Students draw attention to human trafficking

Breaking Chains creates awareness for human trafficking by holding an art event.


Caleb Raney/THE CHIMES

Hannah Miller, Writer

Awake My Soul, a symposium and exhibition designed by the Breaking Chains club, brought awareness to the issue of human trafficking through different forms of art on May 3.

Community awareness

Breaking Chains is an anti-human trafficking group that strives to bring awareness to the Biola community regarding the issue of human trafficking. The organizers of the event, sophomore flute performance major and president Alyssa Miller and sophomore nursing major and vice-president Ashlyn Aulicino, desire for students across campus to understand the realities of human trafficking—not just on a global scale but on a local scale as well.

“There has not been a specific vision in this way to bring this many different artists from different disciplines, with a speaker, in one event before,” Miller said.

The event, held in Andrews Banquet Room, centered itself around human trafficking, art and a redemptive God. According to Miller, the goal of the event was to bring out a redemptive power which God has on this particular issue.

An emotional and empowering response

“Performing arts and visual arts have this ability to create an emotional and empowering response in people,” Miller said. “We bring art and human trafficking together to create this event.”

Artistic photography and paintings were available for people to look at and reflect on. In addition, Breaking Chains, Do Something, Brave Voices and Hope Rising set up in the back of the room for people to stop by and ask for more information or get involved. The prayer chapel next door was also made available for people who wanted to reflect during the event.

“We wanted to capture many of the different artists and different performances because this is such a talented campus and we wanted to make it bigger than ourselves and bigger than Biola,” Aulicino said.

A spiritual responsibility

Director of UnBound Orange County and special speaker Phoenix Freeman shared some educational information on the topic and gave insight on how Christians have a spiritual responsibility to respond to human trafficking.

“There is between 20 to 30 million slaves today,” Freeman said to the audience. “In the U.S. specifically there are about 600 to 800 thousand trafficking victims.”

California remains one of the top states for human trafficking and Orange County alone remains one of the biggest hot spots for trafficking, according to Freeman. Because this heartbreaking reality surrounds Biola, Freeman encouraged everyone to know the signs for trafficking, be a light in the darkness and pray.

Following Freeman, multiple students expressed their art through film, music and spoken word.

“Just to contribute anything to this conversation through music and art is beyond words and really meaningful to me,” said Chris Hutton, sophomore commercial music major and one of the performers.

People who attended the event were moved by both the speaker and performances of the night and came out with a new perspective on human trafficking.

“I loved that there were different forms of art that could express what they were fighting for,” said Hannah Kim, sophomore computer science major.

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