Monday, February 24, 2014

Where can you see the #Enditmovement?

Quick, if I told you you had five minutes to create a message declaring that your stance for antislavery and share it to millions of people what would you do? Well if you were like many of the millions of people with mobile devices you would know that there are several choices available to you. Nothing has made it easier to let your voice be heard all over the world than your smartphone, social media, and your creativity.


This year for the End it Movement I decided that to take part in the End It Movement all I was going to need were some Sharpies and sticky notes. On the End It Movement hashtag I saw a lot of people drawing the Red X on their hands and such like but I wanted to go even farther. I had a new play that dealt with human trafficking and I wanted to shout that out too. So I made a bit bolder message putting my statements on sticky notes and leaving them around town.


I like the sticky not method because you can leave them wherever and you're not defacing public property. In fact if anyone likes what you're saying they can pick them up easily and take them with you. After I would place a piece I would take my pictures and put them up on Twitter and Pinterest. A picture brings your message to a lot more people and people are more willing to share pictures sometimes that words.


I also found it very fun. I'm not that good of an artist but my background in design and drafting taught me how to print legibly. Sharpies are immediate, simple, and permanent and I found that I was creating as quickly as I could think. I also ascribe to the philosophy of Cheap Art that was revolutionized by the Bread and Puppet Theatre. I like the idea of a simple artistic message that can be immediately shared to thousands of people in the matter of seconds. And the fact that you're doing it for a good cause makes it very rewarding. 


So Shine a Light on Slavery Day is coming up on the 27th. What are you going to do to help the cause? If you feel brave get your Sharpies and smart phone out and help spread the word!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Do you want to Build a Snow Man? #DisneyFrozen #Giveaway

So unless you've been living under a rock you've seen Frozen right? Well now you can win a copy of your very own! It's only one of the best movies of 2013. Elsa's one of the most empowered female heroes of our time. And who doesn't love Olaf, the Snowman that just wants to get a tan?  And on top of that you get tear-jerking songs and... well I'll come clean...I was crying the entire time!


It gives you a serious case of the warm fuzzies. It makes you so hopeful that a new generation of Disney movies with tougher Disney Princess. I haven't had feelings like this over a movie in a long time and now you could win one of your very own!

So of course it would be crass if I didn't shout out all the cool blogs that are in on this with me. There are also links to their blogs so you can share the love. Thanks to all of the following blogs for helping make this work.

The Fronkensteen Lounge 

DISTherapy

DISDads

Merlot Mommy

Focused on the Magic

My Pixie Dust Diary

Magical Mouse Schoolhouse

CanDOItMOM

Taking the Florida Plunge

Maple Mouse Mama

The NYC Talon


Have fun! Rules are in the rafflecopter and don't hesitate to look at our terms and conditions!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 21, 2014

Frozen DVD #Giveaway

Hey guys it Dr. Fronkensteen. I know that if you're like me you love Disney's Frozen. I've been singing Let it Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman nonstop to all of my friends, family, and coworkers until they'd pay me money to stop! I love Else and lines like "the cold never bothered me anyway" just give me chills. For me it's not a question of if I'm gonna buy it it's when. An now you could finally own it on DVD for your personal enjoyment!


I felt like it spoke to understanding diversity. I wrote about it in an article of my own that it reminds me of my struggle with Tourettes. It warms my heart so much to see great movies having to deal with empowerment, overcoming adversity, and accepting yourself as you really are. Let's just hope that this is a tradition that continues for many years to come in Disney's future.

And now you can win one of them of your very own. Rules in the Rafflecopter. And don't forget to look at my Terms and conditions! Good luck and let it go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 20, 2014

We are all on the Front Lines

Sometimes when you start delving into the numbers of human trafficking, the bitter realities, it can seem daunting. Some days I wake up and update my blog and see all the great things that are happening in the movement and I just feel inspired. Other days I don't think I'm doing much at all. I try to do all I can but there's not much money to give and I can't move out to the border and work in the field so I feel like I can't be on the front lines of the issue. 

Wherever you live you are on the front lines of this issue. 
Living in the abolitionist lifestyle feels like you're making deals with yourself to keep yourself from feeling guilty. You buy at thrift stores so that you don't put money directly into the pockets of someone who profits from the slavery of others. You try to buy as local and as green as possible, which is great because it's environmentally friendly too so that's a bonus. But then you have to buy a new piece of electronic hardware or you have to get something that you just can't buy second hand and you start to get overwhelmed. Don't even think about the fact that just buying second hand doesn't mean that it wasn't touched by slaves somewhere in the past.

You start thinking about all of the stats and numbers, how much money is made in the slave trade and how many slaves are in the world today and you stat to feel disheartened. You start to think that if only you moved to Nepal or some African city you could be on the front lines actually helping people. 

But then I have to remember that there are no front lines to the struggle against slavery. Slavery happens 365 days a year in every state, country, and continent. The biggest weapon that you have as an abolitionist is your life, your voice, and your choices. Everyday that you live a lifestyle that won't allow slavery in it, speak out against slavery in your world, and choose to vote against anything that will allow it in your society then you are a warrior on the front lines of this issue. Embrace it and then struggle on. I may not think I'm making a difference but I am living the difference every day. Be the change you want to see in this world.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Freedom Shirts! #enditmovement



Tonight I'm talking about the cool T-Shirts offered by great anti slavery organizations. Definitely the biggest battles of slavery are in the field and in the courtrooms but the biggest battlefield we'll be involved with in our lives are awareness and activism. So what better way do we have to tell people about this big problem than to work the message into our fashion. So I'm going to show you my four favorite T-Shirts for raising awareness about human trafficking and sexual exploitation. But first let's get through some legalities. 

Disclaimer: All the opinions in this shout out are my own. None of these organizations gave me anything to say wonderful things about them. 


The A21 Campaign

Borrowed from The A21 Campaign

I like the shirts that are statements that you can't ignore.  When you walk out with this shirt people will have to stop you and ask you about your cause. 

Made in A Free World

Borrowed from Made in a Free World

For one the message of this shirt is so true. Secondly this shirt brings awareness by getting the reader to start asking themselves the really important questions about human trafficking or fair trade. Sometimes getting people to question themselves is all the statement that you need.

End It Movement



Borrowed from End It Movement
This one is my personal favorite. Sometimes simplicity is the best option. The Red X is becoming the universal symbol for human trafficking and we all could do well to make sure we bring it to our little corner of the world. 

Wellspring Living




Borrowed from Wellspring Living 

You can't argue with great graphics and a great message. I like this shirt because it makes it's statement and looks good too. You can dress it up and dress it down and still know you're speaking out against sexual exploitation.

Yeah I know what you're thinking. Why am I taking the time out to talk about t-shirts when there are so many other issues dealing with slavery that I could be talking about right now. But each of these t-shirts also represent an organization that is deep in the trenches of human rights and freedom. All of the proceeds they make from these t-shirts go into helping them continue this great work. So get out there to their stores and get your favorite t-shirt. The more we can help them the more people they can help set free. 


Friday, February 14, 2014

Great Merchandise from @RedThreadNepal

Today I'm continuing my series Give with Love which highlights orgs that work for a great cause and sell great merchandise that make perfect gifts. This way when you give a gift you also know that you're doing something great by supporting the fair trade market. But before we do anything lets get a little business settled...

Dislcaimer: I'm doing an unsolicited shoutout of Eternal Threads and Red Thread Movement Products. Eternal Threads and Red Thread Movement didn't pay me or give me anything to say such nice things about them. All opinions are my own.

So today we're talking about Eternal Threads and specifically the Red Thread Movement. Eternal Threads improves the lives of women and children at risk of poverty, trafficking and exploitation by giving them "sustainable livelihoods through income generating projects". This means that because of this wonderful ministry there are women who have a job and aren't forced into a situation where they can be taken advantage of. How do they do this? By making gorgeous products that you can buy. All the money you spend at their store goes right back to helping those women and children. So let me highlight a couple of cute things that really made me smile!

Crystal Tear drop necklace:

Borrowed from Eternal Threads

Made by Women artisans in Afghanistan this tear drop crystal necklace and earrings are just gorgeous! They have a classic beauty with such clean lines. The perfect thing for a night on the town!

Mens Round braided leather bracelet:

Borrowed from Eternal Threads

Have a man in your life that isn't into "girly" jewelry? Well how does some rawhide work? My girlfriend thinks this will make a great gift for the lady in your life because it goes with everything! I like it because it can be casual and formal depending on what you pair it with.


Crocheted beanie

Borrowed from Eternal Threads

This hat is hand crocheted by girls in Nepal who were rescued from human trafficking environments. This makes the perfect cold weather accessory for the abolitionist that needs to head out into the snow!

Free Her Necklace

Borrowed from Eternal Threads

This is a necklace made by women who were once bonded in sexual slavery in Mongolia. The message of this necklace gets really deep when you think that the women who made it were once in slavery but are now free. 

When you by fair trade, especially in this scenario when a lot of these pieces were made by survivors, the meaning gets deep. These stop being just accessories or fashion items that we buy they become investments in freedom and breaking the system of poverty and slavery in these developing countries. These girls need our help and this is such a fashionable way to answer that call. Please go to their store here and make a stance for freedom.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Freedom Products from Tiny Hands @TinyHandsIntl

This Week at the Lounge we are looking at Fair Trade products that can be perfect gifts for your significant other. To start off I want to talk about the Freedom Products offered by Tiny Hand International. But first a little business.

Disclaimer: I'm just shouting out good fair trade products. Tiny Hands International didn't pay me or give me anything to say such nice things about them. All opinions are totally mine. 
Borrowed from Tiny Hands Store
 

Tiny Hands is a Christian organization that seeks to help women and children in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh. They focus on children left out on the streets, children left orphaned with no one to take care of them, and victims of the sex trafficking industry. They also strive to empower the church in developing countries to better serve the poor and seek justice for those that are oppressed.

The Tiny Hands Store sells Freedom Products that are handmade in Nepal made by some of the very same women and children that they've rescued. The proceeds go to improving their children's homes, their efforts to end trafficking, and programs to empower women. They sell bracelets and necklaces and that are made by women in their affiliate homes. Their scarves, fleeces, and bags are made by local partners so that they can put money right back into the local economy. They also have t-shirts that you can buy to help you make a visual statement to help raise awareness of trafficking in our world. 

Borrowed from Tiny Hands Store
These products are amazing! If you are looking for a bag that doesn't scream commercialism or "mainstream" then you have to try these that were made from salvaged burlap bags. The bracelets and necklaces are gorgeous and handmade. None of this screams "arts and crafts". All of these things look like quality products that would make your next fashion statement a lasting one. 

Borrowed from the Tiny Hands Store 
And the best part of these things is that your proceeds aren't going to line some fat cat's pockets. 100% of the money goes back to making sure that the ministries of Tiny Hands International will go on. When was the last time you spent money at the mall and knew that the money was going to make a lasting difference in someone's life? Go to their store and give them a try!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Slavery happens 365 days a year.

So if you follow abolitionist news like me your probably heard two things right after the call to action to end trafficking at the super bowl. You probably heard this article here from Cracked.com or got a link in the Polaris Project weekly emails that talked about how it's a myth that the Superbowl actually is a mecca for human trafficking. I'll have to admit that I did feel like a heel. I had just written a blog post calling people to pray during the Superbowl for all of the girls that were going to be on the streets that night. I was half tempted to print a retraction.
365 Days in All 50 countries 

Then I saw the article from the FBI. There were actually tears of joy that threatened to streak down my face as I was reading. Imagine, 16 children who were missing and exploited for sex are finally going home. The struggle isn't over. There is going to be a hard road of recovery left to go but their time in slavery is over. The FBI partnered with over fifty agencies to execute this operation. And reportedly a lot of the pimps were bringing girls into the New Jersey area specifically for the Superbowl.

So it got me to thinking. Maybe the Super Bowl isn't the single largest trafficking event in the U.S. but the fact that they were able to catch at least 45 pimps that were going to exploit the opportunity means that there is still work to be done. Most of those girls were not taken just for the express purpose of being sold at the Superbowl. We need to be vigilant everyday in all of our communities and aware of the slavery that can take place in our everyday lives and how it affects us. It's effects are felt in everything we do and we need to know what our response to it will be.

My response was my play and the work and the research that I continue to do to make a difference. If you want to know where to start read my play here and find your own answer for yourself.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How 27 Days started Out.

Well first things first...have you read my play "27 Days" yet? Well before you do anything why don't you go to my "Plays for a Difference" tab and read it for free. Don't worry, I'll wait.....okay are you back? Now let's get started. 

I first started 27 Days just because I needed to do something for the cause. It was an arbitrary goal that I started for myself. For 27 straight hours I sat in front of this computer to write a play about everything that I felt was wrong with slavery in this world. I also wanted to find ways to condense all the facts about slavery from all of the material that I read and dramatize it in a way that people would never forget. I ended up with this story about a girl named Natasha who was forced into sexual slavery interspersed with all of my ramblings about how I felt. It was two streams of consciousness, one real and one fictitious. I knew that it was important to me but I didn't think that anyone else was going to care. 

Anti-Slavery is Child's play!

That was until it got selected to be in a Lab reading at my grad school. There was something about people hearing my words out loud and seeing how it stirred people up that really showed me that this play was necessary. It was just a rough draft at the time and there were some fundamental things wrong with the script at first but the fact that it moved people so deeply that they had to do something with it and express their feelings that to told me this was a very important piece. 

It was from that time that one of my colleagues told me that they just had to produce it. And so on November it got it's first performance ever in Roanoke Virginia. That was the second draft which turned my ramblings into it's own character, the character of the writer. I liked the idea of these two characters' lives intersecting to form this Red Dramatic X. At the center is these two people who have nothing to do with each other but end up changing each other's lives drastically, both for the better. 

And now I'm on to Phase 2. Getting that second production and shouting it out to everyone I can find. It's a perfect play for anyone who wants to raise awareness for human trafficking and the issues involved. Again it's not because I want to become famous but because I want this play in the hands of everybody who could put it to a good purpose! Go read it for free online and tell everyone what you think!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Ratio that should Shock us All! #enditmovement #27daysplay

There is a ratio that I found in my research of human trafficking that really bothers me. It's the ratio that says that for ever nine girls that are arrested on the streets or a sting they only arrest one John (the guy that was paying for sex). This means that young girls (some as young as 12-14) can be arrested for a crime that they were forced or coerced to do. And the men that were breaking the law of their own free will are hardly blamed or arrested.


The reason why this disturbs me is that it talks about the core flaw of how we view prostitution in general. A lot of us think that it's exactly like "Pretty Woman" or "CSI" and that these women are out there because they need the money or they really like the sex. The media tries to tell us that these are feisty women that scoff at the law and can't wait to "have a little fun". But what if all these girls are girls just like your sisters, mothers, and children. What if these girls are there against their will and forced to have sex countless times today against their will only to be arrested. And what if the guys that are doing this to these girls...and the men that are paying to use them... what if the real criminals can walk away with almost impunity and free to walk away and do it again. 

I'm not saying that all prostitutes are there against their will but isn't it time that we raised awareness that maybe it's time to at least punish ALL of the people that have committed the crime and then have a processed included to determine if the woman was actually there of her own free will or not?

Most of these women don't have control of their own ID's they don't choose who they have sex with, and they don't choose where they're going to live or what they're going to do that day. That is the definition of a slave and these women are arrested and treated like common criminals.

And what if we weren't going to allow that to happen anymore. Raise your voice and be heard. If your state doesn't have a Safe Harbor law please petition your lawmakers to do so. Do what you can to raise the awareness that we want our government to prosecute the REAL criminals in these crimes and that we're dedicated to seeing these girls being taken off the streets and sent home.

So what can you do about it? Go to the End It Movement's website here. Or Polaris's website here and get the information then find your own ways to spread awareness. And that up by living a life that will not allow slavery on your street, your community, and your world. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Slavery in the Superbowl #enditmovement #shockingproof

It's probably a given that today, like everyone else in America, you're watching the Superbowl. Even if you're like me and don't even care for Football you're probably going to attend a party or watch with friends at home. No problem with that. There are going to be literally tens of thousands of people out in New Jersey ready and waiting for kick off. It's America's game and we're gonna have fun! 

Borrowed from the A21 Campaign
But I'd like you to take at least one minute out of your festivities today and think for a moment about the fact that the Superbowl is one of the biggest days for sex trafficking and prostitution. The numbers are debated but it's safe to say that there will be hundreds if not thousands of women forced out on the streets to make money for a pimp because with so many people in town the demand for prostitution skyrockets. 

According to this article here the average age for girls forced into prostitution is 12-14. They are usually forced to have sex with strangers 20-48 times a day and have a life expectancy of 7 years out on the streets. So while you're watching the game remember to think about all of the young girls out there that will be put in harms way to fulfill a heightened demand. Also remember that for every nine girls that get arrested on the streets when caught in prostitution only one John is arrested. When you're yelling at the ref for a bad penalty call on the field remember it's time to cry fowl that the penalty's for girls trafficked into prostitution have far more severe penalties than the men forcing them to do the work. Remember that they can be imprisoned for doing something that someone forced them to do. That is far greater than any tragedy that will be witnessed on the field. 

I'm not telling you to boycott the games. I'll be watching just as much as you are. But please remember to say a prayer for these girls that will be trafficked and think about what you can do to make sure that it won't happen next year! Raise your voice and be heard!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Shine a Light with #27DaysPlay #enditmovement

So for those of you who don't know February 27th is Shine a Light on Slavery Day where you can join the End It Movement and thousands of other people across the world as they raise awareness for the 27 million men, women, and children captured in slavery today. There are more slaves in today's world than there has ever been and the End It Movement is asking us to spend the 27th doing what we can to spread awareness. So what can you do to help? Well 27 Days is a play that can help you do that.
What can you do to help end Slavery today? 

Want to plug into the global network of the internet to let your voices be heard and let everyone you can know that slavery is still an issue in today's world? Are you looking for a creative way to Shine a Light on Slavery? There are only ten steps you need to take to use 27 Days to join the movement!


  1. Read it for Free: You can read the entire play for free by clicking under my "Plays for a Difference" Tab and clicking on the link "Read it Here". 
  2. Tell me that you're doing it!: Send me an email to fronkensteentheater@gmail.com and tell me that you want to stage a reading. People or groups that email me will get a shout out on my blog and my social media. 
  3. Get your friends together: This can be as high key or low key as you want. The play is meant to be read aloud by performers with scripts in hand. If you just want it to be an intimate reading at your home, cafe, or out on the lawn that's fine. If you want to put it onstage with lights and sound and take donations for an antislavery organization that's fine too. If you just want to read excerpts of it in front of a webcam and share them with me online that'll be good too! Do what you have to do! But you'll need help and it's fun to get your friends together to do a great thing! 
  4. Have some "rehearsals": Even a reading is gonna need some rehearsal time. Your best bet is to have at least two read thru's before you do it for real.
  5. Take lots of picture and video: Be sure to get pics and vids or everything you do and share them with the #27DaysPlay hashtag I'll retweet, share, or repost everything I see and you can see the community of people joining together to do a great thing!
  6. Tell everyone you know: No one's going to come if they don't know it's there! Call all of your friends and let them know that this is happening and that they can be a part of it!
  7. Have Human Trafficking Info and Resources: You can get great info off the End It Movement's Website here or Polaris's many great resources here! When people come in there should be some kind of information that they can have in hand about how slavery affects our world.
  8. Do the Reading: This what you've been waiting for! Get up there and do the play as good as you can. You don't have to worry about being "good" or trying to put on a spectacular show. Let the play speak for itself and do your best!
  9. Have a discussion/reflection time: After you finish reading there will probably be some emotional tension or tears shed. Have some time for discussion and reflection. The important thing is to make sure there is a call to action. Having read/heard this play what are you going to do differently? How are you going to act differently? What are you going to do to help end slavery?
  10. Tell me how it went: All things can be improved and you can help by telling me your thoughts, questions, and concerns! What can be done to make this a better tool for antislavery awareness? What can be done to make this a better play? Above all tell me how much this experience meant to you and what you're favorite memories are!
This isn't about me getting productions of a play out there or becoming "famous". I don't make any money off of this. I just want to get my play out there into the hands of people who can use it to make a difference in this world. Together we can help end slavery in our lifetime!