IWU Students Unite to Fight Human Trafficking

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Indiana Wesleyan University is an evangelical Christian comprehensive university of The Wesleyan Church committed to liberal arts and professional education. Over 3,000 students are enrolled in traditional programs on the main campus in Marion, Indiana. Nearly 12,500 adult learners study at education centers in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, and online.

The IWU student group known as Doulos is launching a semester-long campaign next week to rally their classmates and the Grant County community to the war against human trafficking.

They kick things off on Thursday, January 31, with a special screening of the film "Nefarious: Merchant of Souls," at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel Auditorium. The Dean of the Chapel's office is hosting the screening. The event is free, and the public is welcome.

The film is a docudrama that took several years to make and involved trips by the filmmakers into some of the seediest areas on Planet Earth. Doulos president Al Pritchard, a sophomore psychology major, saw it for the first time last fall at a previous on-campus event.

"We hear a lot about human trafficking," Pritchard said, "but we don't necessarily know what that looks like or what that is. This film shows you literally the face of sex slavery all around the world."

In addition to the film, Doulos will offer concrete options to help out. The film will be followed by a prayer session in the Prayer Furnace area of the Chapel Auditorium, led by Dean of the Chapel Dr. Jim Lo.

"We know not everybody feels called int the issue of human trafficking, but everybody can pray," Pritchard said.

Doulos will also be accepting donations for the END IT Movement, an initiative that launches February 1. An outgrowth of the 2012 Passion conference, END IT partners with some of the largest human trafficking organizations in existence to raise awareness and funds and utilizing those resources to take concrete action against human trafficking. At the Passion conference alone, more than $3 million was raised to fight human trafficking.

Throughout the semester, Doulos plans holding more events to raise awareness and money for END IT. They are talking about hosting a fundraising dance sometime this spring, and after spring break they are planning a Stand for Freedom fundraiser in which participants raise awareness and money by taking turns standing for hours in a public space.

"There's a lot of students that have a heart, but they don't necessarily know what to do, what avenue, what outlet to go through on this campus. So we just want to be there and be like, 'hey, we're right there. You can come to us and work with us.' And just coming together as a community, we can do something, to maybe send out a ripple effect in the world."