The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Students arrange charity concert for anti-sex trafficking organization

Every 26 seconds, someone in the world is sold into sex slavery.

A cappella groups Audacious and Innocent Men, as well as The Singing Statesmen, will be performing a benefit concert Tuesday in Schofield Auditorium to combat that gruesome statistic.

The benefit is being held for Fierce Beauty, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about and providing assistance to victims of sex trafficking.

Marketing and organizational communication major Rachel Debner said the subject was something members of her communication class group kept discussing and in which they all shared a mutual interest.

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“I think I’m just really passionate about it because it strikes me as just so unfair and unjust that these people are sold and that they’re especially sold for sex — it’s just horrible to have to even imagine that,” she said.

The nine students in the group decided to organize their group project, which was supposed to be focused on a social justice issue, as a way to raise money for a local group that works to help those who have been victims of sex trafficking.

Junior mass communications and public relations major Hillary Crusan said every cent the concert makes will go to help Fierce Beauty find a building to operate out of within the area.

“I think people should come to the concert because it’s going to be a lot of fun, for one,” Crusan said. “Plus you get to donate to a charity, all of the proceeds are going to the charity. We’re not getting any profit from it and none of the groups are getting any profit from it.”

Fierce Beauty is an organization that is run within the Chippewa Valley. They raise money for rescue organizations by selling decorative scarves and promote awareness, especially focused on localized sex trafficking. Debner said the attribution of consciousness that this crime also occurs within the Eau Claire area is very important.

“It’s really, really cool though, that this organization is focused in our own backyard,” she said. “Because I feel like right now the focus is on the rest of the world and we think that it doesn’t happen in America, or even in Eau Claire. People don’t
realize that even this summer two people were trafficked from Eau Claire to the (Twin) Cities.”

Nicole Schultz, assistant professor of communication and journalism and instructor of the group’s class, said she was surprised by the number of people interested in the topic due to a lack of interest by students in the past, but that she is glad the women were so involved with their choice of topic.

“When I tell people when they get to pick any social issue, it should be something in which you’re invested,” Schultz said. “I think that sex trafficking, as a social issue being talked about in Eau Claire, is important because a lot of people think it’s something foreign, and it’s not. I think bringing that local face to that as a social issue, me, is what is most impressive about
that project.”

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Students arrange charity concert for anti-sex trafficking organization