The I-94 Project is officially over!
Thank you to all of the volunteers, artists, sponsors and community members that made this project possible!
The I-94 Project was designed to create heightened awareness of human trafficking during peak 2017 summer travel season, Memorial Day to Labor Day along the I-94 corridor in southeastern Wisconsin from the border of Illinois to south of Milwaukee.
I-94 is known as a circuit used by traffickers to transport victims from Chicago to Milwaukee, Madison, Eau Claire, Minneapolis, the North Dakota oil fields and many stops in between.
As a result, truck stops, rest stops, and hotels have become common places that victims frequent.
Education is the number one way to stop trafficking.
Our goal was to give both the public and the victims the tools needed to get help and prevent further victimization and support the businesses who do not invite this criminal activity to their establishments with training and resources.
Check out the I-94 Project website www.I-94project.com
How Did We Do?
- 4,000 posters depicting 4 different human trafficking scenarios were printed for distribution.
- Billboard campaign on I-94 from June 26 through August 20 reached over 7 million travelers.
- Education and Awareness to over 35,000 people throughout southeastern Wisconsin’s Kenosha Harbor Market, Kenosha National Night Out, Expos in Racine and Kenosha, churches and community centers.
- Approximately 350 people attended the I-94 Project Kick Off event: Voices for Awareness concert at Route 20 Outhouse with Well-Known Strangers.
- Worked with Well-Known Strangers to create a human trafficking awareness video to their hit song Voices and has been viewed over 10,000 times on YouTube.
- Resource brochure of victim services in southeastern Wisconsin is in development and will be available in 2018.
- 1,000 indicator cards printed and will be distributed to law enforcement agencies across southeastern Wisconsin.
- Launched marketing campaign including educational materials, web and social media presence, billboards, posters and brochures.
- New website developed, www.I-94Project.com, with over 2,000 unique visitors.
- Print and television coverage throughout the Midwest including: WGN Chicago, WTMJ Milwaukee, FOX6 Milwaukee, Journal Times, Kenosha News and radio stations.
- Outreach to 34 hotels along I-94 from the Illinois border to Milwaukee Airport. Over 80% responded and employee trainings will be set up throughout the next year.
We also want to thank Carthage College and the RUUD Foundation for making the Week of Awareness a success! Over 1100 people attended the Elizabeth Smart event.
The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002, and her captors controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape.
Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003 after being held prisoner for 9 grueling months. Through this traumatic experience Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and National legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which lead to conviction.
The Founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation, Elizabeth has also helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions. Elizabeth advocates for victims of human trafficking through her speaking events. She has also chronicled her experiences in the New York Times best-selling book, “My Story.”
In addition, she and other abduction survivors worked with the Department of Justice to create a survivors guide, entitled, You’re Not Alone: The Journey From Abduction to Empowerment. This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences not to give up but to know that there is hope for a rewarding life.
Thank you to our other Project Sponsors!