Me Tote will be an evolving product made by the women of Cambodia, so watch out for our latest designs.

$40

per tote.

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the

very lovable

"For some, innocence was lost. For others, innocence was taken. In places like Africa, Cambodia, India, Mongolia, North Korea, and Thailand, women and children had their innocence lost and taken as they became victims of human and sex trafficking. Freedom and Fashion members Rea Kim and Carol Shih thought about the word ‘innocence’ and what it meant. They both saw that even symbols of innocence, like the bunny, have been given sexual overtones in today’s society. Wanting to reclaim the symbol of innocence, Kim and Shih designed and created Freedom and Fashion’s 2010 product: LoveBunnies. The LoveBunnies are felt pins, 2.5” tall, made of fair-trade wool felt by Freedom and Fashion’s partner, Made in Mongolia. First introduced at the 5th annual Talent 1 Media Film Festival, and later featured at Freedom and Fashion’s 2nd annual fashion show, the bunnies wear various outfits representing countries that have high counts of trafficking. Proceeds from the sales of the bunnies

$25

per bunny

help fight human and sex trafficking. Buy one now and wear it to promote love, reclaim the meaning of innocence, and take a stand for justice."

DID YOU KNOW... the bunny. once seen as a symbol of innocence, is now portrayed as a sex symbol. freedom and fashion seeks to redeem the bunny in order to set people free.

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THE 2011

‘REBIRTH’ COLLECTION FREEDOM AND FASHION explores the depths and intricacies of a renewed identity through water and recycled materials in their newest couture line FASHION DESIGNER / ESHIE KIM

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY / DONDEE Q.

MODEL / domonique sharpe

HAIR / AVEDA


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What Was the inspiration for this collection? hoW does this collection represent the 2011 freedom and fashion theme of rebirth? the inspiration behind the 2011 FnF collection is based on the quintessence of water. in keeping with the element of water, the beta fish played a big role in the color direction and mood. We wanted to create a collection of pieces that represented new life–clothing that comes alive in color, movement, shape, and fluidity. the theme of “Rebirth” for this year’s show is in exact relativity to this collection, collection, and also true of the process in making these garments. Each article of clothing is a found vintage piece that has been refashioned into a new garment, giving new breath into what was once old and forgotten and transforming it into clothing of ethereal beauty. 54

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The Inana Lady of heaven 56

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What WordS or iMageS did you have iN your MiNd WheN you Were creatiNg thiS collectioN? Pick three WordS that deScribe thiS collectioN. rebirth, Celestial, and Cosmos. rebirth was the first word that i had to ingrain into my thoughts and research as i began working on this collection. it is described as: a renewed existence, activity, or growth- and that is exactly what Freedom and Fashion (FNF) is all about. To stray away from this philosophy for this collection would undermine all the efforts that FNF strives into bringing light into the darkest places and misdeeds of this world. The crux of FNF is to redeem and reinstate those who have been afflicted by injustice and affect global change by reshaping public opinion and widespread awareness, and i wanted to mirror the beauty of our goals in the rebirth of clothing. Celestial is the second word i chose, because i wanted the garments to embody an otherworldly perspective. i felt that the apparel should not be confined into any particular time or place in history. Cosmos was the third word that is reflective in these pieces, for there is a unity and harmony between the garments; they are intended to be one – to reflect and affect each other so that as a group, it is identifiable that they belong together.

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What PerSoNal exPerieNceS or eMotioNS led you to create thiS collectioN? iS there a Particular aSPect oF ModerN-day Slavery or iNjuStice that troubleS you the MoSt? When i started praying and brainstorming for this collection, one of the things that i wanted to portray was the idea of reshaping what we identify as beauty. The ever-debilitating concept of beauty and misuse of its power is the most troublesome problem i see today. Beauty is now replaced for sex appeal. Sex appeal is causing young men and women around the globe to have a twisted view of self-esteem and even love. The media portrays women as objects and it causes both men and women to fall under the curse of lust. Because of lust, people are looking for more sex- more sex in TV, movies, music, books, magazines, clothing, etc. And i am positive that most people are ignorant to this kind of curse. Little do we know that the porn industry is actually promoting dirty sex: prostitution and child pornography, rape, and sex slavery/trafficking are examples of why our view of sex and love is taintedand as we allow these things to be acceptable and prevalent in our culture, more innocent people are forced to be mistreated and abused against their will for the pleasure and profit of someone else. The injustice of sex trafficking and prostitution has caused me to root this collection in romance and in a comely fashion so that it would reinstate Freedom and Fashion’s call to deliverance and justice.

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“tHe InjuStICe of Sex trAffICkIng And proStItutIon HAS CAuSed me to root tHIS CoLLeCtIon In romAnCe”

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The Poudre d’or Dress Gold Dust 60

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WAS THErE ANYTHiNG ABOuT THE PrOCESS OF DESiGNiNG THE COLLECTiON THAT SurPriSED YOu, Or SOMETHiNG THAT CHANGED BETWEEN THE BEGiNNiNG AND THE END OF DESiGN? Most definitely, as i near toward the end of the collection a lot of my initial sketches have changed. i am surprised to see the final product from sketch to wearable garment. it is always exciting to see your thoughts come to life. Every time i put fabric on the mannequin to drape and figure out what to cut and what to add to each garment, i have to remind myself that this represents a person in need of rescue and restoration. i have been learning mostly about human emotion and allowing emotion to be executed through visual representation. From beginning to end in designing this collection, the common thread will always have been - What more can be done? is this its final entity? Have i captured the mood and spirit of FNF?

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hoW did you get iNvolved With FreedoM aNd FaShioN? What haS that exPerieNce beeN like? i got involved with Freedom and Fashion through a friend named Merely Avessel. i wanted to devote myself this year specifically through aspects of compassion and mercy and felt compelled to give my time, thoughts, prayers, and skill towards reaching unreached people. For the most part, i am just so thankful that there are so many people even in our team that are so full of love and talent. They are incredibly selfless and they are givers. Just knowing that we are working so hard toward one goal and one end really encourages and excites me to continue to be a voice for the voiceless and to live to serve and love others. (Thank you Freedom fighters for your hard work, talent, and love. i am blessed because of you!)


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The Willow Dress 64

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The Vida Dress 66

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“I HAve to remInd mYSeLf tHAt [eACH pIeCe] repreSentS A perSon In need of reSCue & reStorAtIon.”

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freedom. is the oxygen of the soul. - Moshe Dayan

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thiS collectioN bleNdS FaShioN aNd activiSM. iS thiS a treNd iN the FaShioN World? The 2011 FNF collection partakes in the vision and call for activists to engage in the move toward global justice. There are so many non-profit organizations established in our world already who are doing their part to alleviate and promote social justice for mankind. We are not the pioneers of using products to promote freedom, but i would say we are very lucky to have the capabilities and support to showcase our art. Activism and Art can very much join hands to reach our world- especially the young generation of people around the globe who is moved and influenced by art and media. Hopefully when our voice and our vision is heard and seen tangibly, it would revolutionize the fashion world- one stepping stone at a time.

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r I S I N G A P r O B L E M A rISe.

CArrY on.

written by edItH YAng “They just have daddy issues,” A friend declared matter-of-factly after I told him about Rachel Lloyd’s Very Young Girls, a documentary recounting the lives of teenage girls trying to get out of New York City’s sex industry. He then added, “Pimps offer protection to the girls.” Later, a man who admitted to buying a prostitute (a john) told me, “It’s just a business transaction. Sex is almost important as money.”

dollars each year worldwide. According to the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, an estimated 2.5 million people are being trafficked at any given time internationally. On a domestic level, the United States Department of State reports that 293,000 children are at risk to be trafficked within the United States, while tens of thousands are trafficked into the country.

I was taken aback by their cold dismissal of a complex issue. Yet in some aspects, the John was right. Statistics show that next to drugs and guns, human trafficking generates billions of

Even more disturbingly, the U.S. Department of Justice reports that the average age girls are prostituted is between the ages of 12 and 14. The average age boys are prostituted is between the ages of 11 and 13.

Youth is a risk factor in itself, but there are multiple factors to consider among sexually exploited victims. Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis, an Associate Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University who was recently recognized by the American Psychological Association for her work on human trafficking, listed several other elements that can make one susceptible to trafficking.

Traumatic childhood experience is used by traffickers as psychological leverage to deceive or coerce victims. Dr. Bryant-Davis explained, “[Traffickers] give a lot of affirmation. They tell [victims] they’re so special and that they they want to be their boyfriend. After they coax them in, it turns into trafficking them out. They say, ‘This is what I need you to do for me,’ where they try to be a mix between a boyfriend and a father figure.”

“Low income makes one more vulnerable. Lack of educational and vocational options [and/or] being young and female makes one much more vulnerable. Having a history of abuse, trauma, and neglect, and being homeless are some of the main risk factors,” she said.

Sheila McLean, another survivor who graduated from the Magdalene program, explained, “If anything, it makes the girl feel important and makes her feel loved in a sick kind of way. Then, bam, once he got you, reality starts to kick in. They say they love you and they send you out [to the streets] at the same time. That’s kind of sick!”

For many escaping a life of abuse, they turn to the streets for survival. Rather than finding the help they need, victims are left to fend for themselves. Rachel Lloyd, a trafficking survivor, described the injustices trafficking victims face in her memoir Girls Like Us. “Statistics show that the majority of commercially sexually exploited children are homeless, runaways, or the distastefully termed ‘throwaways.’ These girls and young women have a tougher time in the court of public opinion and in the real courts of the criminal and juvenile justice system.” Katrina Robertson, another survivor of injustice, graduated from the Magdalene recovery program in Nashville, Tennessee. Robertson was molested when she was just 11 years old. “Let’s just say that I was raised in a single-parent home and I suffered some abuse in childhood,” she said. Decades later, she still wishes to protect the identity of her perpetrator. “I was still playing with baby dolls and that [experience] gave me a false reality of sex,” she said. 74

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The last time McLean ran away from her pimp, she endured a very violent backlash. “I took a very serious beating. I’m surprised that I made it through. I didn’t realize how bad the beating was until I had breast cancer and lost all my hair, so I actually saw my head for what it really was. It was a roadmap on my head. It looked like a roadmap – all the scars!” Physical repercussions aren’t the only consequences victims undergo. Traffickers manipulate victims through ideas of love, while using violence and drug dependency as a means of physical, psychological, and financial control. As a result, depression, anxiety, flashbacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and difficulty trusting anyone (including themselves), are some of the common psychological effects that can make recovery difficult. “One of the big things is trust. As a therapist or as a social worker, you’re asking someone to trust you when they’ve been repeatedly betrayed,” explained Dr. Byrant-Davis. “Maybe in some ways they feel like the other person didn’t treat them the best, but at least they


these Are hiGh risK fActors LeADinG to trAfficKinG.

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knew what they were getting. Many will say when they were home, their stepfather or whoever was taking it for free, but at least now they’re being compensated.” For those sold into prostitution at a very young age, that life may be all they know. The twisted forms of validation, lack of places to go, lack of options, and difficulty with trust can make leaving the life complicated. Most victims face unceasing brutal abuse. McLean had to fulfill a specific quota everyday or suffer consequences. “We had to make a $1,000 a day or we’d get our head cracked, ” she recalled. “But you get to the point where I’m making a $1,000 a day, but he’s getting all the money and I’ve got a rough patch on my head that kept on getting uglier and uglier from all the scars being put on me.” If the victims endured such horrible treatment, why didn’t they just leave? For many victims arrested for prostitution, they found themselves in a vicious cycle where their pimps bail them out of jail only to sell them over and over again despite repeated arrests. For most victims, there is no choice. Becca Stevens, the founder of the Magdalene program in Tennessee, reported, “In 20 years, I have never met a woman coming off the streets who has not been raped. I have never met a woman coming off the streets who had a penny to their name. I have never met a woman who wanted to stay and [did not] say it’s not hell itself. There may be a lot of other things along the way that were choices and that people participated in, but the ultimate consequences of some of the things that have happened in people’s lives is hell itself. We’re all victims when it happens: the violence, the abuse. If women are soliciting and men are buying, what that does to the health of a whole community is unbelievable...”

reBIrtH.

Escaping the life is possible with the growth of recovery programs across the country. Dr. Bryant-Davis recommends “wrap-around services,” which try to provide for all aspects of recovery. “With wrap-around services, you recognize that the mental piece is one component. We also have to provide social services [such as] homes that are set up for those trying to escape trafficking,” she explained. Such services provides survivors with housing, education, emotional support, and numerous survival strategies to teach healthy coping skills. Sheila McLean and Katrina Robertson are graduates of the Magdalene program, one of the most extensive recovery programs in the nation. The Magdalene program not only provides women with free housing for two years, but also gives each of them a therapist to work on their personal struggles, including PHYSICAL and psychological testing and treatment. They are also provided with phsyical and psychological testing and treatment. They also take classes geared toward life skills ranging from computer skills to dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. The multifaceted program gives them the support and tools they need to lead independent lives after graduating the program. The road to recovery for many victims can be trying. For many, they are faced with constant reminders of their past. “I was talking to a young lady yesterday who tried to live a different life, but how does she fill out a job application? [Her prospective employers] wonder what she has been doing all these years. In one of the places she applied, she was honest and the manager tried to get her to [have sex with him] in exchange for a job,” said Dr. Bryant-Davis. Becca Stevens, founder of the Magdalene program said, “I really think transformation is about relationships and about love and having people invest in the person...over a long period of time.” It is through the love and dedication of a community that recovery is even possible. Survivor stories are testaments of hope. Sheila McLean’s incredible story of leaving the life, getting clean, escaping a life of abuse and violence, and surviving cancer is a reminder of human strength. She is now a resident manager at the Magdalene recovery center, a homeowner of two 76

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houses, married with two children, and studying to obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology. “I’ve got the best husband in the whole wide world. My life is pretty good! Until now, I never really had a life.” Katrina Robertson is currently the National Sales Director at Thistle Farms, a company run by the Magdalene program which produces bath and body products. She is a survivor who has been clean for six years. Robertson describes Magdalene as a program that was different than any other recovery programs she attended. “Every woman in Magdalene has their own plan that is designed for her because all of us are different: all of us were raised different, all of us are from different backgrounds, and different religious beliefs. You have to have a different plan for each woman,” she explained. She recalls her battle with drug addiction, which led her to return to the streets multiple times before she entered the Magdalene program. “I had to stop using because I [was] pregnant, but I couldn’t stop. I realized that I was severely addicted. My mom took my daughter in when I was in the streets.” She paused for a moment. “That was the worst. Knowing that I had a beautiful baby girl at home, but that the addiction was so powerful I could not go home and be with her.” It is important to realize and understand the myriad of problems sexually exploited girls, boys, women and men face right in our own backyards. “Trying to go out there and save individual victims is only one part of it: we have to [also] address the systematic things around male intimacy, poverty, and all of those pieces. It’s a layered problem that requires removing the stigma,” said Dr. Bryant-Davis. Hope is possible when communities acknowledge and understand the myriad of problems in sexual exploitation. We need to stop denying the reality and the intricacy of the issues. Instead, we need to create change and hope, and it all starts with our ability to recognize the existence of a multi-tiered violence against humanity.

WrAp-Around ServICeS In L.A.

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Children of the Night 14530 Sylvan Street Van Nuys, California 91411 hotline: 800.551.1300 Phone: 818.908.4474 Mary Magdalene 7136 haskell Ave., Suite 125, Van Nuys, CA 91406 Phone: 818.988.4970 Girls and Gangs 1000 N. Alameda St. Suite 240 Los Angeles, CA 90012 Phone: 213.346.3270


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THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

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OUR THANk yOUS

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THE YEAR OF REBIRTH


From the Editor First off I thank God, who has brought me back to Freedom and Fashion again and again, and has always brought blessing out of it. Soli deo gloria. To Bonnie Kim, who convinced me to do the magazine again and whose warmth toward people and passion for justice continually move me. To my amazing writers Gio, Yen, and Edith. Thank you, Gio, for being so reliable and always turning in articles on time, and for your constant good humor and cheerfulness. You’re a light to those around you. To Edith, for your quirkiness and willingness to edit an article five times because both of us are perfectionists. To Yen, for persevering despite sometimes difficult personal circumstances, and for your smile. And lastly, to Jonathan for your encouragement and patience, and for the skills that turn our content into visuals and pages that are incredibly beautiful. To my family and friends – thank you. – Claire

We have Freedom, with love. 2011

word, I am blessed because of you – thank you! – Edith

From the Writers To my Savior, Jesus Christ--You gave us freedom; I want to help bring freedom to the enslaved. Thank you Mom and Dad for supporting my passions and keeping me well-fed. Thank you to my brothers Michael Fances (who attended the past two FNF fashion shows in style), Gabriel Fances (who has been faithful in prayer and accountability) and my brother Bronson Lobato (who has to deal with my craziness). Iron sharpens iron. LOVE YOU ALL! – Gio

I am grateful for my whole editorial team! Claire, thank you for her perseverance, patience, and organization with my article. If it wasn’t for you, I think half my hair would be missing. Gio, thank you for your can-do attitude, understanding demeanor, and redistributing some of the work off my shoulders so I could complete my editorial. Also Edith, thank you for being there the whole time even when I was about to call it quits, but you pushed me through all of it and I’m better because of your efforts. Additionally, a special thanks goes out to Bonnie and the whole FNF team for encouraging me to push forward and recognizing the strenuous attempt it took to produce the content for this awe-inspiring magazine -- it was truly an honor. - Yen

Thank you Claire, Gio, Yen, Bonnie, and Clara for giving me opportunity to write, for being so inspirational, and for the endless love and support. Thank you Kim, my roommates, MeaGeoff, and for all the people who have not only stuck with me from the beginning, but who have given me boundless encouragements and have believed in me. Thank you to all the survivors and Freedom fighters I have interviewed and met. If there’s anyone’s life you have changed with your work/ story, it’s mine. In every sense of the

From the Creative director Wow, has it already been the 3rd magazine already? I remember when I had to finish this thing in a month the first year. Honestly, I think this is one of our best works as a group yet – but this magazine couldn’t have been possible without the talented hands of the publishing team who worked tirelessly to get me articles in the crazy timeline that we had set. Claire, Gio, Edith, Yen, thank you for researching and writing and writing and even writing some more when I needed

more content to fill. Thanks for your patience and your journey with me this year. This magazine wouldn’t have been possible without you, literally. To the Fashion Team and its fearless directors Jeanne and Laura, again working with you has never been a letdown, you two organized the heck out of this year and created 5 successful photoshoots. Your choice of fashion and models are supurb. And to that team - thank you for all your time and eyes and talent to make sure that we have the best style around!! You are fashionistas everyone of you, especially you JR. To our photographer Dondee, you always ROCK! Thank you for always being available and getting us the money shots that we need to help propel change and advocacy through photography. Your baby Bruce is the cutest. To David Kiang, thank you for shooting and taking us on our first journey to the most interesting building in LA that was such a wild day that I will never forget. To Jane, my graphic designer! I can’t thank you enough for driving all the way from Irvine every other Saturday in order to work on the magazine. Your presence on the team has really helped me tremendously lead better and understand the team’s needs more comprehensively as well. You are always the amazing designer to me! Thank you to Paul for helping us stay afloat and up-to-date on our numbers. Our finances would be in complete disarray if it weren’t for your keen sense of organization. To Bonnie – our amazing, dedicated leader. You have proven to be a servant and a leader on so many levels to me and the team. Your selflessness when it comes to putting your career on the line for others is only something that can only be understood by our God and rewarded by God. Thank you for being my friend underlying it all. Your love for people and the enslaved only proves more of the conviction that you have that drives you to do move this organization to higher and higher places. I thank my God for leading me to design this magazine solely led and inspired by the Holy Spirit. – Jonathan THE YEAR OF REBIRTH

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*Entire Team not shown

From the Fashion directors Words can’t express enough how thankful I am to be part of this organization. Everyone in FNF has a tremendous heart, you have all inspired me. Rebecca, I would not be here if it wasn’t for you, thank you. Jeanne, you are absolutely brilliant, what an honor to have been part of the fashion team with you. Bonnie, thank you for your courage and dedication. Jonathan, you are amazing! What would we do without your guidance and creativity?! Eshie, you are an amazing talent, thank you for willingness and grace. Alison, Angela, Jackie, Evelyn, Jonathan R., and Dagmarreta, we worked beautifully together! Thank you for sharing your

talents with us and thank you for all your hard work and dedication. A big thank you to our vendors, photographers, and models! Thank you, Joanne, you have an amazing ear for music! Thank you , Chris, (our Angel), social media team, marketing team, and logistics team! I love you all! – Laura Every year I am humbled by the FNF Family and the heart poured out by each individual. Thank you all for your sacrifice. To my sister, Joanne Heo, thank you for loving me at my worst. I could not have maintained my sanity without my CEO and co-director, Bonnie Kim and Laura Arias. Thank you both

for your unconditional friendship. To the beautiful hearts in my department: Alison Christian, Angela Choe, Barry Ko, Dagmarette Yess, Eshie Kim, Evelyn Chia, Jackie Dharmawan, Jonathan Ramirez, Rebecca Barlow. Thank you guys for always encouraging me to be a better leader. Thank you, Evan Viray, and the Aveda team. You guys will always be part of the family! To our partners, our models, and our photographers, thank you for being part of this vision. Lastly, thank you, Lord, for this great honor and allowing me to experience your faithfulness. You are so good. – Jeanne

From the CEO. I don’t think I have enough room in this magazine to properly thank all those who have contributed to Freedom and Fashion. Instead, I should cook up a nice dinner or perform some other act of gratitude, but then I would be overwhelmed and that’s no good for a CEO. Instead, I just want to say I am honored to be a part of the Freedom and Fashion family and all those associated. I have seen how dedicated the team has been through all our personal (10+ car accidents/troubles), professional (7+ computer/phone damaged and vandalisms), (infinite number of people telling you to quit and get a “real job”), and other difficulties. I don’t know what I can offer, but I know that the FNF team wouldn’t even take the offer anyway. The selfless acts of one creates hope for another, and that is the true of Jesus’ ministry. Thank you, my Freedom and Fashion family for showing me that it is possible to do the impossible - to help bring about freedom, without needing to be “thanked,” “compensated,” or “justified.” Instead, you exemplified what true acts of service means - it is bringing about freedom, with love. - Bonnie 80

THE YEAR OF REBIRTH


Freedom and Fashion 2011 Magazine  

Freedom and Fashion's 3rd Annaul Magazine