It is a disturbing trend in Hollywood in the music industry for older men to date and “groom” teenaged girls. Some notable names date back to 1960, when the late Elvis Presley started dating the then 14 years old Priscilla. 1994 R Kelly married the late singer Aaliyah at just 15 years old, before having the marriage annulled. Still, to date we have seen some of the music industry’s biggest stars entangled in similar behavior, despite the uproar it causes. The problem in itself is big enough, but the truth of the matter is that it too closely relates to a bigger issue in human trafficking. January is human trafficking awareness month and here in Milwaukee, there are brilliant originations working heavily for prevention.
On January 12 2019, Grateful Girls Nonprofit organization held an event called Stay Out the Game 101Youth Summit. The summit was prevention tool created by Chandra Cooper, the founder of Grateful Girls an organization devoted to well being of women starting at the age of 12. Young women and even young men were able to hear from city officials such as, Senator Lena Taylor who gave a powerful speech before the children went into breakout sessions.
“You live a community that is the hub for human trafficking; it is the pimp school of America is what they have called us for years.” Said by Taylor who then went on to encourage and compliment the young women as well as the young men.
Her words our unfortunately true as it was reported just last year that over 300 women. Of that number, 65% were African American teen girls. The break out sessions taught the young ladies how to literally stay out the game of trafficking, and what to do if approached.
Summits like these are well needed in the city, and should be a monthly occurrence as training sessions. Blessed are those like Chandra Cooper who fight against it every day.