TAT Deputy Director Kylla Leeburg
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.
The Freedom Drivers project and trailer is at once a recruiting effort aimed to spur more and more participation in Truckers Against Trafficking among the eyes and ears of the nation’s highways, but it’s also a public-outreach effort that highlights what so many of you are doing to combat sex trafficking on and off the nation’s highways already.
TAT’s national hotline, which feeds tips from truckers on sex trafficking to local and national law enforcement, has been the lynchpin of the organization’s efforts from its inception several years ago, a story told in , done in part to spur further awareness of the organization. For the wrap on the trailer, the Colorado-based nonprofit stayed close to home, with Denver-based Pure Brand Communication donating design services. TAT then employed Colographic to produce the wrap. Overdrive‘s April cover story following owner-operator Matt Hopkins’ February climb of Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina
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:
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