Local fashions stop traffic

The Women's and Gender Studies Undergraduate Group and the Stop Traffic organization will play host to a fashion show Saturday night to benefit efforts to stop the sale and transport of human beings for the purpose of labor or sex.

The show will feature seven local designers who created lines exclusively for the cause, Stop Traffic President Jennifer Kimball said.

Kimball, the show coordinator and a cofounder of Stop Traffic, said she was pleased with the designs but declined to say which designers were participating.

"I want to keep them a secret because I think that's part of the excitement," she said. "But a lot of them are really creative."

Each designer followed a theme related to the cause. One designer chose to focus on the devastating effect human trafficking has on the family, Kimball said.

In a silent auction following the show, audience members can bid on items including scarves, shawls and jewelry. Local benefactors donated most of the items, but some were handmade by survivors of human trafficking.

"These are people who were trafficked and survived and are now building up economic security by creating these things," Kimball said.

The night will conclude with performances by local dance groups, including MU's Latin Dance Club and a local belly dancing troupe.

Kimball said the variety reflects that trafficking is a global problem.

Kimball said the goal is not only to raise awareness about human trafficking abroad, but also in Columbia.

"People think it doesn't happen in the U.S., it doesn't happen in the Midwest," she said. "But the fact is that it does happen here. It happens in Mid- Missouri."

Kimball said the show will be informal and open to


"Anyone who wants to learn about human trafficking can come and do it in more of a fun way," she said. "I'm most excited that so many different kinds of people put their talents together for this."

The show will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Mark Twain Ballroom in upstairs Memorial Union North. Tickets are available through the Missouri Students Association/Graduate Professional Council Box Office. Student tickets are $7, and general public tickets are $8.50.

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