Yolandaby Yolanda Schlabach

As I continue to prepare for my TEDx Talk in a number of weeks, I am amazed that the words I have rehearsed so often still bring me to tears at some point during my presentation. I believe that may be because I am hearing the power in the spoken word—to bring awareness of the Goliath of sex slavery in our country, to bring a challenge to the audience to become a David to slay that giant, and the most powerful reality that I am bringing a voice to the voiceless. That is what this TEDx stage has given the survivors of the heinous crime in a manner they would not have an opportunity to experience themselves while still in captivity.

This paragraph was written by Dr. Bethenee Engelsvold, a caregiver in India for trafficked girls:

One morning, I awoke, exhausted and disoriented to the most beautiful

            sound. They were singing, those young girls, to music played unbelievably

            loud for 6:00 am. I stumbled to the window and beheld a wonder. They

            danced. Laughing, they held their faces to the sun and danced like angels,

holding hands and giggling with the innocence of youth.

Watching them now it seemed just possible that perhaps they were no longer

victims, but victors. I sat quietly and marveled: it is a remarkable thing to see

miracles clothed in fragile human skin.

These lives can be transformed, one miracle at a time. The first step is awareness and education about this carnage of sex trafficking in America and our ability as Americans to be part of the solution. A voice for the voiceless.

Thank you, TEDx, for this remarkable opportunity to reach outside my typical sphere and reach thousands of individuals with this message. TEDx could be the birth of a social movement in our state!