Camelia Verduzco has been travelling throughout the Bay Area and beyond over the last few months fighting human trafficking as an intern for Red Window Project, a Livermore-based organization that equips survivors of trafficking in the Philippines to land and succeed in promising careers.
Her ventures have included the Justice Summit in San Luis Obispo, advocating at Senator Feinstein’s San Francisco Office, presentations at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and Cornerstone Fellowship in Walnut Creek, and training by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office in Oakland.
Her next stop on this justice journey will be Sacramento on January 25 to participate in a "peaceful protest against sex trafficking" organized by Bridget's Dream, an esteemed non-profit fighting sex-trafficking by redeeming victims and protecting those vulnerable to this modern form of slavery that sells sex with minors for financial gain.
Verduzco met Leah Albright-Bryd, Bridget Dreams' founder and executive director, while they were both attending the Alameda County D.A. Office’s H.E.A.T. (human exploitation and trafficking) Watch session about the sexual exploitation of minors with intellectual disorders in December.
Verduzco said, "To meet such a dynamic force in this fight against human trafficking empowered me to create change, even in small amounts, and not wait for change to just happen. Her intelligence, savvy, and love shine through to influence everyone around her."
Albright-Byrd's "Take A Stand Against Sex-Trafficking Peaceful Protest" is intended to show the community that they care about these atrocities being perpetuated upon children and are united to ending to it.
Verduzco will be among these peaceful trafficking protesters, in her words, "as a call to action, a public message that cannot be silent about the cruelty of human trafficking. All who join will be stepping off the sidelines and into the fray to confront injustice and evil. They will form a unified voice for the voiceless. A simple step together to make a big change.”
A big change in California is necessary. A 2013 Child Welfare Council Report stated: "California is at a crossroads. Commercial sexual exploitation of children is an epidemic spreading at an exponential rate across the state."
Shared Hope International, a leader in the effort to eradicate sex trafficking worldwide, assigned California the worst rating in the country after a review of every state's legislation and how well it responds to combating domestic minor sex trafficking.
Verduzco recognizes both the necessity and the urgency of this crisis: "This fight is important to me because I don't want to look back on my young life and see someone who said nothing and made no effort to change the staggering number of children sold for sex."
She passionately emphasized: "My heart beats with the reminder that this horror is a reality for many young girls and boys just miles from my home. I would be the biggest hypocrite to desire change in this world yet remain stagnant."
You can join her, Albright-Byrd, and Bridget Dream's goal of at least 100 who will put their desire for change into action on January 25 from 2-5 p.m. Sign up at this registration link. Then Tim Honeycutt will provide you with detailed instructions: (530) 601-9692 or Tim@bridgetsdream.org.