Farewell Heart.Beats.Slavery

Friends, the time has come to officially shut down Heart.Beats.Slavery. This has been an incredible journey. From the first mustard seed idea, to the many huge leaps of faith required (and taken), to the joys of progress and the tears shed for plans derailed.  I have probably hung on to this vision too long.  It’s such a good vision. I hate to let it go.

“You’ll have dreams bigger than your hands can hold. There’ll come a time when you’ll have to learn to let ‘em go.”  -Kaitlin’s Song by Ryan Adcock

While I’m still open to the possibility of this project coming back to life in the future, I am certain it is time to let it go for now. Thanks to Jamey Ponte for making the current incarnation possible. Your willingness to share your non-profit status and fantastic connections has been an incredible gift that keeps on giving! You introduced me to Ursula Roma who created the amazingly beautiful logo for HBS. Metal heart BW

So many abundantly talented and generous people contributed to this project. And many more offered to contribute to the making of this documentary. The fantastic friends I met on this journey made every effort to follow this dream worth it! I’m extremely humbled and thankful for all of you!

I will leave the website up through June, if anyone wants to watch (one more time) the inspiring 3.5 minute video about the 27-hour Triathlon in Lexington. Thomas, I love the work you did and the care you put into every shot.  THANK YOU for the many long hours…working for WAY less money than you deserved. I’m forever grateful for you, your dedication, and friendship. We did have some fun along the way!

I am profoundly grateful to everyone who donated time, talents, money, cameras & lighting equipment, advice, networking connections, prayers, encouragement, bought t-shirts, wore the t-shirts in public (and told me how many compliments they got on the t-shirt), and loved me through it ALL.  I cannot express my appreciation enough.

Gratefully yours, Emily

CPD’s POV on Human Trafficking

Two months ago I facilitated a class at The Health Collaborative (where I work) designed for health care professionals on how to identify and report suspected cases of human trafficking.  Thanks to our knowledgeable speakers (Erin & Bhumika from End Slavery Cincinnati, Rosanne from UC Medical Center), it was a success! Then we followed the class with a lively discussion via a Town Hall with Rep. Denise Driehaus and Councilwoman Yvette Simpson. I’ll share more about the Town Hall in a future post.

In preparation for the class, I interviewed Officer Nate Young from The Cincinnati Police Department for a video we showed during the class.  I edited the video myself, which I had never done before. So it’s nothing fancy, but delivers the important perspective and first-hand stories from law enforcement.  Hopefully you will learn something from what Nate shares in this video:


Mother Love

Ever since celebrating Mother’s Day last week, I’ve been noticing various ways people love like a mother, honor mothers, and ways to be a mother-with or without children. It reminded me of the only Mother’s Day card I’ve ever received (see pic below).  Since I do not have any children, I did not think I’d ever get a Mother’s Day card, but my friends know my heart!  And working on producing this documentary has, at times, resembled giving birth and/or nurturing a child in many ways!

HBS mother card

It also reminded me of the many times I’ve heard people who work for organizations that fight trafficking say that what keeps them going (when they’ve seen too many heartbreaking stories in the realm of rescuing and rehabilitating victims) is remembering that the girls and women they are helping are somebody’s daughter and/or somebody’s mother.  Or sometimes they even imagine the girl they are saving is THEIR daughter.  This perspective came up when interviewing Officer Nate Young on Friday.  Nate is on the Human Trafficking Task Force with the Cincinnati Police Department. Among other things, he shared the heartbreaking truth that he has encountered trafficking victims younger than 10 yrs. old.


We (myself and two colleagues in photo) were filming Nate for a video segment we will feature in a Human Trafficking class geared towards healthcare providers.  Click here for more info about that class.  And during the interview, we asked what he would share with the general public about why it is important for them to be aware of human trafficking and to report suspicions of trafficking when they see it.  Part of his answer included that they need to remember the girls/women they could save either have a mother who loves them or they are a mother who loves their children. That’s why it’s important to do what we can to restore the survivors’ dignity and remind them how a mother’s love feels.

                                                                                                          Photo L to R: Nate, Becca, Shannan, and me


Collaborative Effort

Happy Spring! Spring is when things that have been dormant blossom with new life. Like this blog! 🙂

In my last post, you may remember my mention of a training in the works for healthcare providers on ways to identify and address victims of human trafficking.  I am now officially on the Education Team for The Health Collaborative which is holding the training.  I am pleased to announce that the details have come together nicely and the date is June 22nd!  CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO  Med Img

While a large percentage of human trafficking victims come in contact with medical providers, a small percentage of providers are trained to know the signs of trafficking or how to intervene.  I am very proud to be a part of presenting this important training specifically designed for healthcare providers.


Heart for Sale!

Thanks to the generosity of Ursula Roma, you can purchase one of these beautiful metal hearts (photo below) and proceeds will go to support the production of this important documentary!

Metal heart Color

Ursula is the fantastic artist who designed the Heart.Beats.Slavery logo, and now she’s used that design to create these metal hearts.  These unique pieces of art are available by pre-order only in 2 sizes.

emily kimball flyers

The smaller metal heart ($150) is on display at It’s Only Fair! in Main Strasse Covington.

To order a metal heart, you can fill out an order form at It’s Only Fair! OR leave me a message/comment on Facebook.  OR email me at: heart.beats.slavery@gmail.com

Once the order is placed, your heart will be cut for you.

We expect orders will be filled/delivered within 2-3 weeks.

Thinking this would be a great Valentine’s Day gift? You are correct! Just put a photo of the metal heart into a mushy card professing your love, and know that the heart will be ready for your sweetie to hang within a month! Great for husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, that cute little redheaded girl you have a crush on, … you get the idea! Or buy one for yourself!

Your purchase will not only look incredible in your home or the home of a loved one, you’ll be helping the production of this documentary! HBS will tell the stories of how ordinary people can and do combat human trafficking.  And with the purchase of this metal heart, you’ll know that includes YOU!

Still, my heart

Yes, I’m STILL here! The past several months have been full of distractions and obstacles, including a new full time job for me.  So, my intentions to keep updates coming via this blog were stalled.  Good news is I am working for a wonderful organization called The Health Collaborative. Among MANY other things we do at The Health Collaborative, we provide trainings for healthcare professionals.  I am helping to plan a training about Human Trafficking specifically for nurses and social workers that will take place this Spring.  I’ll post more about that as the date draws closer.  I’m honored to be working for this visionary organization that is working to transform healthcare in the Cincinnati region.

Not long after my last post, I got to attend three excellent events that addressed ways to fight human trafficking.  First there was the event organized by Google at the Freedom Center called America’s Children are Not for Sale.  It was a day full of important discussions about the need for collaborations and thinking outside the box.  Next was the fantastic Historians Against Slavery Conference.  I’ve been to 2 of these and I highly recommend.  The next HAS Conference will be in 2017.  Lastly, I got to spend a full weekend with Becca Stevens, the founder of Thistle Farms.  As with my first direct encounter with Becca in June (click here for that post), I got to experience in a very authentic way their motto: Love Heals! Due to the long dry spell, I won’t go into too much detail about those right now.

What’s next? Glad you asked! I’ll save the details for the next post, but it involves the beautiful metal heart in the photo below.  Stay tuned for the launch of a very special fund raiser COMING SOON!

Metal heart BW


Be still, my heart!  I love that Ursula took the logo she created for HBS and designed this metal heart.  Do you like it?

Wax on. Wax off. A progress report.

A year ago I took a major leap of faith.  I quit my full-time job in HR at a local hospital to focus on finishing this documentary.  My last day at that job was 8/8/14.  The intention was to free up my time and energy to devote to all things necessary to move forward with the film production.

However, there have been no more funds collected, no film crew hired, no new director found, and no further filming completed.  A whole year has passed and nothing to show for it.

And yet… the vision for the film has been refined, been affirmed, gained new fans.  My role as producer has become clearer, been encouraged, grown.  I, personally, have been sharpened, inspired, and empowered in ways too complex to explain… except to compare my journey this past year to the classic 80’s film “The Karate Kid.”


In this film, young Daniel wants to learn Karate.  Mr. Miyagi says he can teach Daniel Karate.  So Daniel starts going to Mr. Miyagi’s house every day to learn Karate. But Mr. Miyagi has Daniel wash his car, wax his car, and paint his fence.  To make it more annoying, Mr. Miyagi micro manages HOW Daniel does these chores for him. Incessantly repeating while correcting his specific motions, “Wax on. Wax off,” and, “Paint the fence.”  Understandably, Daniel gets frustrated that Mr. Miyagi is NOT teaching him Karate, as promised.  And the big Karate match is approaching. And he has to compete against the bully from school. And he still has not learned anything about Karate. Or has he?

In the climactic scenes of the Karate Kid, Daniel is on the mat in competition thinking he’s doomed. Then Mr. Miyagi yells from the sidelines, “Wax on! Wax off!”  With those motions, Daniel is able to block the moves of his opponent.  Then Mr. Miyagi coaches, “Paint the fence!”  BAM! Before he knows it, Daniel is in the final round and using expert Karate skills he had not realized were being honed by waxing a car and painting a fence.

So it is with progress on Heart.Beats.Slavery from 8/8/14 – 8/8/15.   I think God is pulling a Mr. Miyagi with me.  I sense that soon all previous work and the pieces of the HBS puzzle I have collected since 2010 will start falling into place. And I will be grateful for how the creative vision has been honed and affirmed over this past year of no perceivable progress. Ah- but for the incessant Wax on. Wax off. Paint the fence.

Abolitionists with Solidarity

It has been a busy summer!  I had the opportunity to help plan a successful breakfast event that took place in early July for some of my fellow abolitionists.  The purpose of the breakfast meeting was to gather key abolitionists from a variety of organizations (mostly from Ohio) to share ideas about working together, share best practices, and the possibility of promoting each other’s work.  The organization that hosted the event was Operation Underground Railroad from Utah.  Their representatives were in Cincinnati for the TEDxCincinnati  MainStage event on July 9th.  See photo below of attendees.*OURbrkfstclub

How and why did this breakfast of solidarity come together?  I have been on the planning team for TEDxCincinnati since 2012.  One of our speakers for our July 9th event was Ed Smart, father of Elizabeth Smart.  Elizabeth had been abducted from her bed in Salt Lake City on June 5, 2002 and found in the company of her abductors nine months later- just 18 miles from her home.  Since then, both Elizabeth and her father, Ed, have become activists regarding crimes against children.  And Ed is currently on staff at Operation Underground Railroad (OUR).

Since Ed Smart (plus his wife, Lois) and Erin Kemp from OUR were flying in from Utah, they requested a meeting with other abolitionists.  So, Jami Edelheit (Director of TEDxCincinnati), put them in contact with me, knowing I would be able to help invite the key abolitionists from this region.  So glad we connected and that several local abolitionist were able to join us for breakfast.  It was a lively and constructive conversation where we all got to share the unique ways we are all fighting human trafficking. Great ideas and resources were shared by all.  It was a lovely breakfast meeting.  We all look forward to collaborating in the future!

*Pictured L to R: Tony & Katie Talbott (Abolition Ohio), Bhumika Patel (End Slavery Cincinnati), me (in black), Erin Kemp (OUR), Mariah Long & Brooke Hathaway (National Underground Railroad Freedom Center), Lois & Ed Smart (OUR)

Love Heals- My visit to Thistle Farms

Two weeks ago I made a road trip to Nashville to visit Thistle Farms with my board member, Reegan.  Reegan has her own fair trade store in Covington, KY and she had proudly sold Thistle Farm products since It’s Only Fair! opened 3 years ago.  Reegan and I have been planning this road trip forever!

Thistle R&L

Reegan & Laurie with Katrina who takes Reegan’s order for It’s Only Fair!

All I can say is WOW!  So inspired by our full day visit, workshop, and tour of Thistle Farms and one of the Magdalene Homes where the women of Thistle Farms live during their 2 year program.  Here is an overview of what Thistle Farms does as taken directly from their website (www.thistlefarms.org):

“We are a community of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. We believe that in the end, love is the strongest force in the world for change.

The social enterprise of Thistle Farms is run by residents and graduates of the program. By hand, the women create natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. Purchases of Thistle Farms products directly benefit the women by whom they were made.

While working at Thistle Farms, women learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, marketing and sales, and administration. It is a supportive workplace where women acquire the skills they need to earn a living wage. Employees have the opportunity to put a percentage of their earnings in a matched savings account provided by Magdalene, the residential program. Through Thistle Farms, women gain much needed job skills, and learn responsibility and cooperation. Thistle Farms is housed in an 11,000 square feet sales and manufacturing facility. Thistle Stop Cafe, the global initiative (Shared Trade), and the Studios, the paper and sewing workshop, are also in the same building. We are committed to growing in order to employ more women and have greater opportunities to share our stories of healing on a larger scale.”

We got to hear the founder, Becca Stevens, speak and she is a captivating story teller.  She is deeply grounded in the power of community and love as ways to heal the heartbreaking issues of society.

The light fixtures in the Thistle Stop cafe are made of tea cups that represent the stories of every woman who benefits from the program.  They say there is a story in every cup!

Thistle Cups


After hearing several women who are either currently in the program or have graduated from the program, I have no doubt of their motto: #LOVEHEALS

Thistle Farms is a shining illustration of the context for the Heart.Beats.Slavery documentary.  Everyone has gifts and can contribute towards combatting human trafficking.  It all happens via relationships and ripple effects.  All it takes is the courage to take a stand!

Affected by the Ripple Effect

The power of the ripple effect is a major theme for this documentary. The reason I am producing this documentary is due to the ripple effect. Even though I had been heartbroken by stories of human trafficking prior to 2010, I didn’t think about how I could help combat it until two very dear friends became involved in combatting human trafficking. It was my relationship with them, supporting them, encouraging them that had me start thinking, “What can I do?” And so it goes…

That is why this documentary will tell stories highlighting ordinary people using their natural gifts and talents as a platform for fighting trafficking.  AND how their friends, family, and colleagues are affected by their efforts.

Click here for another story emphasizing the power of the ripple effect.

The clip below is an interview with me and my friend, Melissa, who is the mother of Vanessa featured in the blog post about the Lemonade Stand.  This interview conducted by Joules Evans (off camera) shows more evidence of the beauty of the ripple effect.

Did this post get you thinking about ways you can use your gifts and talents to combat trafficking? If so, feel free to share in the comments.