Hartsfield-Jackson art exhibit focuses on human trafficking

A new art exhibit at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport aims to raise awareness about human trafficking.

The exhibit, called “Freedom Expressions ATL,” features work by professional artists on display in the domestic terminal atrium. The Center for Civil and Human Rights coordinated the exhibit, which debuted Friday and runs through July 22.

With an art exhibit at an airport, “you reach a lot of different people,” said Sgt. Ernest Britton with the Atlanta Police Department’s child exploitation and online protection squad. “You reach people who may not otherwise realize there’s even a problem going on.”

A related student exhibit of runs from June 5 through Aug. 31 on Concourse E, featuring work by students from Atlanta International School, Benjamin E. Mays High School, Cross Keys High School, Forest Park High School, North Atlanta High School and Stilwell School of the Arts.

Art has “the capability to educate and inform,” said Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Miguel Southwell.

Delta Air Lines and airport concessionaire Crews International are sponsoring the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the exhibit and have trained employees to recognize signs of human trafficking at the airport and report it to police.

Atlanta is one of 14 hotspots for sex trafficking of children, according to the FBI. That’s because Atlanta is home of the world’s busiest airport and plays host to many large gatherings like conventions and professional sports events, said Center for Civil & Human Rights executive vice president Deborah Richardson.

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