Freedom Drivers Project at the Iowa State Fair

The Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery wishes to once again pay tribute to and thank the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) for its exceptional efforts to fight both labor and sex trafficking. You may recall that my blog post before last carried a story about the Iowa Department of Transportation’s launch of a training program for Iowa bus drivers. If you’d like to learn more about this important anti-trafficking training program, go to the May 24th blog post.

The Iowa DOT will also soon be launching a new anti-trafficking website with a map of Iowa that will provide information on services for survivors. No one is better at mapmaking than the DOT! And now the DOT is applying this knowledge to fighting human trafficking. Upon accessing the map, one will be able to tap on a city or county and learn what services are available for survivors of trafficking in that location. The DOT website will come under the name “Change Can Happen,” and we will announce it as soon as it is completed.

Anti-Trafficking Mobile Exhibit

everyday-heroes

The DOT’s Freedom Drivers Project (FDP) is a first-of-its-kind mobile exhibit that is a premiere tool in educating members of the trucking industry and general public about the realities of domestic sex trafficking and how the trucking industry is combating it. It will be on display at the Iowa State Fair at the east side of the Administration Building on Rock Island Avenue between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, August 9th and 10th.

The exhibit has a very “Everyday Heroes Needed” wrap and a climate-controlled interior, which includes a theatre station. Actual artifacts from trafficking cases connect people to the back stories of so many who end up enslaved in our state and country. You will also see portraits of real Truckers Against Trafficking and how each is working to end human trafficking. This trailer will provide many Iowans with their first glimpse into human trafficking, as well as simple action steps anyone can take immediately after walking out of it.

Officers from Iowa Motor Vehicle Enforcement Human Trafficking team and representatives from Truckers Against Trafficking will be hosting the Iowa State Fair exhibit. The trailer is handicap accessible. The exhibit will be on the east side of the State Fair Administration Building on Rock Island Ave.

This exhibit is available to be scheduled for major anti-trafficking events here in Iowa. The schedule is already full for the period between now and the state fair. If your local anti-trafficking coalition would like to schedule the exhibit for your area of Iowa, please contact one of these two DOT anti-trafficking leaders:

  1. Patricia Harmeyer – patricia.harmeyer@iowadot.us
  2. Chief David Lorenzen – david.lorenzen@iowadot.us

Below are some photos of the exhibit. Again, your opportunity to see this first-of-its-kind mobile exhibit will be at the east side of the Administration Building on Rock Island Avenue between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, August 9th and 10th. The fairgrounds open at 7:00 AM.