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Human Trafficking
High school students create video to help raise awareness

By Sister Mary Jones, OP
Campus Minister, St. Mary’s Dominican High School
New Orleans, Louisiana

Pastel drawing by a senior student at St. Mary’s Dominican High School

The seed was planted last summer. The preachers from St. Mary’s Dominican High School in New Orleans, Louisiana, were attending the Dominican High School Preaching Conference in Adrian, Michigan. While a few of them had heard of human trafficking before, they were astounded at how widespread this latest form of human slavery was, and there was a passion about sharing what they learned with all the students at our school, but how?

The “how” became a six-month video project that involved doing research, making presentations to art classes, and choosing among numerous beautiful artistic representations culminating in a 5-minute video that was presented to the students and faculty at our annual Justice Mass. The silence in the gym told the preachers they had reached their audience. But we were just getting started.

The lesson continued as students returned to the classroom to discuss how they can be an instrument of change. Teachers followed up with the students asking, How do they use their gift of a Dominican education to make the world a better place for women? The students have come up with several ideas, including volunteering at a local women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.

Watch the video: “Human Trafficking Close to Home

The video was posted on YouTube and entered into a contest about justice issues put on by the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center.