Echo: A Poetic Journey Into Justice is a theater performance designed to bring awareness to the horrific circumstances surrounding sex slavery/trafficking. The performance braids together the fabric of poetry, Negro Spirituals and movement in an effort to shine a light upon the extraordinarily similar threads that run between present day human sex trafficking and past day African-American slavery. The crisis of sex trafficking/slavery is widespread and affects youth of all races, cultures, and socio-economic levels. Echo seeks to search out the lessons of the past, bring the lessons into the future, speak to the need of restoration, and tweak hearts into action.
Echo premiered April 2010 at the venue location of Central Works Theater (located in the Berkeley City Club, Berkeley, Ca) and played to sold out performances during the entire run. Echo is written and directed by Poet and Oakland, Ca native Regina Y. Evans. The staging of Echo is a collaborative effort birthed out of the hearts of many compassionate and talented individuals.
The premiere of Echo was co sponsored by: M.I.S.S.S.E.Y., Not For Sale Campaign, Chab Dai, Project Exodus, The Renew Project, The Underground Youth Movement (Sequoyah Community Church), Nia Kotobalavu (Epic Bloom), and Sarai Theolinda Smith (Dreamcatchers Runaway and Homeless Youth Services, Youth Director and M.I.S.S.S.E.Y., Co Founder).
50 percent of all proceeds were donated to M.I.S.S.S.E.Y andDreamCatchers Runaway and Homeless Youth Services.
My heartfelt thanks to the co sponsors (please see the end of this blog entry for co sponsor websites), actors, production crew, and everyone who came out to support the premiere of Echo: A Poetic Journey Into Justice. A massive thank you to Central Works Theater (http://www.centralworks.org) for donating their beautiful theater space. We were blessed enough to have overflowing audiences every night. And more importantly, those overflowing audiences asked questions after the performances! Questions on how to be involved in the fight against sex trafficking/slavery. The point of it all. Sex trafficking/slavery is a national and international crisis. The following quote from M.I.S.S.S.E.Y. Co Founder Nola Brantley is quite telling:
"Some of the children that our team encountered had been forced into prostitution by brutal pimps. Yet others were homeless children coerced into exchanging sexual favors for a bed and a warm plate of food. It is not unusual to see children as young as nine being approached by depraved johns. These are young human beings who need our attention, love and support. We know that through raising the awareness of all people to confront the needs of our most vulnerable children, we can create change in our communities and for our children. Some call the exploitation of young children for sexual purposes, the crisis of our ...time. Don't let the crisis happen in front of your eyes, get involved and change lives!"
The Echo team is currently in the process of setting up additional viewings of Echo. My greatest wish is that Echo be used as an awareness raising tool. Sex trafficking is such a huge problem and many people are not aware of how to engage this beast. In light of this, after each showing skilled individuals who work within the Anti Sex Trafficking Movement are provided with an opportunity to address the audience during a panel discussion/Q&A.
I look forward to seeing you at a future show!
Echo: A Poetic Journey Into Justice Premiere/Co Sponsor Websites:
Not For Sale Campaign http://www.notforsalecampaign.org
Chab Dai www.chabdai.org
Project Exodus http://www.project-exodus.org
DreamCatchers Runaway and Homeless Youth Services http://www.alamedafs.org
Epic Bloom www.epicbloom.blogspot.com
The Renew Project http://www.therenewproject.org
The Underground Youth Movement http://www.sequoyahcommunitychurch.org