Oral Roberts University Branding and Promotions class hosts Trafficking Awareness Night

By Ally Powell ('13)

Promotions Class

Oral Roberts University's Branding and Promotions class will be hosting a Trafficking Awareness Night at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10 in Zoppelt Auditorium. This hour-long event will promote the awareness of sex trafficking – a problem that has afflicted the nation.

"The event is designed to educate the community of the prominence of the sex trafficking issue, how to spot it and what to do once illegal activity is noticed," says Chris Putman, assistant professor communications, arts and media. Putman teaches the branding and promotions courses.

Six student account executives from the class will be speaking at the event about sex trafficking, organizations that fight sex trafficking such as Truckers Against Trafficking and how to become involved in the fight, as simple as making a phone call. Videos produced by the student agencies will also be shown at the event.

The day prior to Trafficking Awareness Night, students will wear chains and shackles symbolizing the bondage in which child sex slaves are held. Also, Branding & Promotions students wore badges showcasing the faces of trafficking victims as a buzz marketing tactic.

"It is important to raise awareness about Truckers Against Trafficking so eventually slavery can be defeated," says ORU student Holly Shirk.ORU Trafficking story

At the beginning of the semester, the Branding and Promotions courses adopted the organization Truckers Against Trafficking. In this class, students will create promotional packages for the organization to use. The students divide into agencies creating plan books filled with research, social media strategies and other marketing techniques. While Truckers Against Trafficking targets truckers who are the eyes and ears of the nation to help spot and report suspicious activity, the class project is to target another audience entirely, college students.  The Branding & Promotions classes' goal is to launch the project onto campuses in the Tulsa area.  Then the founding organization can broaden the reach into the state and across the nation.

The goal of Truckers Against Trafficking is to educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking and travel plaza industry to combat domestic sex trafficking in a threefold way. Sex trafficking is a worldwide issue with estimates of over 27 million children sold into the business.

"[Sex trafficking] is very prominent in Oklahoma because the state has three major highways intersecting," Putman says. "It makes it easy for someone to abduct a child off a playground and then transport them out of the state within a couple of hours."