‘The Abolitionists’ anti-sex trafficking film to get 2nd BYU showing

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“The Abolitionists” anti-sex trafficking film will show at BYU for a second time in the Joseph Smith Building auditorium on March 18. (Kirsten Baltich)

Those who missed the first BYU campus showing of anti-child sex trafficking film “The Abolitionists” will get a second chance Wednesday, March 18, at 7 p.m.

The first screening in the Wilkinson Center’s Varsity Theatre was so successful, more participants arrived than the theatre’s 393 seats could hold. The second showing will be in the Joseph Smith Building’s much larger auditorium, with a capacity of 859. There is no charge for admission, and seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

“The Abolitionists” focuses on the child rescue efforts of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization BYU graduate Tim Ballard founded in 2013. The film shows both unsuccessful and successful attempts to rescue children from sex slavery.

The BYU Anti-Human Trafficking Club has raised money for Operation Underground Railroad since the last film showing on Feb. 25. The club collected donations from attendees and later organized a booth in the Wilkinson Student Center, where students were invited to share why they believe in the cause. Students held signs explaining why they are abolitionists.

Kate Zeller, a BYU student studying communications and president of the BYU Anti-Human Trafficking Club, operated the Wilkinson Center booth with other club members. “I feel super overwhelmed how generous people were,” Zeller said. “People would give you $20 bills, and we know that students aren’t rich … I was really amazed at the generosity of BYU.”

The club managed to raise more than $5,000 with the help of an anonymous price-matching donor from the Marriott School of Business. After the showing on Wednesday night, Zeller will present a check to Ballard, who will attend to hold a Q&A session. The BYU Anti-Human Trafficking Club membership will choose questions that attendees tweet at the club’s Twitter handle.

Anyone can tweet questions in advance to @byuahtc.

Students can learn more about the BYU Anti-Human Trafficking Club at its weekly meetings, Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Wilkinson Center Room 5519.

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