A “Walk For Freedom” foot parade will be held in downtown Benton on Saturday, Oct. 15th. Event organizer Michelle Pettit said the main purpose of this is to bring Human Trafficking Awareness to communities. The event is sponsored by A21.
Anyone wanting to participate can register at 2 p.m. at CW Lewis Stadium. The walk will begin at 2:30 p.m.
The parade route will start on sidewalks headed north on Market Street, then it will take right turns on North Street, Main Street, South Street to go back to Market Street and end at the stadium. Benton Police Officers will assist the participants along the parade route.
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“[It] is a global awareness event that aims to shine a spotlight on modern-day slavery, and raise funds to allow A21 to continue rescuing and restoring the survivors of human trafficking,” stated Pettit. “At its core, the walk is simply an outward expression of A21’s unrelenting desire to make freedom and justice a reality for every man, woman and child on the planet. The goal of the walk is not to protest, hand out flyers or simply stay fit. The goal for the Walk For Freedom is to take a united stance that turns awareness into action.”
Pettit expects there could be about 80 or more participants.
“The overall message is simple – taking a united stance that turns awareness into action,” she said.
According to Pettit there are more than 27 million men, women and children still in bondage across the globe today. Every 30 seconds, another person becomes a victim of human trafficking and only 1-2% of victims are rescued, she said.
“The average age of a human trafficking victim is 12 years old,” Pettit said. “The goal is to bring the victims percent (%) down and work on getting stiffer laws/punishment for the traffickers.”
For more information about the A21 Walk For Freedom or to donate to the cause, visit www.a21.org.