New exhibition at the Bullock Museum educates visitors about human trafficking, provides resources
Not Alone raises awareness about a significant issue facing Texas communities
JANUARY 5, 2021 (AUSTIN, TX) — An original exhibition opening this Saturday, January 9 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum seeks to educate visitors about human trafficking, an often misunderstood issue facing many communities in Texas. Not Alone: Working Together in the Fight Against Human Trafficking provides visitors with the tools to identify human trafficking and the resources to find help and support survivors.
“Inspired by the governor’s initiative against human trafficking, we recognized an opportunity to use our platform as an educational institution," said Bullock Museum Director Margaret Koch. "We hope this exhibition inspires everyone to understand that as individuals we are not powerless to assist in the prevention of human trafficking. One person can make a difference."
Although underreported, recent statistics suggest there are at least 234,000 victims of labor trafficking and 79,000 victims of sex trafficking in Texas at any given time. The Bullock Museum is undertaking this important project with the goal of spotlighting an issue impacting thousands of Texans and preventing further exploitation of vulnerable individuals in the state.
Not Alone centers on a series of questions that guide visitors to understand what human trafficking is and to explore the human stories and current landscape of sex and labor trafficking. Visitors learn who can be a target, the tools and techniques traffickers use to target individuals and keep them captive, and the roles healthy relationships and social media play in trafficking.
Additionally, a series of original videos featuring survivors and advocates answer the exhibition's guiding questions, and artifacts reflect stories of strength while demonstrating the deep trauma and pain exploited individuals face.
"Our advisory panel of foundations, state agency task groups, and survivors were instrumental in helping us realize how to best address the truth of the situation, sharing their knowledge and first-person narratives of resilience and hope to create a vision for a brighter future for all Texans and protections for the most vulnerable," said Koch.
Visitors will also have the opportunity to take home a handout with an art activity that promotes healthy self esteem. Information on the back of the handout provides concrete steps for enlisting aid and resources for learning more.
"The most important thing is prevention," said Kristen Abrams, Senior Director of Combatting Human Trafficking at the McCain Institute. "It's going back to those root causes and thinking about what we as individuals can do to chip away at those things that make people vulnerable to trafficking."
Not Alone: Working Together in the Fight Against Human Trafficking is on view January 9 through May 30, 2021. The exhibition is geared toward teen and adult audiences and presented in both English and Spanish. A panel version will be available free of charge to communities around the state to further enhance awareness after the exhibition's run at the Bullock Museum. For more information, visit TheStoryofTexas.com/NotAlone.
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Lead sponsorship by Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt. Major funding from the Texas Bar Foundation.
The Bullock Texas State History Museum, a division of the State Preservation Board and an accredited institution of the American Alliance of Museums, illuminates and celebrates Texas history, people, and culture. With dynamic, award-winning exhibitions, educational programming for all ages, and an IMAX® theater with the largest screen in Texas, the Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals across the world to bring the Story of Texas to life. For more information, visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com or call (866)369-7108.
The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Additional support for educational programming provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.