Freedom Expressions ATL: Georgia Students Work to Raise Awareness about Human Trafficking

8,623,751 passengers flew in or out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International in March of 2015, according to the airport’s Monthly Airport Traffic Report. In one month alone, millions of ears and eyes are open to the sights and sounds that Atlanta’s airport has to offer. The airport provides a captive audience for the promotion of many messages, and it is an ideal environment to disseminate an impactful message about human trafficking. A new art exhibit at Hartsfield-Jackson aims to amplify voices in the community who are passionate about the topic of human trafficking.

ATL airport

ATL airport

The Freedom Expressions ATL visual art installation opens later this month and will feature more than 50 pieces of art produced by Atlanta-area high school students and a few professional artists. The work is dedicated to the theme of human trafficking. The paintings, photographs and multi-media designs are the product of a partnership between the Center for Civil and Human Rights, students, and several international educational institutions, who joined together to spotlight the global human trafficking problem.

The International Human Trafficking Institute (IHTI), a program of the Center for Civil and Human Rights, conducted training sessions for students at seven high schools in metro Atlanta. The students were introduced to a lesson about the definition of human trafficking, given information on the prevalence of the crime, and were presented with ways they could work to reduce their personal contribution to this problem.

After the training, the students were not only better informed about the issue of human trafficking, but the art they created with that knowledge will convey important information to the eight million people who walk through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport each month.

The professional works from the Freedom Expressions ATL exhibition will be on display in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s atrium, and the student works will be highlighted in Concourse E.

The event is supported by the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Crews, and the International Human Trafficking Institute.

Zosia Bober is a program consultant for the International Human Trafficking Institute. She received her MA in nonprofit management from UGA and lives in Atlanta, Ga with her two dogs, Lady and Lana.

The International Human Trafficking Institute (IHTI) is a student-led movement dedicated to combatting human trafficking by providing students with training, resources, and opportunities for collaboration worldwide. The IHTI is a program of the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Ga. The IHTI is uniting students in a sustained movement that challenges the commodification and abuse of human beings. Our students are driving a cultural shift that undermines global economic systems of exploitation and addresses intersections of oppression that make individuals vulnerable to human trafficking. For more information about the IHTI visit www.theihti.org.

(Photo Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC)