Bears’ Beat Report: Traffick Jam

There has been an increasing societal effort to crack down on sex trafficking. According to statistics released by the Polaris Project, an organization working to end human trafficking, Georgia had the 7th highest human trafficking cases in the United States.

I spoke to 21-year-old Hannah Warren, a junior creative writing major and the president of Traffick Jam, about how students can get involved.

The club is the student version of Traffick Jam. . .There are two classes. There’s a community service learning course, which is how I initially got involved in Traffick Jam, and there is a marketing class. Those are the people you’re going to see, all the posters that are on campus, advertising. . .The club is comprised of those of us that want to still be a part of Traffick Jam even though we can’t take the class anymore. Unfortunately, you can only take the class once. Our goal is to educate Mercer students about sex trafficking, because though a lot of us knew some things about it before going into it, we didn’t know as many details as we learned, and we didn’t realize it was such a problem in Macon until we took the class. We want to educate Mercer students so that way they know what’s going on. We’re trying our best to provide community service opportunities so that they can get involved in helping to educate the community.

Warren said sex trafficking awareness is important because Macon is one of the top five cities in Georgia with the highest rate of sex trafficking.

That’s so high up on the list and it happens miles off our campus, or it could be happening on our campus for all we know. It’s a problem that affects our community, and as Mercer students, we typically care about our community and participate in all those Service Saturdays. I really think this is an area that we really could have the most impact. That’s why college students go in to educate high school freshmen about sex trafficking and make it feel more relevant to them than a professor or some other adult coming in. I feel like they’re going to listen to us more, and because we have that whole hour to have that potential impact, I really think we should use that to our advantage in helping others.

There are a few local anti-sex trafficking organizations, said Warren. Out of Darkness is one centralized in Middle GA, but there is also Georgia Cares, which targets the whole state. Of course, there is also the larger Traffick Jam organization and the smaller, Mercer organization.

In regards to Traffick Jam, you can take either the business course or the community service learning course, or you can sign up for our club emails and that way you’ll know when our meetings are. We’re trying to work on fundraising and we’re trying to figure out how to best educate Mercer students, so that way everyone’s on the same playing field even if they don’t take the class. At least they know the same information, so when we have those service opportunities, we’re all aware and we can help educate.

For more information on how to get involved, click here.