Release the Captives

Events to Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking Fight

Nearly 21 million people worldwide are considered victims of modern-day slavery. A group of Gardner-Webb University students hopes to raise awareness of that startling reality and garner support for change through a series of upcoming events.

The student club “Release the Captives” will host its annual Human Trafficking Awareness Week on Feb. 20-24 on the Gardner-Webb campus. A variety of activities are planned to educate and engage the campus community in the social justice effort.

“I think if people know about the gravity of modern-day slavery, they will want to do something about it,” offers GWU student Sarah Grace Moxley (’18). “Our goal is to empower that awareness by giving people the opportunity to take action as part of the solution.”

Since forming in 2013, Release has raised money and awareness through a variety of programs to benefit local and international nonprofit organizations that are directly fighting human trafficking. Just last fall, the GWU group’s Rescue Race 5K event raised nearly $3,000, which helped rescue three African children from slavery.

“Gardner-Webb’s students are some of the most active in the nation on this issue,” asserts Dr. Joseph Moore, GWU Assistant Professor of History, Special Assistant to the President for Academic Enhancement and advisor for Release the Captives. “Our campus has been the epicenter of tremendous service to trafficked people, and many of our students have gone on to careers and volunteer in life-changing work around the world. I look forward to seeing a new generation of students rise up to that kind of service.”