NEW YORK, May 25, 2012— Born into slavery in 1797, Isabella Baumfree went on to become a prominent abolitionist and women’s rights activist. More well-known by her self-given name, Sojourner Truth, she modeled Christian leadership and is the namesake for The House of Sojourner Truth. Today, the House of Truth is carrying out Sojourner Truth’s vision by working to end the sex slavery trade.
Though official estimates by UNICEF place the number of sex slaves today as high as 1.75 million, many Americans remain unaware of the issue. Chelsey Lamwatt, a Media, Culture, & the Arts major from Florida, and the current President of the House of Truth, said, “We hear stories of sex slavery happening overseas, but people are at risk here in the U.S.A. as well.”
In fact, most reports suggest that tens of thousands of women and children are trafficked in and out of the United States every year, and that over 300,000 children in America are at risk of being trafficked.
The House of Truth began their work on the issue of sex trafficking in 2006 when a member of the house executive team who was working on trafficking suggested making it a house priority. Lamwatt explained her House’s view on engagement saying, “City engagement and philanthropy is critical to the House of Truth because it is important to give back. The fight against sex trafficking is a cause that we’re passionate about. We have been extremely blessed and it is our duty to pay it forward.”
Raising awareness has been the primary goal for the women of the House of Truth. Their activities, however, have gone above and beyond raising awareness. The house held an auction to raise money for Restore, an organization that works with the victims of sex trafficking. In 2010, Restore opened the first safehouse in the Northeast for victims of sex trafficking to recover and lead normal lives.
The official mission statement of the House of Truth, which is composed of approximately 40 female members, reads:
The House of Sojourner Truth strives to empower honorable Christian leaders who emanate grace and truth. We are alive, solid, and passionate.
The house is currently planning a school-wide viewing of the documentary Very Young Girls, which explores the underworld of prostitution and sex trafficking in America.
The King’s College educates students in the ideas upon which nations rise and fall. With a focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition, students are prepared to help shape, and eventually to lead, the institutions of government, civil society, media, law, business, education, the arts, and the church. King’s is a Christian college located in New York City.