We’re thrilled that John Burger of the Dallas Human Trafficking Examiner attended the Freedom Awards. We’re even more thrilled that he wrote passionately about the event! John is a self proclaimed abolitionist, who (much like myself!) uses social media to raise awareness about modern day slavery. As well as running a column on the Examiner, he maintains his own site, AbolitionistJB.
Here is a great interview John did with actor Eric Balfour, who attended the Freedom Awards for the first time last week (via Examiner.com):
Celebrities against slavery: Interview with Eric Balfour
Last week I was privileged to attend the 2010 Freedom Awards in Los Angeles. This red carpet event, produced by Free the Slaves, brought out a number of celebrities to support and celebrate the cause of freedom.
There are an estimated 27 million slaves worldwide and over 300,000 slaves within the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates over 14,500 people, 80% women and children, are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
I had a chance to interview celebrities and ask them about modern slavery and these startling statistics.
Actor Eric Balfour was one of my favorite interviews of the night and he introduced me to a new organization, Falling Whistles. Here is my interview with Eric Balfour.
Q: How did you first learn about modern slavery?
A: For me it started with an organization I work with called Falling Whistles. Falling Whistles was founded by my friend Sean Carasso who was in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He saw children forced into the military and the ones who were so small that they couldn’t pull the triggers on the gun, so they were given whistles. They used the whistle in case they saw they enemy coming and they could blow this whistle and let other soldiers know. Well they took this whistle and it became the symbol for this organization. The idea is to wear your protest and be a whistle blower for peace.
Q: How do you use your celebrity status to combat slavery?
A: To whatever degree you have as a celebrity or notoriety, there are people who see you as an opinion leader. You can use your opinions to sell underwear or alcohol, or you can use your opinion to sell positive change and to sell responsibility.