SUMMER SOCIAL FUNDRAISER EVENT- HER SONG
"Did you know that Florida ranks #3 in the nation for human trafficking, a $150 billion industry worldwide and the second most common criminal activity after the illegal drug trade? Shockingly, Duval County ranks #5 in Florida as a hub for sex trafficking activity.
Over the last six years, Her Song has rescued more than 500 women on the First Coast from a life of abuses inconceivable to most of us – abduction, forced prostitution, physical and psychological torment, drug addiction and unbearable emotional trauma."
Summer Social Fundraiser Event - Her Song Highlight Video by Caitee Hawker
I believe the universe places humans in my life when I am ready to accept them. This is one of those humans. Meet Caitee Hawker, an honors graduate of the prestigious Full Sail University, she honed her skills in film making, photography, and editing on the most technologically advanced equipment in the industry - developing a level of technology and perfection she brings to her own company Adventures HD. Thank you for your time and skills you have contributed to this event!
AH/U DESIGNED Video by William P Cook
Clicking the image will lead you directly to HER SONG website.
THE EVENT by Adela Hittell
At the end of May, maybe early June, Joseph Lago approached me with an idea of participating in an event called Summer Social Fundraiser and Event for Her Song. I had no idea what it was so I did some research and discovered that this was going to be more about raising awareness about the situation of human trafficking in our city than it was going to be about my participation as anything in the event.
I was approached to participate as a designer. To be honest, I was not going to bring any of my designs out because I was not ready. Or so I thought. This event pushed that fear out of me and that last bit of doubt about my destiny. Quickly I realized there was a lot more work to be done and this was too important of a mission and moment to let slip away. So to work I went.
Her song was founded in 2013 by Rachel White, who is a licensed professional counselor, an ambassador and an advocate for human trafficking survivors. As I read her accomplishments within our community and what Her Song is doing in providing healing from trauma made me jump on board and make sure I gave it my all for this.
See, I can relate to the victims without even knowing them yet because I know what it is like to be trapped and forced into a reality that you have no control over. Our circumstance in which our traumas have occurred or the magnitude of our tragic event is irrelevant... the trauma is real and it needs to be acknowledged. I know what it means to not have a voice and to feel helpless. I know so many humans in my own life who have had tragic lives and yet they found some way to go on and live. When I found my way, my voice, my narrative, my mission, I KNEW with all of my being that I would work hard on every moment to bring awareness to voices that do not have them.
This was the perfect moment and opportunity.
PHINC was created to bridge the gap between emotional and mental health through open and honest communication that provides the education necessary for the individual or group to create a positive expression of self, in turn, creating a tangible product of oneself and the community.
PHINC is PROJECT HUMAN and I am that human project. We are all a human project and we all have something we can contribute to society and those who choose not to only punish us because we do not get to experience a moment with them and the essence that makes them unique and beautiful to this world. No matter the circumstance.
This event provided me the opportunity to share that narrative, to push me creatively and to educate me on my own path and destiny with the information I lacked. I wanted my message to be clear and concise. I didn't want my clothing to matter, although I was going to give them my all as if they did matter more than anything. Every moment mattered.
I handpicked my models because the message had to be delivered in a way that made the audience feel and appreciate the moment. Place them outside their emotional comfort zone for a moment and make them feel. Make them HEAR HER SONG without her voice. Each girl delivered their story for themselves.
The music was the start of the message. Music has been my voice for the longest and songs have a way of saying exactly what I FEEL and what I want to say but the words refuse to come out. So I sing.
I chose "Warrior" by The Phantoms specifically for the lyrics but also for the opening beat. It chilled me. My soul yearns for music that feeds it so deeply that the only food my soul needs is to create the vision in my head. I felt it. I danced and moved as if I knew exactly what I wanted my body to say. I promise I am not a dancer, although it is on my list this year of accomplishments. My rebirth taught me that every moment is to be lived to the fullest and felt to the fullest. I cried at the idea of seeing this image. The silent voices dressed up right next to us. Right within our community. I printed the lyrics and internalized them. I turned the lyrics and reflected that back on me. I lived the moment of those words. I saught the truth in its intention. I wanted to make sure that my intention was truth in that I would continue to fight until there is no one left to fight for because we are all worth the fight! My actions needed to match the narrative and more importantly the intention if plagued by any ego within me would be a false intention in my action and my narrative. When I create a piece, I completely let go of any reality here. I go into space and time that only exists for that moment and for that feeling. There is an elevation of observation that occurs when I totally let go. I remember home. I remember pieces of me I never knew existed. I am reminded that the pain and loss of what I do not know is the truth behind my drive and my dreams. I am reminded I am on my way home.
My design process is a bit insane and I honestly won't even go into the number of times I changed my mind about the line and what I was doing. The emotional process that went along with the fabric and the sewing machine was something that taught me I did lack a bit more patience. Eventually, I decided on a quick Creative Collection. I wanted the collection to be rich, elegant, sexy and powerful. I wanted the clothing to represent the beauty and allure of humanity. The idea that my models would be walking barefoot, no makeup, mouth taped and emote chilled me to the bone and it was an image I had to bring to life. I select words to associate with movement and what I want them to express. The particular words that kept coming to mind were obedience, precision, invisibility, fear, power, control. I wanted them on display as is. Humans. I know for a fact that everything I do right now at this moment contributes to the human trafficking problem we have here in Jacksonville and actually any other problem we have. I am contributing because I am not researching the businesses I invest in. I am contributing by not educating myself on my own so that I am aware of the things that matter to me so that I can contribute to making a change. I also know that I am aware that I cannot solve a problem that most of my own community doesn't even know exists. What I can continue to do as I have started two years ago with PHINC, I can educate myself on my own values and ethics and know them so deep that every move I make and every action I take will be with the best of intentions and have the most effect on the issues I want to change.
Here is what have learned about myself. I have learned that my confidence in myself has grown by tenfold this year. I solidified the knowledge within me that I am on the right path. I learned that no matter how many times my doubts come into my mind that those doubts are the opinions of others. NOT MY THOUGHTS. I experienced a moment where I spent an hour and a half on a drive putting myself down over everything I saw wrong about me in a video. I also then recognized that I was able to process those thoughts in a way where I understood they were not the actual truth of my own self. My pudge was the opinion of someone else I heard a long time ago I could not erase. My aggressive personality was the opinion of someone a long time ago that told me it was the worst quality of me turns out to be one of the best things about me. All the things that others put down so much are the things that make the best parts of me. I also have to remind myself every day that my intention has to be right in every moment and every second in order for those qualities to work at their best for the best of myself and humanity. I learned the red in me is not as bright as it used to be nor can it be fueled by anyone else but me.
I am so excited to continue the work with Her Song and help them make the changes in the lives of human s that need it the most.
Thank you to my models for putting their all in. Click their name and check them out.
Thank you to the following humans for everything they did to make this happen.
Isabell Lindva - Producing the show
Manifest Distilling - Hana & Michael for the use of the location
Joseph Lago & AH/U Designed - Designers
Embrace Beauty Magazine LLC - Laylonna Hurley - for driving from Orlando to cover the event
Casie Casem, Yolanda Curtis, Trinity Curtis, Madison Jay, Jenna Weeks, Raiza Rangl - Makeup/Hair
Joshua Green - DJ
Carla Jay & Callie Proctor -Ticket Booth
Bombshell Belles - helping usher the event
Models: Nicole Labadie, Jodie Jernigan, Jonalyn Rodriquez, Ashley Beloat, Michelle Morris, Heather Anne Callejas, Samantha Rizer, Brianna Minton, Chloe Marie, Charity, Joshui Merga
Here is a look at some of our greatest moments of making this event! Thank you to the following humans for the following captures and everything else in between.
THANK YOU JODI
What do the words mean?
Part of my mission as a designer and a content creator is to not tell you about the issues but show you and provide you with experience in feeling, connection and the unexpected. That is the beauty of humanity. I want every bit of my work to represent my faith in humans and my belief in the destruction of each other and the process of the destruction of oneself go hand in hand. The only humans we can ever really and truly hurt is ourselves.
I asked all my models to choose a word that represents something within them and their own truth. The message was their stories without their voices. Survivors are all around us. They do not speak as a victim. They speak as a power of strength, resilience, and compassion.
Here is what their words make up for me:
I FIGHT because I am a SURVIVOR of BETRAYAL.
PERFECTION does not exist only I do.
I am DEFIANT against the inhumanity against myself from myself.
I am UNSTOPPABLE because I choose to EXHALE this breath I have been given.
What do the words make up for you?
Thank you to my models for having the courage to share themselves.