How can a Lemonade Stand fight Human Trafficking?

Stories of ordinary people of all ages who take a stand for fighting human trafficking is at the core of this documentary.  And the story of Vanessa and her lemonade stand is an excellent illustration.  Watch the clip below about how Vanessa and her friends raised $230 with a lemonade stand. Thanks to my friend, Joules Evans, for interviewing Vanessa for this story.

The money they raised will help make this film.  And this film promises to be full of inspirational stories to motivate more ordinary people to take action, just like Vanessa did.

There is another 10 year old girl who sells lemonade to fight child slavery.  To learn more, visit www.makeastand.com  People of all ages CAN & DO make a difference.

Now that you are inspired by these young women with vision, think about what platform YOU could use to raise awareness and/or funds to fight human trafficking.  Feel free to post your ideas in the comments!

Building Block: Deadlines

As the producer of this important documentary, I am passionate about the vision. I know it will be a good and pertinent film when it is finished. I know it will be worth watching. I am passionate about the win/win culture of this film. I am passionate about inspiring others to use their unique gifts/talents to help fight human trafficking. But to be completely vulnerable, my biggest fear is that the film will never get made.

This fear was directly confronted last weekend. I was in a conversation with Peter Block – a man who is also passionate about people getting engaged and bringing their gifts to the table for positive change- and he asked me when the film would be finished. I immediately started with, “It depends… ” – then listed all the logical variables that any filmmaker is familiar with; funds, crew, timing, logistics, blah, blah, blah. Shortly thereafter, Peter Block looked me right in the eyes and said, “I don’t think you are serious about the documentary.” What? Did he not see how passionate I am? He said, “If you were serious, you would have answered my question with a date.” Good point, Peter. And thank you, Peter, for confronting my deepest fear.
DeadlineCalm

Yes, I actually did thank him for confronting my deepest fear – directly to him 5 minutes later. With vulnerable tears flowing. And committed to set some deadlines. You are reading them here first:

Deadline #1: Complete a short version (approximately 20 minutes run time) to be submitted as a documentary short in film festivals by 4/29/2015
Deadline #2: Complete the full length film by 7/8/16
Deadline #3: Have Heart.Beats.Slavery viewed at 3 film festivals by 3/17/17

These deadlines may seem too short or too long. But they are a target to aim for. A destination. I am taking off from here: no funds, no crew. I am not only a woman with a vision, but I am a producer with a plan. And deadlines to hit. Stay tuned for progress to celebrate!

HBS Hiatus: History and Halt

Have you ever been stuck in the snow or mud in your car? If you have, you know you can put your foot on the gas, pedal to the metal, all you want -and the wheels of the car will spin but the car does not move forward. About a year ago, I felt Heart.Beats.Slavery was stuck – just like that. I was staying busy doing all the things, going to all the events, etc. that I had been doing since November 2010, but the production was not moving forward. When a car is stuck in the snow or mud, the car will not move forward unless the driver does something different. Call for help, get out of the car, find people to push, use cardboard or kitty litter to gain traction… something! It became clear to me, I needed to do something different. But I was not sure exactly what, so I put the whole production on hiatus.

There are a couple of airport analogies applicable to this hiatus. One was used during a leadership program I participated in about 20 years ago in NYC. It was something like this: “You can’t buy a plane ticket for your vacation destination without knowing which airport you are departing from. You can’t get to where you are going without knowing where you are now.” The other was shared by Mark Burnett (creator of reality shows Survivor, Amazing Race, etc.) when I saw him speak in Cincinnati a few months ago. It goes something like this: “When a plane takes off, the pilot may know the destination and which direction to go. But between departure and landing at the destination, there will be many re-calibrations of speed and direction to accommodate things beyond the pilot’s control.”
airport

Lots of re-calibration is exactly what I have been doing for the past year. I stopped spinning my wheels, let go of what moving forward looked like, took a good look at where HBS was and looked for ways I needed to re-calibrate. One tool for recalibration was doing a business incubator course via ArtWorks. This was a great way for me to focus on and break down the business basics of what is needed to complete the documentary. With the help of my fabulous facilitator and classmates, I came up with a do-able plan for fund raising. More on that later! The other thing I became crystal clear about was the need for a job change. While I liked my job and was totally grateful for the many years I worked for the hospital, the hours and schedule were a hindrance to the productivity and focus needed to move forward with Heart.Beats.Slavery. For several months I thought that finding a new full-time (but with more flexible hours) job was the answer to that issue. But in the end, I realized what I really needed to do is take a big leap of faith.

That leap of faith means- I QUIT MY JOB to finish the documentary! I know I did what is best for me and the vision for this film because I am filled with a peace that surpasses understanding. I have let go of what my provision looks like, while also knowing I can always work in restaurants or catering (relying on close to 20 years of experience in those areas).

So this post is the official announcement that the HBS Hiatus has come to a HALT.
What’s next? Some priorities are listed below:

~ GRANTS and fund raising: HBS has 501c3 status thanks to being an initiative of the Child Wellness Fund
~ Securing partnership with a production house (to be my trusty film crew) that truly gets the vision of this documentary.
~ Following up with long-time supporters of this vision and procuring new supporters via lots of networking, meetings, conferences, etc.
~ Fund raising campaigns via online crowd funding (like Kickstarter, but will probably be another platform)- stay tuned for details
~ Applying for grants- many grant application deadlines are October and November- need to do research and apply
~ Securing a bookkeeper or accountant to help manage HBS funds efficiently and accurately. If you know someone, please contact me.
~ Writing updates via blog posts like this one more often (goal is 2-3 per month) – future posts will probably be shorter!

Finally, I extend my deepest respect and gratitude to my wonderful board members who have loyally supported HBS over the past 3 years. I will be moving forward with a smaller board/ fewer board members for efficiency purposes. And I know that all my board members past and present will always be strong supporters, cheerleaders, and helping hands whenever possible throughout the future process and production.

As always, thanks to all of YOU who follow on Facebook, Twitter, and through direct personal support. Your prayers and encouragement are sincerely appreciated and make a huge difference in this cause. Stay tuned for more frequent updates!

Ribbon cutting for fair trade store: It's Only Fair!

HBS- Past, Present, and Future

A lot has happened since I started working on this documentary vision in November 2010.

In April, Heart.Beats.Slavery was featured in the End Slavery Cincinnati newsletter. You can view that newsletter by clicking this link: April 2013 ESC Newsletter End Slavery Cincinnati, along with several other organizations that do similar work to fight human trafficking, will be featured in our documentary.

Ribbon cutting for fair trade store: It’s Only Fair!


~ Established many positive relationships with collaborators and supporters including Polaris Project, Rescue & Restore KY, Partners Against Trafficking Humans, Abolition Ohio, The Freedom Center, many like-minded filmmakers, just to name a few.

~ Filmed the Tri4Freedom 27 Hour Triathlon in Lexington & created 3.5 minute promo

~ Raised over $3k in donations and t-shirt sales, and from a festive Christmas Party

~ Had an offer from an extremely talented band to provide our soundtrack, including permission to use any of their past songs free of charge (very excited about this)

~ Attended many events and conferences including the International Freedom Conductor Awards Gala that honored Nicholas Kristof (Half the Sky), Consciousness Rising at University of Dayton, and Justice Film Fest in Philadelphia

Plans for the future include:

~ Filming organization named Free the Birds in Nashville

~ Continuing more networking with organizations in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana

~ Applying for grants, online crowd funding campaign, planning more fund raising events

~ Submitting short version of the film to a couple of small film festivals in 2015

To keep informed and/or show support for Heart.Beats.Slavery, “LIKE” our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hbsdocumentary or follow us on Twitter: @hbsdocumentary.

Thanks to all of you for your support, endorsement, and encouragement for Heart.Beats.Slavery!

Stay tuned as we continue to move forward in making this unique and important documentary!

Website Launch!

I am incredibly excited to announce the launch of the Heart.Beats.Slavery website! 
Follow this link to visit and please provide feedback:


A huge thanks goes to David Cummings and Top Dog Marketing for building the website. 

Along with the site launch, 
I decided to get all the HBS social media started all at once.  

Follow Heart.Beats.Slavery on Twitter: @HBSdocumentary


And please consider supporting to this important film production via PayPal 
(follow PayPal link on this blog or the link on the new site), 
purchasing a t-shirt (see previous post), 
or email us at heart.beats.slavery@gmail.com 
for other ways to donate or support Heart.Beats.Slavery!

Website, Facebook, and Twitter!  Oh my!

Filming starts Fall 2012!

Gratefully yours, Emily

T-Shirts: Wear your Heart.Beats.Slavery out!

Support Heart.Beats.Slavery by wearing this beautiful, comfortable, fair trade t-shirt!

My dear friend, Chelle, proudly wears her HBS T-shirt!

The amazing design by Ursula Roma really pops on this black cotton fair trade t-shirt.

Here is a close up of the t-shirt design:

Heart.Beats.Slavery T-shirt graphic

Mens/Unisex sizes M-2XL, these are slightly fitted and super soft, thinner cotton. These shirts are made in the U.S.A. and are just $20. Email your order to:

heart.beats.slavery@gmail.com

We can work out payment and delivery arrangements via email! Thanks!

It's Only Fair

It’s Only Fair!

One of the board members for Heart.Beats.Slavery, Reegan Hill, is fulfilling her dream of opening a fair trade store.  For the past several years, Reegan has been operating her business “In His Image Designs” as a traveling show of sorts.  She sets up booths at all sorts of events and does private in-home shows.  But the idea and hope of being able to operate out of a permanent store front on all the days in between the events and home shows has been brewing a long while. 


I am proud to announce that today is the Grand Opening of  It’s Only Fair! 

It’s Only Fair! Located at 123 9th Street, Newport, KY



By having this permanent location she can carry items that were too cumbersome to track and travel with before.  She’ll also be selling fair trade coffee (roasted locally by a couple who lives down the street from her new store) and fair trade chocolate.  


One of the many things I love about Reegan and her vision is her collaborative spirit.  This store will also feature t-shirts from another local fair trade entrepreneur, Emily Hill’s company- Stop Traffick Fashion.  Stop Traffick Fashion’s t-shirts are made by Freeset, a wonderful company in the red-light district of Calcutta, India that employs women who have escaped sex slavery.  And, of course, you can also pick up a Heart.Beats.Slavery shirt while you are buying lots of wonderful fair trade products at It’s Only Fair!  See you there!

TEDxCincinnatiChange

TEDxCincinnati Change Re-cap: Use what you do to help end sex trafficking

I have the honor of being on the planning team for TEDxCincinnati.  We just had a fantastic TEDxChange event last week at St. Michael’s Art Sanctuary.  The complete line-up of speakers was truly inspiring.  It seemed to me that every TED Talk last Saturday was very much in line with the vision for this documentary.  From Ashley Beckett’s charge to examine how we as individuals engage with the charities we fund, how aid workers engage with countries in need, how humanitarian organizations engage with the people they support, to Ramsey Ford’s “Somebody please tweet this,” charge that “Successful community change needs to be owned by the community!”  I was blessed to be a witness all day. 

One of the highlights of the day (aside from going through a Taco Tunnel for lunch and U2 covered by a harpist), was the moving (literally) presentation by Stacy Sims
Stacy explains why it is important to connect with & be aware of our bodies every day

As founder of the True Body Project, Stacy Sims explores through movement self-examination and critical thinking about the body and body image. Stacy discussed how small somatic shifts in the way we unite our minds and bodies can transform our lives, allowing us to become productive, creative and connected to ourselves and those around us.


I met Stacy last November with the intent to share the vision of this documentary. We have a few friends in common and they had urged me to contact her.  Why? Because she does what I hope this film inspires everyone to do: Use who you are and what you do everyday to help end sex slavery.  Stacy uses her wisdom about movement and the mind/body connection to help people step into a full sense of themselves, enabling them to move forward with confidence in who they are and pursue bigger dreams.  She does this with all types of people. And she does this with victims of sex trafficking.  


How will this help end sex trafficking?  Stacy has traveled to Cambodia to work with the young women rescued from sex slavery in the Transitions after care homes, aptly called Dream Homes.  After years of being raped for profit at the hands of their traffickers, these young women have coped by disconnecting from their bodies and their dreams of a better life.  They have disconnected from hope.  Stacy works with them to help them feel safe in their bodies again.  It’s a complex journey of healing they have to navigate. But once they feel safe and connected to their bodies, they can pursue their true dreams with creative inspiration.  They begin to stop thinking that returning to their pimp is their only option.  And THAT stops traffickers in their tracks.


Stacy, thanks for generously sharing your life and wisdom with others. I am blessed to know you and consider you a partner in ending human trafficking! 

TEDxCincinnati Change Re-cap: Use what you do to help end sex trafficking

I have the honor of being on the planning team for TEDxCincinnati.  We just had a fantastic TEDxChange event last week at St. Michael's Art Sanctuary.  The complete line-up of speakers was truly inspiring.  It seemed to me that every TED Talk last Saturday was very much in line with the vision for this documentary.  From Ashley Beckett's charge to examine how we as individuals engage with the charities we fund, how aid workers engage with countries in need, how humanitarian organizations engage with the people they support, to Ramsey Ford's "Somebody please tweet this," charge that "Successful community change needs to be owned by the community!"  I was blessed to be a witness all day. 

One of the highlights of the day (aside from going through a Taco Tunnel for lunch and U2 covered by a harpist), was the moving (literally) presentation by Stacy Sims

Stacy explains why it is important to connect with & be aware of our bodies every day

As founder of the True Body Project, Stacy Sims explores through movement self-examination and critical thinking about the body and body image. Stacy discussed how small somatic shifts in the way we unite our minds and bodies can transform our lives, allowing us to become productive, creative and connected to ourselves and those around us.


I met Stacy last November with the intent to share the vision of this documentary. We have a few friends in common and they had urged me to contact her.  Why? Because she does what I hope this film inspires everyone to do: Use who you are and what you do everyday to help end sex slavery.  Stacy uses her wisdom about movement and the mind/body connection to help people step into a full sense of themselves, enabling them to move forward with confidence in who they are and pursue bigger dreams.  She does this with all types of people. And she does this with victims of sex trafficking.  


How will this help end sex trafficking?  Stacy has traveled to Cambodia to work with the young women rescued from sex slavery in the Transitions after care homes, aptly called Dream Homes.  After years of being raped for profit at the hands of their traffickers, these young women have coped by disconnecting from their bodies and their dreams of a better life.  They have disconnected from hope.  Stacy works with them to help them feel safe in their bodies again.  It's a complex journey of healing they have to navigate. But once they feel safe and connected to their bodies, they can pursue their true dreams with creative inspiration.  They begin to stop thinking that returning to their pimp is their only option.  And THAT stops traffickers in their tracks.


Stacy, thanks for generously sharing your life and wisdom with others. I am blessed to know you and consider you a partner in ending human trafficking! 

T-Shirts: Wear your Heart.Beats.Slavery out!

Support Heart.Beats.Slavery by wearing this beautiful, comfortable, fair trade t-shirt! 


My dear friend, Tania, proudly wears her HBS T-shirt!

The amazing design by Ursula Roma really pops on this black cotton fair trade t-shirt.  
Here is a close up of the t-shirt design:

Mens/Unisex sizes M-2XL, these are slightly fitted and super soft, thinner cotton.  These shirts are made in the U.S.A. and are just $20.  Email your order to:

heart.beats.slavery@gmail.com 

We can work out payment and delivery arrangements via email!  Thanks!