What I've learned about trafficking since writing #SheHasAName

human trafficking, justice, modern day slavery, She Has A Name -

What I've learned about trafficking since writing #SheHasAName

It's been 11 years now since we first staged the play She Has A Name in Calgary.

Because January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I've put together a list of 6 things I've learned since scratching out the first act of a story that transformed my life:


1 // It's everywhere and it's cruel

The Global Slavery Index estimates there are 40.3 million people around the world caught in slavery's clutches. 1/3 are children.

⏸️ {Pause to weep, yell, commit, resolve here} ⏸️


 2 // People are the problem and people are the solution

In the research I've done, through the survivors I've encountered and by witnessing the work of incredible NGOs what's clear is that around the term trafficking there is a collision of darkness and light, villainy and heroism, unthinkable evil and indescribable righteousness.

I'm convinced that the most meaning any of us can encounter is to be part (small or big) of real life stories of transformation, to see perpetrators of violence held accountable and victims of injustice rescued, restored and empowered to be who they were meant to be and do what they're called to do.


She Has A Name - Unveil Studios film

3 // Focusing on the one is helpful

Rather than fixating on the enormity of the issue and the stats we throw around when we talk about trafficking, keeping one precious life in front of you makes the difference.

If I can imagine the story of one person caught up in the evil clutches of human trafficking then I can imagine doing something about it.

 4 // Art* and justice should collide.

{*Insert your passion here}.

When we take the thing that is in our hand, the thing that we love or are fascinated by -- an interest or passion we want to do and to do well -- if we apply it towards the justice issues we care about, then amazing, even unexpected things, can happen

5 // Everyone and everything to end it

Shooting the film adaptation of She Has A Name was a collaboration of so many people with so much talent. This photo collage is just scratching the surface of the hundreds of people in front of the camera and behind it.

For me, the film project serves as an example of what it takes in order to pull off any big feat.

How much more so, then, will it require the creativity, skill, technical ability, brain power, risk, passion, time, energy, finances and so on of so many people in order to bring the giant #humantrafficking to its knees.


6 //  Let it still break your heart  

It's easier than I'd like to admit for me to shut out all the feels. Or to not take time to stop, think, lament, pray, determine to act. But I can't let the sobering reality of my smallness revealed against the bigness of the reality of human trafficking numb me.

Stories, real and imagined, are critical for me (and us) to re/engage our hearts. They invite us to remain willing to go to the dangerous places, the dark places. To let the human story unsettle us and turn our hearts until it moves our hands and feet to walk with others into the light. 



She Has A Name is available as a production-ready script.  You can also buy or stream the film on Amazon Prime or purchase the paperback edition of the stage play.

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