With training from a new Brain Student Fellowship program, a BW sophomore raises awareness for the issue of human trafficking.

BW Student Takes on Human Trafficking Awareness Project

April 14, 2016

Vibrant, red sand filled the cracks of Baldwin Wallace's campus sidewalks this spring as students hustled about campus heading to classes and fulfilling other daily routines. The red sand forced students to pause and read one of the messages encircling the cracks, including alarming statistics such as "victims are sold into prostitution for the first time between the ages of 12 and 14."

In an effort to raise awareness for human trafficking, an often neglected issue, Baldwin Wallace psychology major Ta-Lasia Colvin '18 partnered with the campus Office of Community Outreach after hearing about the Brain Student Fellowship Programs on campus.

Her goal is to shine light on the issue, drawing attention to the prevalence of human trafficking in Ohio as well as other locations in the United States with a 30-day campaign.

A Month of Events and More

Starting with "The Red Sand Project" to pique student interest and a "Your Body Your Temple" launch event with guest speakers, Colvin also has initiated a series of weekly meetings to educate BW's student body on human trafficking and to inspire students to get involved in the fight against it.

Human Trafficking Kickoff eventVarious students involved in Colvin's campaign have additionally undertaken the "One Grey Dress Challenge," pledging to wear solely grey for the entirety of the month as a way to challenge themselves to think about what it's like to have no choices similar to the lack of choices human trafficking victims experience. 

"This is not just a 30 day movement," Colvin stresses. "It does not end with the month of April. We will be educating ourselves about this issue. We will learn and continue to take a stand against human trafficking."

Brain Fellowship Builds on Past Advocacy

Ta-Lasia Colvin

Colvin also hosted her own child abuse awareness program last summer, but this year, she received training through the David & Frances Brain Student Fellowship, a new BW initiative “which empowered a group of 11 selected students to develop social change projects on campus and in the community,” according to Christy Burke Walkuski, director of BW’s Office of Community Outreach & Service-Learning.

Colvin's involvement on campus in educating students has garnered media attention as well. Colvin was interviewed by Cleveland Magazine for a feature on Everyday Heroes scheduled to run in the May 2016 issue. You can learn more about her campaign on her blog as well as the project's facebook page here.