The Truckers Against Trafficking organization launched the “Freedom Drivers Project” at the Great American Trucking Show, which wrapped up on Saturday in Dallas. Check out news of the announcement via this link. TAT participated in the show for the first time with a 53-foot drop van that functioned as a “mobile empathy display,” says Kylla Leeburg (pictured, right), a longtime part-timer with TAT who’s recently becomes its deputy director, a clear mark the organization is having an impact.
Take a walk through the experiential exhibit trailer in the photos that follow.
Entering the trailer, viewers see the hotline number prominently displayed along with a brief video, as yet otherwise unavailable to the public, that features a series of professional drivers telling stories that illustrate the extent of the human trafficking problem around the nation — and highlight what drivers can do about it. For a primer on how to know whether to make the call, read this linked story.
The video message ends with a montage of several drivers repeating the “I am a Trucker Against Trafficking” message, from which viewers then proceed down the hall to a series of “survivor artifacts,” among other materials, as says Leeburg.
Among the artifacts are a pair of sandals, bought by a pimp for a young women he “groomed” for more than two years before forcing her to sell herself over a subsequent decade. Also, a cell phone an 18-year-old trafficked by an older man in her community was given with only the man’s number programmed into it.
Other items highlight several cases in which drivers played a role in bringing perpetrators to justice, in some cases serving as the tip that broke open large trafficking rings.
TAT Executive Director Kendis Paris details the new project, too, in the following video from the show:
Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at OverdriveOnline.com. His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 205-907-2481.