NEW YORK (UMW) – On February second, millions of fans in America will watch Super Bowl XLVIII, the largest sporting event in the United States. The Super Bowl will be held this year at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Big sporting or entertainment events are not proven to cause human trafficking, but such events intensify the space in which such crimes can occur.
Thousands will travel to New Jersey to take part in Super Bowl festivities. Among the travelers will be those who arrive in New Jersey by force, fraud or coercion – they will not be there freely but as victims of human trafficking. As the Super Bowl ranks second only to Thanksgiving as the day in which Americans consume the most food, some of those who are trafficked will serve food in restaurants or at catered parties. Others will clean hotel rooms or wash dishes; some will tidy nail salons, deliver dry cleaning or wash windows; and others will be trafficked as sex workers, working as “escorts” or in men-only clubs.
You can act to intercept the traffickers.
Intercept Traffickers Photo Campaign
In the language of football, we want to “ice” – or freeze – trafficking and prevent traffickers from accomplishing their goals. We want a warm, just world in which all thrive. We must intercept trafficking.
United Methodist Women members are called to listen to the mandate of our faith to help the vulnerable. Even if you aren’t traveling to East Rutherford this Super Bowl season, you too can freeze human trafficking.
For example, United Methodist Women of Iowa recently received a letter from the Iowa Attorney General’s office, thanking local UMW groups for their efforts to stop human trafficking.
Between now and Feb. 2, take a picture of your United Methodist Women’s group holding a sign that says “Freeze! United Methodist Women is Intercepting Human Trafficking.” Do this in a “freezing” place like out in the snow, in the freezer section of the grocery store, holding ice cubes, standing by a freezer or ice machine. Be creative (and safe)! The most important part is to hold your sign and raise awareness that human trafficking exists and must be stopped.
Send your pictures to Indiana Conference Director of Communication Dan Gangler (firstname.lastname@example.org), to share on the conference website and in e-newsletters.
Post the pictures on Facebook or Twitter and be sure to tag United Methodist Women.
Or you can email your digital photos to the United Methodist Women online at http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umw. You can mail your physical photos to: Intercept the Traffickers Photos, c/o Tara Barnes, United Methodist Women, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 1504, New York, NY 10115.
Stay tuned to the national UMW website for more news. Sharing these photos will be a great way to show how we intercept human trafficking.
For further information, contact United Methodist Women Executive for Public Policy Susie Johnson by calling 202-488-5660 or by email at CSADC@unitedmethodistwomen.org.