Instructions for participation as a paddler are on our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1525361534164889
Below is a press release for you to be more fully informed, and to share with media who might care about this issue and our community involvement. Thanks!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Paddle Against Human Trafficking!
Survivors, Advocates, Students Launch East River Tour in View of United Nations
An Event for the UN World Day Against Trafficking in Humans
When: Sunday, July 30, 2017 (8AM in LIC, 10AM in Dumbo)
Where: Gantry Plaza State Park (50th Avenue and Center Blvd, LIC, NY 11101)
Dumbo Cove (between Main Street Playground and Jane’s Carousel)
On the 2017 UN World Day Against Trafficking of Persons (July 30) HarborLAB, Beauty for Freedom, other women’s advocates (UN Women Metro NY,Womankind, Mentari), survivors of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, and students will launch what will become an annual kayak tour to raise awareness and funds to combat this crime against humanity and to help its survivors heal.
8AM in LIC: Shandra Woworuntu, Founder and Executive Director of the Mentari Human Trafficking Survivor Empowerment Program and a member of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. Ms. Woworuntu is a survivor of human trafficking and forced prostitution.
10AM in Dumbo: TBA (City representative)
We’ll launch from Gantry Plaza State Park, across from the UN, and land in Dumbo, across from City Hall and One Police Plaza, and then return. Following through on this event, HarborLAB will provide special programs to human trafficking survivors based on the therapeutic value of time in nature and the confidence-building opportunity of mastering aa novel challenge like kayaking. Beauty for Freedom continually empowers these women through art.
“HarborLAB sums up its mission up as ‘Paddling for environmental and social good.’ When volunteer kayak instructor Steven Chu, a wonderfully creative person, shared this idea with the group, it was a natural fit,” said HarborLAB Executive Director Erik Baard. “Waterways have carried people to slavery and exploitation, but waterways can also carry people to healing and growth. Kayaking is one of the best ways to experience nature in New York City, and research has shown great psychological benefit from that.”
“The crisis of human trafficking is a global issue that affects us all and we can all be a part of eradicating slavery. Educating ourselves on the implications of sex trafficking and labor trafficking by advocating for stricter laws and knowing where and how our clothes are made and our food is cultivated is a good start, but we can all do more. Supporting incredible organizations like UN Women, Womankind and MENTARI are paramount to supporting the modern day abolitionist movement and it is an honor to take part in the “Turning the Tide on Human Trafficking” event with HarborLAB supporting survivors on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.”
Launch: Gantry Plaza State Park.
Schedule set by tidal currents:
715am: Leave HarborLAB with boats and gear.
730am: Gather at Gantry Plaza State Park (South Pier/50th Ave). Load in boats, fit life vests, etc.
8am: Remarks by Erik Baard, Monica Watkins
805am: SPEAKER: Shandra Woworuntu of Mentari Human Trafficking Survivor Empowerment Program (http://www.mentariusa.org/).
820am: Safety talk.
830AM: Launch for Dumbo!
Photo op: Students in kayaks, possibly with banner, with UN in background.
930AM: Land at DUMBO Cove.
Brunch, speaker from NYC government. Remarks by Giselle Bowyer (UN Women), Yinan Xia (Womankind)
12PM: Launch for return.
130PM: Land. Load boats and return gear.
About the sponsors:
HarborLAB is a student and volunteer organization affiliated with Open Space Institute dedicated to environmental service, education, and social good. HarborLAB provides free boating, field trips, and classroom programs, especially for communities underrepresented in local maritime life and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields. HarborLAB has two kayak and canoe fleets, one on New York Harbor and another on the Neversink Reservoir, to provide comprehensive experiential learning of NYC’s water systems. www.harborlab.org
Beauty for Freedom (BFF), a 501(c)(3) Non-profit foundation, whose mission is to battle the crisis of human trafficking and empower survivors, raises revenue for survivors in the developing world with a fresh approach of self-worth and empowerment through the arts. We engage the industries of Beauty and Fashion as powerful allies in the fight to end human trafficking through public campaigns, our travel-abroad arts therapy workshops for survivors and events. www.beautyforfreedom.org