Vigil on UA Mall will focus on sex trafficking

A sex trafficking awareness vigil will be held on the University of Arizona Mall on Monday, Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

Sex trafficking survivor Beth Jacobs and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild will speak and take part in a candlelighting ceremony. Jacobs is the founder of Willow Way, a local organization that helps victims of sex trafficking rebuild their lives.

The event is supported by Women’s Philanthropy Social Action of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the UA Hillel Foundation, and was convened by Michaela Davenport, a senior at Sabino High School.

“When it came to my attention that sex trafficking was a problem in Arizona, I knew I needed to act,” says Davenport. “I planned this vigil so that I could bring awareness of sex trafficking to the forefront of the community. The victims of sex trafficking are robbed of their normal lives and forced into slavery. I cannot begin to imagine what it is like for the victims and their families who have had to deal with this. I feel as though it is my duty to actively engage in the mitzvah of pidyon ha’shvuim, redeeming the captive, to ensure that the world we live in will be one where sex trafficking ceases to exist. I chose to convene this vigil at the University of Arizona because of its ability to bring the community together, whether that be through education, sports teams or activist causes. It provides an incredible space to unite the community in raising awareness to eradicate sex trafficking.”

For more information, contact Davenport at michaela.rosed@gmail.com.