Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MAKE THE DIFFERENCE -A Benefit Concert for Trafficking Victims

Young people are getting together to hold a benefit concert for human trafficking victims in Nashville on Dec. 12th, 2009. This is a fund raising and awareness raising event to reach out to the young generation in the U.S. to spread the word about the gravity of human trafficking, which is rampant around the world.

1. Tell me about this upcoming event in Nashville

The name of the event is Make The Difference. It is a benefit concert raising awareness and funds for the International Justice Mission.

2. How would you describe goal and mission of the event?

My vision with this is not to simply raise money and tell people about IJM; I hope people leave with an understanding of the horrible acts of injustice going on in the world today, and how easy it is for individuals to do something about it. [ Emphasis added.]

People simply don't realize that other human beings, who have every right to LIVE a life of opportunity- are being stripped of that right. If they were aware, I believe people would react. If a person walks down the street here in States and witnesses a kid being abused violently, he or she would do something to stop it. Because it is WRONG. It's the same with oppression in other countries and the underground sex market in the U.S. Something needs to be done. Thankfully, there are organizations working so hard to rescue people trapped in these situations. If people KNOW what is going on around them their human common sense kicks in and says "ACT." The "act" is as simple as writing a check and spreading the word…maybe even volunteering to help out.

3. What are some main activities in the event?

The artists performing are Derek Webb, Matthew Mayfield, and Cool Hand Luke. It will be an acoustic evening of incredible music; these artists write songs with meaning that are inspired by their own experiences; music from the heart, not fluff.For now, I'm running this event on my own. And it's only a one-time deal, but that may change. I have friends helping me with promotion, and I am VERY grateful for their willingness to lend a hand.

4. How did you first learn about trafficking?

I'm not certain how I first learned about trafficking; My freshman year of college, four years ago, I saw the Invisible Children documentary which completely blew me away. That was probably where it started. Somehow I ran across the International Justice Mission online a while later and learned the realities of human trafficking, and how the people of IJM work so selflessly to rescue people. I'm not an IJM spokesman or representative one bit, but that organization was heavy on my heart when I decided to plan this concert. No rhyme or reason.

5. What is your direct involvement? Do you utilize volunteers and, if so, how do you recruit volunteers and who are they?

For a while I've thought about using concerts to generate revenue for organizations and individuals who need support to do the hard job they selflessly signed-up for. Over the summer, I was thinking about it a lot; so I took the plunge. The way I see it, I have a general understanding of the horrid realities happening to fellow human-beings and [I know I am] therefore morally responsible to inform others and hopefully inspire them to react. So I guess it is sort of a responsibility to spread the words. Also, I'm pumped to be working with these artists; they are super generous for helping out.

6. What would you say to people who do not understand the gravity of human trafficking?

If a person is alive on this earth, he or she has the right to live a life of peace and opportunity. The unfortunate reality is that corrupt, evil people and governments willfully reject that right and force innocent, undeserving people into slavery, prostitution, and other violent oppression. We cannot simply write-off something that atrocious. If someone thinks human trafficking isn't of their concern, they might as well be running the underground slave and sex markets with the rest of the selfish, greedy villains. It is a sad and uncomfortable topic, but it MUST be brought into the light. A thing like this should unify people to act, regardless of background or belief.

7. How can people support the event?

People can support this event by coming to the show Saturday December 12 at Rocketown in Nashville at 7pm. The ticket price is $15 at the door or at Ticketweb.com. All of the proceeds will benefit IJM.

People can also spread the word about the event, and do some research on their own time and discover ways they can do their part to Make the Difference. More information is at www.makethediff.com

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