West Forsyth High School students put face to human trafficking, slavery

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FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A human trafficking and slavery awareness event was held at West Forsyth High School’s gymnasium March 27.

WFHS Senior Class President Mason Waters organized the event with West Forsyth senior Kelsy Gibson, North Forsyth senior Taylor Stubbs and West Forsyth sophomore Austin Bell, along with several other students from all the five county high schools, to raise awareness in the local community.

“Our main goal is to inform people that the issue is occurring and it’s serious,” Waters said. “We can help in large or small ways if we so choose.”

The event included live worship-style music led by Brett Younker of Atlanta’s Passion City Church and speeches from Forsyth County Superintendent L.C. “Buster” Evans, Forsyth County Sherriff Duane Piper and Bryson Vogeltanz of Passion City Church and director of the End It Movement.

Students also presented real, former or current enslaved people’s testimonies, displaying photos of former slaves on the gymnasium entrance to reinforce the reality of the issue. Waters said they encouraged donations, which will go to three of the five coalition partners that can be found on enditmovement.com.

These organizations support international prosecuting of traffickers, rehabilitation facilities and contribute to anti-trafficking events.

Waters said Atlanta’s Passion Conference in early January sparked interest to hold an event in the community. Attendees of the conference from area high schools pitched in to make the event possible.

“We’ve discussed how if we were one of the enslaved, say in the Philippines, and we were aware that there were a group of high-schoolers in Cumming, Ga., who could help in some way, big or small, then we would want them to do that,” Waters said. “We want to be the voice for those who have no voice.”