The popular movie mom is playing a new role lately: Human rights activist.
Jada Pinkett-Smith is using her popularity and influence to shine some light on a very serious topic. She spoke about the issue of human trafficking at a hearing in the United States Senate yesterday. The actress brought with her some shocking numbers and a personal story to drive her point home.
“Here almost 150 years after the abolition of slavery in the United States, conservative estimates suggest that 40,000 people are enslaved on our soil at any moment,” she told the legislative body.
Jada described human trafficking as an “ugly and too often invisible problem.” She went on to admit that she was even unaware at how serious it was until her daughter Willow brought it to her attention.
The 11-year-old became concerned about the topic after viewing the YouTube documentary Kony 2012 by Invisible Children, Inc. The video highlighted African children who are still being stolen from their families and forced into sexual or military imprisonment.
In honor of the movement, Jada and Willow wore matching T-shirts with the printed text “I Free Slaves” on them. Supporting his wife at the hearing was Will Smith.
Jada went on, “Children in every country, including our own, are being forced into slavery.”
The actress’ goal for appearing in Congress was not only to raise a general awareness about the issue at hand, but also to reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protections Act that has the “tools to combat trafficking in persons both worldwide and domestically.”
Jada’s organization “Don’t Sell Bodies” takes the facts online. The movement’s website features a news feed, PSAs, and a hotline to help fight the issue on a global level. For more information visit dontsellbodies.org.