The Kings & Queens Project: A Look Inside our Presentations

Being an awareness organization, one of the main things that the Kings & Queens Project has done since 2015 is to give awareness presentations to various groups: specifically 9th Grade Health Classes. What I want to do in this post is to explain to you what these presentations look like, and what we hope to achieve by using class time in this way.

For the last three years I have had the privilege of presenting to over 1000 students on the topic of how they can keep not only themselves, but also their peers safe from different forms of human exploitation, including Human Trafficking.

These presentations have been incredibly humbling, as not only have they given me the chance to reflect on the presence of trafficking in our communities. These 90 minute presentation allow me to hear first hand from students that I walk through the hall with everyday about their and their families' experiences with human trafficking and other forms of human exploitation- which is eye opening in o…

Commerce Without Morality... and it's impact on the humans of the world

As we examine the world around us, it is far too easy to pick and choose 'big deal' issues that impact each and everyone of us. These are issues that permeate through society and influence the way that we think, act or even buy.

Out of these big deal issues, today I have chosen to discuss the impacts of what we buy in our daily lives and how this then impacts other people all around our world.

According to the International Labour Organization, approximately 20.9 million people (or three of every one thousand people) are currently suffering in international labor trafficking.  Labor trafficking is best akin to what Americans think of as slavery prior to the Civil War in the late 1800's. It is manual labor, often times for no wage and is vicious cycle in which entire generations of families can be stuck in situations where they are working in terrible conditions for unimaginable hours and they cannot work themselves out of this circumstance.  Many times victims of labor tra…

It's Here- The Ubiquity of Human Trafficking in Colorado

The question I get asked the most when I present to a group of people on the topic of human trafficking always goes something like, "I can't see the victims. So does it still go on here, in my community? I can't see it, so I typically don't take notice of the issue."

The two parts of my personality fight with how I should answer. One expresses utter dismay, and frustration of how an issue so big (human trafficking is estimated to impact over  27 million people around the world) can go so unnoticed. The other part of my personality wants to turn into a lecturer on how much human trafficking impacts our world and those in it.

Despite these urges to answer in a effective and passionate speech many of my answers to this question are composed of a comparatively simple statement that says this: If human trafficking impacts one person on this earth, isn't that one too many people? Added in with this statement is a desperate plea to convince my audience through info…

Self Esteem and Connectedness: A Protective Factor in addressing and combating Human Trafficking

In our rapidly expanding world that is prone to technology use shouldn't we feel more connected, more socially fulfilled than ever before? We unfortunately, we don't. In our world where technology and social media appears to be connecting us all closer together, more people are experiencing extreme loneliness and disconnectedness then ever before.  This lack of connectedness is concerning for both obscure and obvious reasons, especially in the school setting.  What is the impact on student's when they feel that they have a unconnected, and an unfulfilled place in an learning environment, and in their spheres of influence in general, and for that matter what even is school connectedness? Well, The Center for Disease Control (CDC) defines school and social connectedness as, "the belief held by students that adults and peers in the school care about their learning as well as about them as individuals"  while also identifying school and social connectedness as an inv…

The Legacy of Celebration

"No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood," writes Coretta Scott King regarding the meaning of the holiday that we celebrate on the third Monday of January each year since 1986. 
And ultimately, that is what today is about: celebrating the legacy of Dr. King and all of Civil Rights' heroes both big and small.   Today we celebrate the individuals who faced and endured all means of harassment, discrimination, racism, and in many cases pure unadulterated evil in order "To Form a More Perfect Union" as enumerated in our constitution.  This more perfect Union, according to Dr. King, is a nation that chooses to fight against racism, inequality and fight for the creation of a Beloved Community.  This fight however, is not over and people continue to face and fight injustice in all of its forms across the globe, and the United States.  

So, rather than having today be a…

An argument for educating the Whole Person

Students around the United States have grown accustom to hearing the phrase, "We live in an increasing global world, and therefore it is important that you work hard in school in order to be competitive in a now international job market." This phrase is becoming increasing ubiquitous as students find themselves living in a global world- with global expectations. 
In the budget year 2016-2017, the state of Colorado had a budget of over 6 million dollars to allocate for public education funding.  Much of this funding will go to programs focusing on student's academic development in the areas of math, science, engineering and technology.  These STEM education programs have been developed in order to maximize student's ability to be proficient in the skills needed to be competitive in our now not only globally cutthroat, but technologically centered world as well. Ultimately, these programs will serve to not only benefit students collegiate and career prospects but also …

The Importance of Awareness Education

We talk a lot about Awareness and we talk a lot about Education, but what is the connection between them, and why is that connection valuable in combating issues like Human Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation?

Well for one thing, it is my personal belief that you cannot combat something, or for that matter,  protect yourself from something you know nothing about.  If we are to apply this belief contextually, you cannot protect yourself or others from trafficking situations, if you choose to believe that trafficking does not happen, and could not happen in your community.  Once you know about something, you can begin to see it and recognize it. 

Psychologists put it this way, "How can we process something, if we didn't consciously, and accurately perceive the situation or stimulus in the first place?"

Awareness Education is a tactic used by organizations all around the world in order to address wide spread public health crises.  If we are to think of an obvious example…