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DEPUTY COUNSEL TO MAYOR BLOOMBERG NORMA ABBENE PRESENTS PROCLAMATION FOR "BE THE VOICE" MONTH POP-UP SHOP

Throughout October, 2013 the “Be.The.Voice” pop-up shop will take place at Voce Di in, SoHo, located at 43-45 Grand Street in downtown Manhattan.  The pop-up shop features quality items, such as jewelry, accessories, bags, T-shirt and more, hand-crafted by slave-free organizations and women who are survivors of human trafficking or at risk of becoming victims.  Hosted by Nomi Network and Bajalia Trading Company, the items will be on display and available Monday-Saturday at Voce Di until October 29.
 
The launch party was held at Voce Di, on October 8, and Deputy Counsel to Mayor Bloomberg Norma Abbene presented a proclamation designating October 2013 as “Be The Voice” month in New York City. The evening featured a “Voices of Child Soldiers” panel discussion by Ellen Ratner, White House Correspondent and Bureau Chief for the Talk Radio News Service; Shannon Sedgewick Davis, CEO of the Bridgeway Foundation; and Chris Heuertz, founder of Gravity, a Center for Contemplative Activism.

The panelist shared personal stories and their varied experiences working with child soldiers, including children fighting in the Sierra Leone Blood Diamonds War. They spoke about the trauma that child soldiers experience, and the stigma they face after life as a soldier because of the brutalities they committed as soldiers.  They spoke about the strength, resiliency and resourcefulness of survivors and the empowerment that comes to them when they are able to be financially independent.  In addition to the launch party, the pop-up shop includes two more discussions: “Voices of Sex Trafficking” which took place on October 16, and “Voices of Labor Trafficking,” which will be held on October 22.

The panelists for Voices of Sex Trafficking were Gigi Scoles, Director of Human Rights of Vital Voices Global Partnership; Katie Ford, Founder of Freedom For All and former CEO of Ford Models; and Shandra Woworuntu, Advocate, Speaker and Survivor of Human Trafficking.  Amy Hall of Eileen Fisher and Deputy Counsel Abbene are panelists at the “Voice of Labor Trafficking” discussion.