Linking Freedom In Our Backyard
The mission of In Our Backyard (IOB), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is to link arms across America in the fight against human trafficking. In Our Backyard believes that human trafficking happens 365 days a year in every city and town in America. We have been actively involved in stopping human trafficking across our nation for more than a decade. In connection with our year-round anti-trafficking work, IOB conducts a 10-day anti-trafficking operation surrounding the Super Bowl in host cities across America.
Linking Freedom In Our Backyard Outreach Event
Parking is available on the south side of the building (clearly seen on Google Maps) and overflow will be 2 blocks away at Bethlehem Baptist Church (720 13th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415) with shuttle service.
During our operations in the Twin Cities, we will host an inclusive public awareness and outreach event at a large facility on Saturday, January 27th, 2018 from 9am to 2pm. The goal of the event is to educate the public so they can recognize and report human trafficking and prevent the most vulnerable from being trafficked. For more information and to participate in the training and outreach, please sign up here.
- Awareness & Education (at Hope Community Church): The beginning of the event will include a presentation on human trafficking, including labor trafficking, sex trafficking, CSEC, and about what usually happens with human trafficking surrounding the Super Bowl. It will also include guest speakers who provide remarks in support of the outreach. The event will conclude with training and preparation for the outreach component.
- Outreach (in the community): The second portion of the event will involve trained volunteer teams distributing key awareness materials to local businesses (primarily convenience stores), including Freedom Stickers and Missing Children’s Books. These businesses become trafficking prevention centers and can be the eyes and ears of the community to save lives.
- Empower individuals with a safe and tangible way to take well-informed, meaningful action to stop human trafficking in Minnesota
- Encourage collaboration among local groups to create sustainable solutions to this issue
- Equip the business community to prevent, recognize, and report human trafficking in Minnesota
Understanding Human Trafficking Surrounding the Super Bowl
Human trafficking happens 365 days a year in every zip code in America. However, the party atmosphere surrounding large events like the Super Bowl, encourages an increase in the purchase of adults and even children for sex. Traffickers may bring victims from out of town to satisfy the demand of sex buyers. Also they capitalize on the energy generated by the event to lure unsuspecting party-goers into their grasp. The Super Bowl provides IOB an opportunity to raise awareness about this issue and mobilize regular citizens to fight this atrocity.
Our Work Surrounding the Super Bowl
IOB works to eradicate sex trafficking surrounding the Super Bowl, conducting anti-trafficking efforts through partnerships with top law enforcement, nonprofits and government agencies. The operation began nine years ago and has continued in every Super Bowl host city since. This program increases awareness, supports law enforcement efforts and looks for missing children. IOB’s collaboration with local law enforcement is instrumental in holding traffickers and sex-buyers accountable and recovering many victims of human trafficking. IOB also works to raise awareness of human trafficking through events, interviews, and media coverage.
In Our Backyard has worked in anti-human trafficking efforts surrounding the last eight Super Bowls. Because of that experience we bring expertise to the area about what “normally” happens regarding human trafficking surrounding Super Bowls. We are able to dispel myths, share ideas that have worked and ideas that haven’t worked in previous Super Bowls. We also recognize that different geography and culture have implications on the celebrations. We can offer speakers for events surrounding that time who have extensive experience both in anti-human trafficking efforts and how those efforts intersect with Super Bowl. We are not here to take over anything but to bring our experience alongside of what is already taking place.
WHY do we do it?
To create a pathway of FREEDOM for those trapped in human trafficking.
In 2017 our combined efforts made a huge impact:
- Distributed 2,150 Missing Children’s Books and 4,200 Freedom Stickers
- Three of the 36 children featured in the Missing Children’s Book were recovered.
- Provided 104 viable leads to law enforcement who recovered many victims, arrested 11 traffickers and 100 sex buyers.
Will you join us this year and help us make an even LARGER impact?
What can YOU do?
- Volunteer for our Linking Freedom In Our Backyard Outreach event in the Twin Cities on January 27, 2018.
- Become a Freedom Sticker Hero and create a pathway to FREEDOM for those being trafficked in YOUR community.
- Read In Our Backyard and learn more about Human Trafficking and what you can do to stop it.
- Call your local legislator and tell them that you want to stop HT from happening in your backyard. Click here.
- Put the National Human Trafficking Hotline in your phone 1-888-373-7888 and call them if you suspect human trafficking.
- Request a training or speaking engagement from our Executive Director, Nita Belles, in your town, job or sphere of influence.
- Sign up for our newsletter to get emails on news, activities and more!
- DONATE to partner with us in this fight.
- Become a Freedom Partner and give monthly to the fight.