I don’t think I need to tell you guys that Oakland has a tremendous problem with child sex trafficking. If you read the news regularly, you are already well aware of this depressing and disgusting fact.
The City has attempted to battle this problem for years, but it persists. I’m mentioning this today because this week is Commercially Sexually Exploited Child (CSEC) Awareness Week, and I wanted to call attention to some local events in Oakland that are being organized by a local organization called MISSSEY.
MISSSEY works to raise awareness about sexually exploited minors and to provide support for victims. You can read some of the heartbreaking stories about the kids they work with, and more about their mission on their website.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 20th from 11am to 3pm, MISSSEY will be holding a CSEC Awareness March and Rally. Walking through some of the neighborhoods most impacted by child sex trafficking, they hope to raise awareness of the problem. It starts at 11am at Abundant Life Ministries Church and 24th and International, and will end with a rally at San Antonio Park.
Then, on Thursday, April 21st, they will be hosting a fundraiser at Z Cafe (2735 Broadway).
Unlike many fundraisers, this one does not cost any money to go to! They will be selling raffle tickets for gift certificates to local restaurants ($5 each) and for an Ipad ($10 each). Additionally, there will be a silent auction of art work created by the children MISSSEY works with.
Here’s the details:
This is an event not to be missed!! April 21, 2011, MISSSEY is hosting a FREE CSEC awareness event and fundraiser at Z’s Cafe in Oakland from 5:00 to 11:00 pm that will include the following AMAZING events:
Book Reading and Signing By GEMS Founder Rachel Lloyd:
From 8:00 to 8:45
GEMS founder and executive director Rachel Lloyd will be doing a reading and book signing of her new book “Girls Like Us,” a first-hand account of the abuse and suffering of commercial sexual exploitation, her recovery, and remarkable transformation. Don’t miss this opportunity to listen to one of the strongest, most passionate voices in the movement to empower and protect commercially sexually exploited youth today!
I-pad and Restaurant Gift Certificate Raffle:
All night long MISSSEY will be holding a raffle that will give participants the opportunity to win a FREE I-pad (valued at $499) or Gift Certificate from a local restaurant (valued between $25 – $100)! Support CSEC and your local community and get rewarded with one of these prizes! If you are unable to attend, you’re still eligible to participate! Just contact Brandy Harris at email@example.com
to order tickets today! Tickets for the restaurant gift certificate raffle are $5, tickets for the I-pad raffle are $10.
Art Viewing and Auctions of Original Artwork by Survivors:
Here’s your chance to view and buy the original artwork of survivors! MISSSEY has recently partnered with local artists to offer art days to our clients on an on-going basis. The fruit of this effort are the amazing pieces of art that will be available at this event! The proceeds of any purchase will be split 50/50 between the artists/survivors and MISSSEY. This is a great way to support CSEC directly, contribute to MISSSEY and enjoy creative expression! Art viewing and auctioning will be taking place all night long.
Awareness Raising Movie Screening:
These film clips have been hand-picked by MISSSEY’s executive director for their relevance to the CSEC empowerment movement and their usefulness as educational and awareness raising tools. Join us for the screening from 6:00 to 7:30!
It’s a great opportunity to support an organization doing wonderful work here in Oakland, and to learn more about an important issue. If you can’t make it, but would like to support the work MISSSEY does, you can always donate online or volunteer with them.