The Faces of UnBound: Carrie & Rebekah

At UnBound, we believe that every person has a unique part to play in bringing an end to human trafficking. That’s why we encourage everyone (regardless of your career, age, or background) to get involved. Volunteers, survivors, and partners are truly the faces of UnBound; we wouldn’t be who we are without you! Here’s the story of how artist Carrie Stout decided to use her gifts to contribute to UnBound’s mission.

Carrie Stout, a longtime supporter of UnBound, always wondered how she could get involved. As a full-time artist and mother of one (with one on the way!) Carrie has limited time to spend volunteering. “It just dawned on me like I should have known it all along, I paint. Why can’t we use our artistic abilities to speak for those who have no voice or to tell a story that’s hard to communicate verbally?” Carrie said.

Then, Carrie met with Rebekah Hagman, the gallery owner of Culviate 7Twelve, and together they came up with the idea to do an UnBound Art exhibition. When asked about the show, Rebekah said: “Our biggest failure is allowing sex trafficking to flourish. I perceive this show as an opportunity to give voice to the voiceless.” Rebekah and Carrie brought together a team of artists to create pieces inspired by real stories of human trafficking. Artists chose to depict the strength, breakthrough, courage, and hope found within these stories.

The goal of this partnership is to bring awareness about human trafficking within our community to a larger audience. At UnBound, we know we can’t fight trafficking on our own, it takes the whole community. Throughout the month of October 2018, UnBound and Cultivate 7Twelve offered a variety of events to bring people into the gallery, include a “Human Trafficking 101” presentation, yoga night, and book reading with Julia Walsh. 

Julie Milstead, one of the artists featured in the exhibition, said she got her inspiration from a testimonial of a survivor of human trafficking. “[The woman] said she had accepted her life for what it was, but now she was looking towards the future. That really struck a chord with me because the whole UnBound program is about hope.” Julie’s piece, titled “UnBound,” is available for viewing with the rest of the exhibition during normal gallery hours until October 29, 2018.

The exhibit offers interactive elements to reflect the idea that the fight against human trafficking is built upon partnership. We need everyone — including artists — to do their part to end trafficking in Waco. Because of Carrie and Rebekah, UnBound’s message can reach a larger amount of people. We are so grateful that they chose to use their talents to advocate for victims of human trafficking.

How could you use your gifts, talents and resources to fight human trafficking?

Written by Nikki Thompson
UnBound Waco
Professional Writing Intern