Cheyenne Redman-Sullivan Takes ACTION at Academy. (Andrew Barren’22/Media)
Human trafficking is a devastating form of enslavement affecting millions worldwide. It is widely prevalent in the United States, and our hometown is an epicenter of activity, yet it is seldom addressed. Senior Cheyenne Redman-Sullivan is determined to change this.
Ohio is ranked #4 in the nation in human trafficking, a statistic Redman-Sullivan believes is alarming. On Tuesday, November 27, Redman-Sullivan hosted an ACTION meeting for Academy high schoolers to watch short episodes of a docu-series, Sold in America. The series includes narratives from workers, former victims and buyers involved in human trafficking.
Redman-Sullivan hopes to enact change in her community, starting with these difficult conversations in school. She believes that in order to turn the tide on this issue, the first step will be awareness.
Was there anything specifically that brought your attention to human trafficking? In other words, why did you choose this as a major initiative for ACTION?
What brought my attention to human trafficking was the fact that it’s such a prominent and complex issue in Ohio. Yet, it seems that so few people know of the severity of it-especially being a senior, I am anxious about encountering the dangers and realities that lurk in the outside world. Human trafficking was a topic that I thought many others should be aware of while exploring the world. I believe that everyone should be aware of this issue, as anyone can become a victim of human trafficking.
What does Academy have to learn about human trafficking?
Academy has to learn that trafficking can happen to anyone. It does not matter your race, age, class or even thegender in which you identify. If you are seen as vulnerable, you can be targeted whether you are in a parking lot, walking home or out with friends. Academy also has to learn the signs of human trafficking, because once we see these signs-we will be able to help someone who is being trafficked. Within Academy’s community, there are people who have the power and connections needed to make a change and bring attention to this issue. If we are able to identify it and help those who have been taken advantage of, we can truly make a difference.
Are there any other human rights issues you plan to tackle in ACTION?
ACTION plans to take on many topics: some are human rights issues, and some are social issues that people may not be aware of. We plan to talk about mass incarceration, Feminism vs. Womanism, rape culture and modern day segregation. Within ACTION, we hope to bring awareness to narratives that are often unheard of or forgotten. We hope to motivate our community to engage in learning about social issues or human rights issues and think critically about how to solve them. Through this process of learning, we aspire to liberate the mind and come together as a community to make better decisions as a whole.