The AJP team is dedicated to providing opportunities for our survivors and nurturing their own unique gifts. One of our upcoming educational opportunities is offered by San Diego partners that is designed to change the narrative that’s often associated with survivors of human trafficking. It will give the story back to those who lived it through photography and creative writing. This project, called SEEN, is presented by Cynthia Luvlee of The Shen Way.
Those who have not been affected by human trafficking often don’t understand the social issue, and images commonly used to depict exploitation (women and children in cages, women in handcuffs, etc.) can mislead potential supporters. SEEN is a collaborative project between survivors and professionals in the arts and media industry that will give an honest depiction of what human trafficking looks like and how it affects the women who have lived through it. It is important that this story is told through the eyes of survivors and this project will enable our supporters to relate to them and reach out if they feel compelled to do so.
SEEN is offered to nine eligible survivors and will take place over the course of three weeks where participants will be guided to craft their own unique story. When completed, the group will decide how to showcase their work to the public, whether they choose to do so through social media, a gallery showcase, or book prints. The participants will be given valuable tools and insights from their leaders on honing their craft, event planning, sponsorship, marketing, public speaking, and other necessary tools for promotion of their final product.
The photography portion of the class will be taught by Michele Zousmer, a humanitarian photographer who has worked with incarcerated women to help create a photographic narrative of their story. Photography can be an excellent tool for recovery as it will allow our survivors to honestly express themselves in a constructive way and create something meaningful out of their trauma.
The creative writing portion of the class will be taught by Bethany Kelly, a survivor and publisher. Kelly will use an adapted curriculum designed to bring healing through writing one’s own story. This will give participants the opportunity to use their words to express themselves in a way that provides themselves with insights into their own life and look at their trauma in a way that is restorative rather than debilitating.
The business portion will be taught by Cynthia Luvlee, a social advocate and start-up specialist. “This is a movement I believe must be survivor lead,” she states. Cynthia has a unique vision to shift the narrative often associated with survivors from broken to remarkable.
Not only is this an invaluable opportunity for survivors; our hope is that our supporters will also gain some insights from the participants that helps them understand the journey they take from survivor to thriver. We look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor and will update you soon on SEEN’s progress.