JCAST Chicago organizes and participates in educational programming: See what’s coming up…
Although sex trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the United States, many residents are unaware of this critical issue. JCAST Chicago encourages fellow JCAST leaders of the community to learn, organize, and lead events in our community.
Programming to Educate and Increase Awareness
JCAST leaders create and lead events to build awareness and educate the community. Presentations describe sex trafficking in the community, including legal businesses that are often involved, and how individuals’ actions contribute to it. These events, targeting diverse young adult and adult audiences, last from an hour to two depending on time constraints.
Often event asks audience members to donate $5 to $10 food gift cards or provide other resources as part of a call to action. After the event, leaders are encouraged to continue learning about this critical topic and get involved in the movement.
As a social change movement, JCAST Chicago realizes change often stems from younger generation. JCAST Chicago collaborated with Jewish Child and Family Services (JCFS) Parent Trainer Tracey Kite and with JCFS’ Response Center to develop parenting programs for parents of tweens and teens. These ninety minute to two hour programs explore
- How boys are taught to bottle their feelings, girls are taught to please, and LGBTQ individuals are not accepted.
- How society values women is often taught to children at a young age. Purchasing of sex is often seen as a rite of passage, whether that is when parents purchase sex for their adult sons, women and strippers are purchased for bachelor and bachelorette parties, or escorts are purchased for other life events.
- 90% of kids ages 8-16 have seen pornography online.
Program with High School and College Students
JCAST also engages high school and college students. This two ninety minute session program, facilitated by JCAST Chicago staff and leaders, begins with an experiential exercise exploring power and consent. Afterwards leaders facilitate a short discussion describing the characteristics of a healthy relationship, identifying signs a fellow students may be in danger of being sex trafficked, and how to support students who may be in danger.
The second session, ideally planned a week later, encourages teens and young adults to further digest and discuss the material they learned the week before through a connected service project of creating dignity bags for survivors. The bags included toiletries, food, and other materials offered to young women trapped in sex trafficking and living on the streets.
JCAST’s signature Traffick Teens are educational displays of life size and table size figurines. Each of these teens include a real life story of how teens are often caught in sex trafficking. Since these teens were created in 2016, they have traveled across the Chicagoland area. They visited Loyola, Oakton, and DuPage Community Colleges. They were also part of events at many synagogues in Chicago and the North Shore as well as events at the Northbrook and Vernon Hills Public Libraries. JCAST Chicago’s Traffick Teens often accompany group programming and awareness events.