STAGE TUBE: PSA - Unlikely Heroes Recognizing Heroes Benefit Set for Today, 10/5
The Unlikely Heroes Recognizing Heroes Benefit will take place at 7:30 p.m. tonight, October 5, 2012 at Boulevard 3 located at 6523 Sunset Boulevard, 90028. The event will be hosted by Erica Greve, MSW, President and Founder of Unlikely Heroes, and will feature an award presentation honoring some of the most influential anti-human trafficking advocates in the nation. Greve is an internationally known speaker on the issue of justice and human trafficking and has dedicated her life to see the lives of at-risk children protected and improved worldwide.
Watch Unlikely Heroes' PSA announcement for the benefit below!
Proceeds from the Recognizing Heroes Gala will support the Unlikely Heroes Restoration home in the Philippines that provides safety, life skills, job training, education, and therapeutic treatment services to the child survivors of sex slavery who live in the home. The fundraiser will also help to support the Unlikely Heroes outreach project in Oakland, California that provides help at street-level to children trapped in commercial sexual exploitation in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as additional international restoration projects.
- Holly Austin Smith, Child Sex Trafficking Survivor, Survivor Advocate, Author & Speaker
- Morgan Perry, Abolitionist, Executive Producer/Producer of documentary and campaign Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth
- Arlene Irion, Advocate, Recipient US Department of Justice Awards
- Ben Decker, Philanthropist, President of BWDPR, Society Editor of Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine, Human and Animal Rights Advocate
At the Recognizing Heroes Benefit we will be honoring people whose actions to rescue and restore children trapped in sex slavery have helped to protect the most vulnerable people in society – our children.” Greve said, “Their efforts to advocate and fight for child victims of sexual exploitation are unparalleled.”
Human trafficking is "the recruitment, transport, transfer, harboring or receipt of a person by such means as threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, or fraud or deception for the purpose of exploitation." But it also has another name: modern day slavery.
There are now more slaves in the world today than any other time in human history. The most conservative figures available suggest that more than one million children are involved in the sex trade each year, but many experts agree that the actual number could be well above 5 million. Additionally, profits from sex slavery exceed $9.5 billion annually. This is not just a problem of the developing world; this is a global crisis, and includes the United States. In fact, conservative numbers estimate that there are more than 100,000 children sold for sex in the U.S. each year.
For more information on what you can do to help, as well as details about the Unlikely Heroes Recognizing Heroes Benefit, visit http://www.UnlikelyHeroes.com/RecognizingHeroes.
Unlikely Heroes is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue and restoration of children who were previously sold for sex in the US and abroad. Unlikely Heroes currently operates a restoration home for child survivors of sex slavery in the Philippines. The Unlikely Heroes restoration home in the Philippines has become an oasis of hope and healing to the child survivors of sex slavery who are now living in safety and receiving the life skills, job training, education, and therapeutic treatment services they need to recover. According to local officials, Unlikely Heroes is one of the first organizations to provide any type of support services to child victims of sex slavery in this area of the Philippines. Unlikely Heroes also provides street-level support services to the victims of commercial sexual exploitation in the San Francisco Bay area. Each week, Unlikely Heroes team members reach out to children trapped in commercial sexual exploitation in the San Francisco Bay Area and provide help for victims at street-level. Unlikely Heroes is also in the midst of pioneering additional rescue and restoration projects internationally.
Unlikely Heroes Founder, Erica Greve, MSW, first came into contact with domestic minor sex trafficking victims while working at a hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area more than 5 years ago, and founded Unlikely Heroes in response the great need for rescue and restoration services for child victims of sexual exploitation in the US and abroad. Greve is passionate about creating ways for people to get involved and to volunteer for social justice causes and regularly speaks on these issues.
While the home itself is a place of healing simply by its very existence as a haven protecting children from a life of prostitution, Unlikely Heroes recognized the necessity of giving these children training for how to cope with their feelings, as well as skills to continue the healing process on their own. In March 2012, Unlikely Heroes sent a team of three licensed therapists and five lay counselors, all from the United States, to provide the girls living in the restoration home with clinically sound therapy. The Unlikely Heroes team is working tirelessly the help children who were previously sold for sex in the US and abroad to receive the help they need to recover and receive a second chance for life.
About the Honorees:
Holly Austin Smith is a survivor of child trafficking survivor advocate, author & speaker. In November 2011, Holly appeared on the Dr. Oz show and was also featured in the August 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. Holly submitted joint testimony to Congress, in support of the reauthorization of the Trafficked Victims Protection Act (TVPRA). In addition to working as a training consultant for the AMBER Alert Program, Holly is requested on a regular basis to provide testimony and input to law enforcement officials, social service providers, human trafficking task forces, and journalists. Most recently, Holly was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Trafficking in Persons Symposium in Salt Lake City, UT, an event hosted by the United States Department of Justice.
Morgan Perry, is the Executive Producer/Producer of the Sex+Money: A National Search for Human Worth documentary and campaign. Morgan produced the Sex+Money documentary and in 2011 launched a national campaign, screening the film in all 50 states and Canada. Since the release of the film, Morgan has been interviewed by CNN, NBC, Voice of America, World Magazine, Relevant Magazine, and more. Morgan was also the recipient of a Certificate Of Recognition for her work in combating trafficking from the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
Arlene Irion is the Director of National Initiatives of F.A.C.T. Alliance and their "Let's Respond" campaign to fight against child trafficking in America. Arlene has been involved in local and federal law enforcement for the past 13 years. Her expertise is related to commercial sexual exploitation of children. She was the recipient of the FBI Director's Award for Excellence and The Attorney General's Award, the highest honors bestowed by the Department of Justice, for her exceptional performance and notable accomplishments in establishing a dynamic, multi-county task force in Southern California that is dedicated to rescuing minor victims from commercial sexual exploitation and prosecution of their perpetrators. Arlene served on the advisory committee for the film documentary "Sex+Money; A National Search for Human Worth." She has a passion for righteousness and justice and a tender heart towards the innocent children who have been sexually exploited and victimized.
Ben Decker is a philanthropist, publicist, event planner, promoter and entrepreneur. He has been involved in events associated with the Golden Globe Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, BET Awards and more. Ben specializes in producing and publicizing concerts, fashion shows and charity events. Ben has been a part of fundraising events for Unlikely Heroes, Toys for Tots, Susan G. Komen foundation, Benson Breast Cancer Foundation, Children of the Night, SPCALA, The American Red Cross, Falling Whistles, Love Cures Cancer, Total Family Support Clinic and more. Ben is an active member of the community, often finding new projects to participate in, volunteer for, and support. A former actor, he has appeared on multiple TV shows and film, and most recently, reality TV featuring his work in public relations.