Townhall Meeting on Sex Trafficking in the Black Community Aims To Get More Men of Color to Speak Out
-- San Diego Based Nonprofit Organization For Girls Partners With Phi Beta Sigma In Campaign Launch Of "Gentlemen Don't John" --
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San Diego, CA (April 2, 2013) -- From April 11th through the 14th, hundreds of members and supporters of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity will convene in Las Vegas for the fraternity's 2013 Leadership Conference. The organization's San Diego Chapter, best known for its exemplary leadership and representation of the African American man, has recently partnered with a San Diego based non-profit organization for girls called Nu(me)r.a.l.s.
Together, the two organizations are kicking off a campaign created by Nu(me)r.a.l.s. called "Gentlemen Don't John," in an effort to get more men of color to speak out against the atrocity of sex trafficking. On April 11th, the first day of the conference, Nu(me)r.a.l.s. will sponsor a Town Hall meeting on Sex Trafficking in the Black community, bringing more awareness to the attendees about the issue.
With around 40% of the girls trafficked in this nation being African American, Nu(me)r.a.l.s. Executive Director and Founder, Chida R. Warren-Darby, thought it imperative to get more African American men to commit to speaking out against the issue as well as urge other men not to "john." "Sex Trafficking has gotten a lot of national attention in recent years, but not enough light has been shed on the fact that the number of victims being trafficked is extremely high in the Black community." Sex trafficking occurs when people are forced into or coerced into the commercial sex trade against their will. Child sex trafficking includes any child involved in commercial sex.
According to the Polaris Project, an organization committed to combating trafficking of any kind, sex traffickers frequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims involved in the sex industry.
"Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity must tackle socially unacceptable behavior, such as human sex trafficking, in order to train young men to treat women with respect and deference. I am happy the Western Region of Phi Beta Sigma is taking the lead by sponsoring a town hall meeting exposing the horrors of these crimes against our community," said Western Regional Director of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Jeffrey Sneed.
Statistically, the African American community is plagued with many peripheral issues that directly impact trafficking; such as high unemployment, and unfavorable school dropout rates. "We hope that if men, such as the brothers of Phi Beta Sigma, stand up to speak out against trafficking, that it would have a positive effect on young Black men and women who are directly or indirectly engaged in trafficking," states Warren-Darby. "Unfortunately there are parts of our culture that promote pimping and gaining status and finances through sex. Our music videos and songs have had the ability to bring numbness to the issue of sex trafficking, causing many to grow callus towards the issue. I'm setting out to change that! I am excited to be working with the fraternity in launching this effort."
For more information on the conference, visit www.pbswesternregion.org. For more information on Nu(me)r.a.l.s., visit www.numeralsforgirls.org. Visit the Gentlemen Don't John Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GentlemenDontJohn
Stephen Rice, Regional Secretary
Phi Beta Sigma
Chida R. Warren-Darby, Executive Director/Founder
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