I hope that you all enjoyed our articles last month on Women’s issues. We published an article written by Christina Sudduth and Mara D’Amico. This article talks about Nicaraguan law 779 which gives victims of violence stronger protection under Nicaraguan law. This is an important step in a country where 1 in 3 women are affected by violence. The article speaks about the national reaction to the law and what has changed in the two years since it was enacted.
We also published an article by Vanessa Chauhan, a program Specialist with the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, about modern day slavery. Vanessa’s article is a look at how human trafficking is prevalent around the world and she talks about the impacts on Arkansas especially. Arkansas recently passed legislation which addresses human trafficking providing for, victim assistance, among other things. Prior to 2012 there was no legislation on the books, in Arkansas, which allowed law enforcement to treat victims of human trafficking as victims, instead of criminals.
We hope that you got a chance to read those exciting articles, and if you did not, we encourage you to take the time now to learn more about the plight of humans, especially women humans, around the world facing threats of violence and human trafficking.
This month (March) we are focusing on Art as a medium for change. We are introducing a new recurring segment where we put a spotlight on a local person who is an agent for the change they want to see in their communities. This month our first spotlight is focused on local artist, V.L. Cox who helped found the Argenta Art Walk. She also is an agent for change by using art to give an outlet to youth who are currently staying at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment Treatment Center in Alexander. She uses art to help encourage team work, and to forge friendships between angry and distrustful youths that are resistant to building relationships with others at the Center.
We also have a book review written by our very own Westley Ashley, Executive Editor. Westley talks about his reactions to the book March: Book One, the first of three graphic novels about Congressman John Lewis’ “lifelong struggle for civil and human rights in America.” This book is coauthored by Congressman Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. Nate is an award winning, Arkansas born, graphic novelist. All of the men involved with this project were invested in using art to visually and mentally engage readers in the story they wanted to tell. Westley also had the opportunity to ask Mr. Powell some questions about his involvement in this project and those responses follow his review of this powerful, but fun, graphic novel.
As always, we hope that these articles inspire you, our readers to be agents for change. If not in the arenas of human trafficking and violence, then possibly the idea of using art as a way to create the change you want to see will inspire you to create some change of your own. If you have a reaction to any of these articles, we are welcome to the chance to begin a dialog about these issues, feel free to comment on the site itself, or write a reaction piece and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org . If you can contain your reaction to 140 characters you can tweet us @ARSocialChange . You can also leave comments on our Facebook page.
Thank you for reading,