Calligraphy night to bring awareness to human trafficking

By: Ellen Laws

Gardner-Webb’s human trafficking awareness club, Release the Captives, is hosting a calligraphy night in Hope Hall of Tucker on Thursday, Feb. 25. The club will be providing lessons in calligraphy writing, while enjoying delicious fair-trade hot chocolate.

Mariah Case, a member of Release the Captives, said, “The basic idea behind  [the calligraphy night] was that we wanted a more casual and social event. Kind of a less ‘in your face’ approach than we normal take whenever we do events.”

There are going to be three students assisting participants with the calligraphy night: Michaela Roland, Jessica Francis and Madison Weavil. These students will encourage participants to write out Isaiah 61:1 – the “club verse” of Release the Captives.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” – Isaiah 61:1 NIV Bible

“The verse will look pretty, and it will serve as a reminder for us and in our daily lives,” said Case.

While participants learn the art of calligraphy, they will also be offered Cadbury Drinking Chocolate. This hot chocolate is fair-trade – meaning the company does not use slaves while getting their cocoa beans. “Chocolate is one the biggest slave labor industries,” said Case.

In the Fall semester of 2015, Release the Captives showed a documentary called “The Dark Side of Chocolate,” which is about child labor on cocoa farms. “It was eye-opening, and our club jumped on the fair-trade band wagon,” said Case. She also pointed out that participating in the fair-trade movement is an easy, practical way students can help end slavery.

Through experiencing fair-trade hot chocolate and learning calligraphy, the club hopes to keep the fight to end human trafficking at the heart of the event. “I feel like it is a great way for Release to socialize with the campus, and to promote awareness about modern day slavery,” said Release the Captives member Keanna Caldwell.

For more information about this event please contact Madison Weavil at

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