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Meet The Team Behind: Beauty for Freedom

Beauty for Freedom is an anti-trafficking non-profit dedicated to empowering survivors of human trafficking and at-risk youth through free creative arts programs in the US and abroad. Their programs use art as a form of therapy to help survivors overcome trauma and get back on their feet. Learn more about their work here


How prevalent is human trafficking in today’s world? 


Today, there are an estimated 50 million people living in slavery throughout the world. New York City serves as a gateway and is one of the largest destinations for trafficked women entering the country. In every borough of NYC, women are being exploited for sex. Traffickers often recruit women through deceptive job ads or false promises, exploiting vulnerabilities such as immigration status, debt, education, language, or children. Although human trafficking occurs all over the world, our work focuses on eight countries, including Cambodia, France, Haiti, Mexico, and more. 


What do your programs entail? 


We use holistic creative art therapy programming to equip survivors with the tools they need to lift themselves up. In the past 10 years, we have created workshops for over 3,500 survivors of human trafficking, and all programs are completely free to participants. Our team of volunteer artists conduct a series of self-care, health/wellness, fashion, photography and design workshops for survivors. These workshops allow for creativity, help individuals develop confidence and self-esteem, and provide a sense of community. They serve as a safe space for people to find their voice and express themselves freely. 


What other work is Beauty for Freedom involved in? 


We also work to bring about community awareness on the issues by hosting discussion panels, producing exhibitions featuring art and photography works by the survivors from our workshops and fundraising events. We encourage the community to learn about the issues, share on social media, donate and volunteer. Since 2014, we have donated over $400,000 in art, photography, and music supplies to various non-profits.


How can individuals get involved in your mission? 


We are always looking for volunteers to assist with workshops, exhibitions, and fundraising, and we also accept donations of art, photo, and beauty supplies. Many socially conscious brands have joined our movement in unique ways, such as WeWork providing event spaces, Karen Miller hosting a fashion retail program, and Inside Out serving as a project partner. If you have experience in creative arts, you can deliver a custom 3-4 week creative program to support the areas that need the most attention, including mural art, self-care, fashion design, and more. 


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