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Walk for Freedom to take place in Cleveland Oct. 19

  • Participants in a previous Walk for Freedom head along Helen Highway toward Cleveland. (Submitted photo)
    Participants in a previous Walk for Freedom head along Helen Highway toward Cleveland. (Submitted photo)
  • Participants in the Walk for Freedom that took place in Cleveland a few years ago. (Submitted photo)
    Participants in the Walk for Freedom that took place in Cleveland a few years ago. (Submitted photo)
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A Walk for Freedom that aims to bring awareness to all forms of trafficking will be held in Cleveland on Saturday, Oct. 19.

The walk is an event hosted by A21, an organization that is working to eliminate human trafficking and help those who are victims, said Amanda Hanic, organizer for the Cleveland event.

“A lot of people just associate human trafficking with sex trafficking, but it actually includes labor, forced labor, bonded labor, sex trafficking, involuntary domestic servitude and child soldiers,” Hanic says. “In America, people always think of sex trafficking, but there are actually a lot of people that have been brought over, promised a better life in America and then they actually get trapped into labor. Essentially it’s slavery. It’s being held without freedom to go, and they can hold you either by threatening you or threatening your family. There are reasons why [victims] don’t seek help. The whole mission for A21 is to seek out those individuals and rescue them and provide rehabilitation and restoration through after care and community engagement.”

Hanic says she became involved with A21 after learning about the organization at a conference years ago. One of the events the organization holds is a silent walk to raise awareness. The walk will be held in different cities around the world on Saturday, Oct. 19.

“The walk is to raise money for the organization and to raise awareness,” Hanic says.

The Cleveland walk will start at 10 a.m. the Cleveland Worship Center pavilion, Hanic says, the proceed to North Main Street, making a left at Clipper and heading to Freedom Park. Hanic says the group will probably walk around Freedom Park one time. Last year she said the group went down to Truett McConnell University, but she wasn’t sure if that would be done this year. Participants are also asked to wear black.

The last walk was held in Cleveland a few years ago, with about 30-40 people participating, Hanic says. For those who participate, she says they are asking that each person try to raise $100, and their fundraising goal is $1,000.

While people don’t have to register in advance, Hanic says they prefer if people do, that way they can communicate with them about the event. Those over 13 years old need to register and those under 13 do not. Hanic says all ages are welcome, including kids.

To register in advance, go to thecwconline.org, click on the events tab and click on “a21 Walk for Freedom.” People can also register the day of starting at 9 a.m. at the Cleveland Worship Center pavilion.

For more information, Hanic can be reached at walkforfreedomcwc@gmail.com. For more information about A21, visit www.a21.org.