This week launched the local exhibit opening of Human Trafficking in Art on display in Rocky River, Ohio. The exhibit is hosted by the West Shore Allies Against Human Trafficking Taskforce and includes a variety of work dedicated to giving a voice and awareness to this important issue and the work of the Renee Jones Empowerment Center (RJEC).
The photographs of Carla Carter Lovejoy and Don Iannone were on display (read this article about their photos when they were at Notre Dame College this past fall), telling a powerful visual narrative behind the truth of human trafficking, as well as a story of help, hope, and healing. Also on exhibit were awareness posters created from middle and high school students in NE Ohio as part of efforts of the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking, as well as art from the art therapy groups I have been facilitating at RJEC with survivors and at risk youth as part of Ursuline ArtSpace Outreach.
The exhibit was a beautiful, moving display of truth, courage, hope, and recovery.
It’s hard to believe that it has almost been a year since art therapy group work started at RJEC. Over the last 10 months our group gatherings have been a creative journey & artful testimony of raw emotions, coping, growth, and resilience. I am grateful and humbled by the women and teens who have shared their experiences through their art, as well as the incredible support of art therapy received from Renee Jones, Sr. Cecilia Liberatore and the many, many advocates of the RJEC’s work.
If you are in the NE Ohio area in March or April, I recommend taking the time to visit this exhibit and learn more about human trafficking through the photos and images on display. The exhibit runs through April 25 and is open to the public.
For resources, help, and how to get involved with national advocacy efforts, visit the National Human Trafficking Resource Center here. You can also support important local NE Ohio initiatives through the Renee Jones Empowerment Center.