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Half the Sky club aims to raise awareness about sex trafficking

Ryan Revock /  Arizona Daily Wildcat

Briana Telford, Half the Sky president and marketing senior, helped found the new club.  Half the Sky is a new club that is trying to raise awareness about sex trafficing.
Ryan Revock
Ryan Revock / Arizona Daily Wildcat Briana Telford, Half the Sky president and marketing senior, helped found the new club. Half the Sky is a new club that is trying to raise awareness about sex trafficing.

A UA club hopes to raise awareness on campus and in the community about sex trafficking.

The new club, Half the Sky, was created last month and is named after a book and documentary of the same name, according to Briana Telford, the club president and a marketing senior. The goal of the club is to raise money to help prevent sex trafficking and to raise awareness about the issue, according to Kim Gould, the club treasurer and a psychology sophomore.

“It is not just a global problem; it’s in the United States, it’s in Tucson, it could be literally right next door to you,” Gould said. “So if you are willing to acknowledge the fact that it is in your community, it could be someone you know and not do anything about it that’s on you. You should want to do something about it.”

The club is already making plans to help the community. In March, Half the Sky will be training with Sold No More, an organization that has goals similar to those of the club, so they can help educate local middle school and high school students on sex trafficking, Telford said.

The club also hopes to have a “percentage night” this semester to help raise money to fight against sex trafficking, according to Gould. Club members are working toward having a guest speaker from the organization Streetlight USA speak at one of their meetings as well.

Maggie Bellino, a founding member of the club and sociology senior, became concerned about human trafficking after attending a conference at the UA and because she has family friends doing work against trafficking in Indonesia.

Last summer, Bellino went to Indonesia and saw the effects of the sex trade and human trafficking.

“I got to speak with a lot of women who had been involved in the human trafficking business in Southeast Asia,” Bellino said. “It just rips your heart out and so you have to do something about it once you learn this is going on, especially in Tucson, like a couple miles away from our campus, women are getting sold for slavery.”

The club is open to new ideas on how they can help raise awareness in the community, according to Telford, who encourages people to share those ideas with the club.

“We [Gould, Bellino and Telford] are three people that are very passionate about making a change and we want to find other people who are just as passionate to making a change as we are,” Gould said. “Over time, I think that this is going to be a really great thing and we are going to do a lot of good.”

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