Activities & Organizations News

‘Priceless’ movie night to highlight human trafficking

In addition to hosting the movie screening and panel, the Modern Abolitionist Coalition will collect lipstick donations in an effort to continue working to get the human trafficking hotline number into the hands of suspected victims. | Courtesy of the Modern Abolitionist Coalition

The Modern Abolitionist Coalition, the University of Houston’s anti-human trafficking student organization, will host a movie night and panel discussion from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday in Agnes Arnold Auditorium 2 in order to address the state and symptoms of human trafficking in the United States.

MAC Outreach Coordinator Canyon Sanford said “Priceless,” a fictional account of a man unknowingly involved in trafficking two girls across the country when he accepts a last-resort job as a truck driver, was chosen because it takes place in the United States.

“We don’t often think about what happens here,” Sanford said. “Even when we do, we don’t have a very good idea of it and this movie does a great job of showing what that really looks like — that torment.”

The other movies considered for the event took place in different parts of the world, Sanford said, and generally in countries where people already tend to assume human trafficking happens. While “Priceless” is fictional, Sanford said it is based on real things that happen to victims of human trafficking on a daily basis.

“The great thing about the movie is that it uses a lot of true events — things that happen,” Sanford said, referencing situations in the movie and real life where girls are posted on places like backpage websites. “It’s a really great way to start conversations because even though this whole movie is not a true story itself, everything that happens happens daily, all around the world.”

Following the movie, Houston-area anti-human trafficking organizations will conduct a panel discussion and address questions from the audience. United Against Human Trafficking, Free The Captives and Rescue Houston will be in attendance.

“We’re really excited they’re going to be coming out and they can give even more information,” Sanford said. “It’s just our way to connect people to the fight and connect them to resources.”

According to the Facebook event, MAC will also be collecting lipstick donations Thursday as part of their ongoing effort to work with external organizations to get the human trafficking hotline number into the hands of victims.

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