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Nov. 6 concert to raise awareness of horrors of sex trafficking

November 5, 2012

26-secondsEAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will host a benefit concert titled "26 Seconds For Sex Trafficking Awareness" from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 6 in Schofield Auditorium.

The purpose of the concert is to raise funds and awareness of human sex trafficking and its victims on a local and global scale. The title reflects the statistic that every 26 seconds a child is trafficked, which most often leads to sexual slavery.

Proceeds from the concert will benefit Fierce Freedom, a nonprofit organization working to end human sex trafficking in the local area. Fierce Freedom is the nonprofit sector of Fierce Beauty, a business that sells scarves and accessories to raise funds for the victims of human trafficking.

Fierce Beauty founder Jenny Almquist said that trafficking occurs not just abroad but in the local area as well.

"Most people are surprised to know that human trafficking isn't just an overseas issue, but is happening in our state, communities, schools and next door," she said.

The Social Problem Research Project group from this semester's communication and journalism "Small Group Communication" class organized the event. According to group member Dillon Barmore, a senior from Middleton, that information is what led the group to organize the concert.

"The combination of knowing details about the world of sex trafficking and knowing it happens right around us drives me to want to make a change, offer these people hope and make other people aware of it," Barmore said.

Barmore said the students designed the event to inspire the community to rally together around the issue of sex trafficking.

"Anytime students and the community can gather together around music and a very important cause, it is a great chance for people to meet, deepen community cohesion and fuel the fire that is word-of-mouth around the issue of sex trafficking," he said.

During the event guest speakers will share their experiences of either being trafficked or fighting against trafficking. Almquist also will speak during the event.

Musical guests Innocent Men, Audacious and the Singing Statesmen will perform.

Other group members involved in organizing the event were senior Abby Amundson, Barron, senior Chelsea Caldie, Green Bay, junior Hillary Crusan, Grafton, junior Rachel Debner, Zumbro Falls, Minn., freshman TJ Gouker, New Lisbon, junior Katie Hennagir, La Crosse, senior Michael Sandvig, Eden Prairie, Minn., and sophomore Ally Rae Thieme, Rib Lake.

Tickets are $5 for the general public.

For more information about the event, contact Dillon Barmore at barmordj@uwec.edu. For additional information about Fierce Beauty or Fierce Freedom, contact Jenny Almquist at jenny@fiercebeauty.net.

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