Today, January 11, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and four murals, funded by Houston City Council Member Karla Cisneros of Houston’s District H, have been painted in time to celebrate both the day and this month, which is Human Trafficking Awareness Month, by presidential decree.
Says Council Member Cisneros: “Victims of trafficking are typically isolated and hidden. Often, both victims and witnesses don’t know how to report this heinous crime or receive help. The uplifting images on the Mini Murals will be a helpful resource. The goal is for these street art installations to bring hope and a number to call for help.”
The murals are at the following four sites: Airline at Crosstimbers; Airline at Cavalcade; Jensen at Crosstimbers; and Moody Park. All have the National Human Trafficking Hotline number, (888) 373-7888, incorporated in the designs of the painted traffic signal control cabinets. Mayor Sylvester Turner’s Office of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence and the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs supported the public art initiative.
“This public art installation is a unique project geared towards raising awareness and preventing the further exploitation of individuals in Houston” says Mayor Turner. “Our hope is that these Mini Murals will not only bring awareness to human trafficking but will also encourage victims and witnesses to reach out for help by calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline.”
Three artists — Alex “Zú” Arzú, Anat Ronen, and Renee Victor — were selected create the four murals (Victor painted two of them). The Mini Murals program is an UP Art Studio initiative, and the organization commissioned the artists.
“We hope the Mini Murals will be effective in leveraging the power of public art to help raise awareness about human trafficking,” says Minal Patel Davis, director or the Mayor’s Office on Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence.
“We believe in the power of art and its ability to strengthen the fabric of communities. Art can improve awareness, inspire change, and encourage healing,” says Debbie McNulty, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. “Through the artwork of Houston-area artists, we aim to provide a resource for individuals most vulnerable to human trafficking within a community very much impacted by this tragic issue.”
If you believe you may have information about a trafficking situation:
- Call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free hotline at 1-888-373-7888: Anti-Trafficking Hotline Advocates are available 24/7 to take reports of potential human trafficking.
- Text the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 233733. Message and data rates may apply.
- Chat the National Human Trafficking Hotline via www.humantraffickinghotline.org/chat
- Submit a tip online through the anonymous online reporting form below. However, please note that if the situation is urgent or occurred within the last 24-hours we would encourage you to call, text or chat.