UTSA organizations to educate on human trafficking

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, along with 12 other Christian organizations on campus, are hosting a game show event, The Price of Life March 3 at 7 p.m. in the Retama Room, UC Phase II. The purpose of the event is to educate the community on the realities of human trafficking in the United States and throughout the world. Baptist Student Ministry and Campus Crusade for Christ are also participating.

“Human trafficking is a modern day form of slavery,” Campus Minister Ana Graves said, “Victims of human trafficking are subjected to force, fraud or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Victims can be anybody.”

According to undeclared Freshman, Ada White, “The Price of Life is like an outreach that we’re doing to educate the campus on human trafficking.”

The Price of Life, White said, is a fundraiser for Embassy of Hope, a non-profit organization that helps women transition out of human trafficking. According to InterVarsity, human trafficking consists of sex and domestic slaves, half of which are children under 18 years old.

“It’s a world-wide problem, including the U.S. Our government says there’s 27 million people in slavery today. That’s more than there was ever in the four hundred year Trans-Atlantic Slave trade,” Graves said, “There’s at least 300,000 people in slavery in the U.S. alone.”

Graves added that at least 20 percent of those being trafficked come up I-35 through Texas, if they are coming from Latin America or being transported through Latin American countries. Reported victims come from all over the world, including China, Africa, the Filipenes, and Mexico.

Along with the event itself, InterVarsity and the other groups will hold proxy stations on campus February 25-26 and March 2-3.

According to Freshman Political Science major, David Perng (also of InterVarsity), students will be given the opportunity to put a dollar amount on certain items (food or a date) and also on certain aspects of human trafficking.

“We’re able to find out what their [student’s] perspective is and who do they see they most value,” Perng said.

The event and the proxy stations are entirely student led.

“The school is not putting any money into it,” Graves said, “We’ve fundraised independent of the university. We’ve raised between $6,000 and $8,000 dollars.”

Educating the campus aside, the event is also a fundraiser for Embassy of Hope. The event is free, but a donation of three dollars is suggested. Any participants have a chance to win cash prizes. The event will feature a game show with a host acting the part of Bob Barker and the film “The Day My God Died” by Andrew Levine. Two speakers from the Embassy of Hope will educate on human trafficking.

“After the games, we will have a call to respond to human trafficking in Jesus Christ. That will give people an opportunity to act on what they’ve learned,” said White.

For the members of InterVarsity and the other organizations, this event is incredibly important.

“We are doing this not only because we’re Christians,” Ana Graves said, “but because this is an issue that matters,”

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship meets multiple times a week for Bible study and prayer nights. The organization also hosts Friday night social gatherings.