Interview with Alumni Georgia Lee ’15

The Periclean Scholars Class of 2015 addressed the issue of human trafficking in both North Carolina and Haiti. In Haiti, restavek is a culturally practiced system in which rural families who cannot financially support their children send them to live with families in urban areas, in the hopes that their children will be provided for and receive education. Often times, though, many of these restavek children are subject to sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Human trafficking is also a local issue, and Polaris, a national anti-trafficking organization, has consistently named North Carolina as a top-ten state for human trafficking in the United States.

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The Class of 2015 is partnered with Restavek Freedom Foundation (RFF), which works to end the system of restavek in Haiti. During their time at Elon, the class raised funds to support a transitional home in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. In the transitional home, girls coming out of severe situations of abuse are provided with food, shelter, therapy and education, and have a place of refuge and rehabilitation. The transition home gives the girls the opportunity to rebuild their lives in the company of others who have had similar experiences. The home provides support for the girls until they are in a stable situation.

The class also worked to educate the Elon community about restavek and human trafficking issues in the United States through various projects and events. During their senior year, they had an awareness and education week at Elon. Georgia Lee was named as the class’ Periclean of the Year, and worked on various aspects of the clGeorgia Lee 3ass’ efforts, such as communicating extensively with RFF, creating a bank account for the class’ funds for RFF, writing a waiver for the class’ endeavors to travel to Haiti, working to acquire stoles for the class’ graduation, and helping to plan various events and initiatives of the class.

The “Stand Up for Freedom: Human Trafficking & Restavek Education Week” was a huge part of the class’ efforts to educate the campus about human trafficking and raise funds for RFF. One of the highlights of the week was a benefit concert at West End. The event was a fun-filled night with performances by various university a cappella groups, the gospel choir, and several Limelight Music Group artists. The proceeds from the event went to the class’ fund for RFF. I personally thought that the event was really great! It was a fun and light-hearted atmosphere to enjoy the performances and people’s company, and it was also a great opportunity to learn about human trafficking in our own community, as well as in Haiti.

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Throughout her time at Elon, Georgia expanded her knowledge about human trafficking through researching various aspects of the issue, such as investigating relevant national policies, criminology concepts, and public awareness of human trafficking. Georgia conducted and published research through Elon’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience to determine the knowledge and skills of Elon students surrounding issues of human trafficking. Although the class was unable to travel together to Haiti, Georgia had the opportunity to travel to Haiti during her freshman year at Elon. Georgia now lives in San Francisco, California and is a part of a relational ministry organization called InnerCHANGE. Her team builds relationships with people who are homeless in Golden Gate Park. InnerCHANGE works to empower and support individuals who society has marginalized, seeking to build beneficial relationships and create sustainable systemic change.

Georgia continues to value the sustainability of community development and the importance of authentic relationships in her professional life. She notes that these values are central to the Periclean program, and states that the program facilitates a unique opportunity for students to be involved in positive global change through the intersection of academics and extracurriculars.  Georgia feels that the Periclean Scholars program greatly shaped her experience as an Elon student because of the special opportunities for sustainable partnership and student-led change that it presents. She appreciates the relationships and skills that she experienced in the program during her time at Elon, which have continued past graduation. Georgia is grateful that the Periclean program seeks to break down the “us and them” language of philanthropy by encouraging the relational aspects of partnership. She notes that it is easy to feel distanced when involved in philanthropy, but being able to break down the barriers of the giver/receiver dichotomy has shaped how she relates to and serves others in her daily life.

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To find out more about the Class of 2015’s work to end restavek – and

To read about the Class of 2015’s Stand Up for Freedom: Human Trafficking & Restavek Education Week – and

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 3, 2016 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    realy its very Informative information.
    Thanks you very much for this:)