Abolitionista! Is not just the name of a comic book series, it’s a universal movement of young people who are standing up against human trafficking. Dangerous criminals all over the world are savagely hellbent on making money from the weaknesses of people who are poor and in trouble. But young people everywhere are standing against this monstrous crime and coming to the defense of those who have been victimized by it.
Never before has a generation of young people harnessed the power of smartphones and social media and used it as a force for good, bringing freedom to victims of modern-day slave traders. I’m talking about you. Everytime you share a post about human trafficking, every time you report a situation of abuse and exploitation, everytime you screen-save a creepy post by someone who out to hurt people, and then report it, you are taking an action to make the world a safer place. That is what being an Abolitionista is all about. It is standing courageously against the crime of human trafficking and being a friend to someone who is in trouble.
Our Comic Books Idea
Thomas Estler, a writer by nature, was devouring all he could read about human trafficking and wondering, “What could I ever do to have an impact on this horrible crime.” By chance he met a photographer friend who had just done a photo shoot with survivors of human trafficking. This private event was about powerfully reclaiming one’s beauty after being exploited by traffickers. She said, “You know what was odd about the experience? They were all reading comic books. Someone should write a comic book about human trafficking.” Thomas Estler thought that someone should be him. And that’s how the Abolitionista! comic book series began. (Thank you Ruth Whalen!)
As Director of Saving Jane’s Storytelling and Prevention Programs, Thomas Estler brings his Abolitionista! comic book workshops across the country to schools, libraries, YMCAs and houses of faith. Carefully crafted with the help of federal law enforcement and survivors of human trafficking, these workshops responsibly raise awareness about this tragic crime and empower people with the tools to protect themselves and the ones they love. For information about how to bring a workshop to your community, click here.