The campaign has been honored in the “New Approaches” category, in recognition of its innovative techniques to build awareness about trafficking among college students.
Broadcast to more than 750 college campuses nationwide, mtvU reaches nearly 9 million U.S. college students – making it the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S.
The Against Our Will Campaign was launched in 2011 at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. The campaign amplifies America’s college students’ efforts to end modern-day slavery in the U.S., and empowers them to learn more and get involved.
The campaign’s website features remarkably creative material – including slavery survivor poetry read by A-list musicians and actors such as Alicia Keys and Jada Pinkett Smith, as well as interactive stories depicting how young people become enslaved, portrayed by interpretative dancers from Ailey II of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.
Fingers crossed! The Daytime Emmy winners will be announced in mid-June.
With the Emancipation Proclamation’s 150th anniversary approaching this weekend, MTV’s campus channel, mtvU, has launched a new poetry series. The poems were written by sex slavery survivors in the U.S., and excepts are read by musicians Alicia Keys and P!nk, and actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
The poems are powerful reminders that slavery still takes a toll on human lives, in the U.S. and around the world.
“I love myself, even if no one else does,” writes Alexis in one poem. “All anyone ever sees,” writes Monique, “is the fake me I have to be.”
The poems are part of mtvU’s Against our Will campaign, which reaches nine million college students on 750 campuses. Free the Slaves is a campaign partner with mtvU. Six slavery survivor poems were developed by campaign partner, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS).
The full text of each poem is available online, and portions of each poem have been read by well-known artists to amplify their impact among young anti-slavery activists.
- “Pimps” | Alicia Keys reads an excerpt from the poetry of Alexis, an 18-year old trafficking survivor, as she talks about self-worth and loving herself, despite her pimp’s exploitation of her.
- “Children of the Night?” | Written by Leisa, Jada Pinkett Smith reads a portion of a poem about how deception by pimps leads to the destruction of those who are trafficked.
- “I Remember” | P!nk voices the words of Jennifer, a trafficking survivor who writes about remembering who she is.
- Night Life” | 21 year-old Jennifer comes to grips with the traumas she experienced and warns other girls in the excerpt of this poem read by Jada Pinkett Smith.
- “My Life” | Voiced by Alicia Keys and authored by 16 year-old trafficking survivor, Sheena, who writes about the abuses she faced, and her difficulty leaving.
- “Look in My Eyes” | Monique, a 19 year-old trafficking survivor, writes of people willfully seeing a false image of her in this spot voiced by Jada Pinkett Smith.
All six poems are available here.
As the Web Communications Intern for Free the Slaves, I was lucky enough to be featured on MTV.ACT’s “A Day in My Life” series. Of course, it’s not every day that you get to see Jason Mraz sing Freedom Calling in person, but that’s another story. Check out Jason singing for the Freedom Awards here.
“Ever wonder what it’d be like to work for a leading nonprofit that’s trying to end modern-day slavery? We’ve got your backstage pass right here. We’ve asked young people working for some of our favorite organizations to keep a diary of one day in their life – and you’ll be surprised to see what they get up to! This week, Tulika Bose, an intern at Free the Slaves, shares her story.”
The Los Angeles communications office currently needs more interns. Check out our employment page to see how you can help!
On another note, this Holiday season has made me want to get in some last-minute shopping– ethically, of course.
The Guardian recently posted an article about some consumer-friendly apps that make shopping for the holidays rewarding and guilt-free. (As a note, Free the Slaves doesn’t endorse any of these products.)
Take the new GSG Ethical Shopping App by The Ethical Shopping Organization. Comparing over 700 brands and 72 different types of products, the app generates league tables that rate based on a company’s Human Rights, Environmental, and Animal Welfare records.
Or, take the free app Barcoo—a bar-code scanning app that digs up a company’s product history, as well as its social, ethical, and environmental profile.
Another way to help?
The Seattle Times recommends checking to see if a product is fair-trade certified. Fair Trade USA recently launched the Fair Trade Finder—an app that allows a user to find Fair Trade products, wherever they are.
If you’re in business yourself, don’t forget to order a copy of “Becoming a Slavery Free Business” by Free the Slaves!
You know that fighting slavery is catching on with students when it’s getting attention from MTV! The network’s college channel, mtvU, has launched a new campaign this semester to tap into the growing student movement to end slavery. The goal: make it easy for young people to take action.
The mtvU Against Our Will Campaign will spotlight student actions and connect students with ways to get involved. Free the Slaves is one of three organizations that advised mtvU on crafting the campaign.
“Students are a powerful engine for social change,” says MTV President Stephen Friedman, “and mtvU is proud to give them a national megaphone.” The campaign was launched at the Clinton Global Initiative annual conference in New York today.
The mtvU channel broadcasts to dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms on more than 750 campuses, reaching nearly nine million U.S. college students. If you aren’t on campus, you can see campaign public service announcements and short video features online.
… And it launched! We’re a bit late with this, but the third installment of the MTV EXIT campaign’s modern day slavery awareness-raising music videos is live. Following in the footsteps of Radiohead and The Killers, British rock band Muse collaborated with MTV to create a music video all about human trafficking.