Tuesday, January 16, 2018
News Roundup

Free event to raise awareness on sex trafficking in Tampa Bay

TAMPA — The HeartDance Foundation is hoping to bring awareness to Florida's rank as the state with the third highest human trafficking activity through a free evening of dancing, performance, caricatures and a photo booth.

Dotti Groover-Skipper founded the HeartDance Foundation to tackle the "monstrous issue of human trafficking" in Tampa Bay. The free HeartDance for Hope from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at 1300 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City, will showcase the foundation's Rahab Project, a play based on the biblical character Rahab, a prostitute who helped Israelites capture the city of Jericho.

"We are looking at this as an avenue to raise awareness and also to create jobs for women who are coming out of the sex trade industry," Groover-Skipper said. "The women coming out typically have arrest records and it's difficult for them to find gainful employment, so we'd like to start an apprenticeship through the Rahab Project with opportunities for women to get paid to perhaps be costume designers or set designers or videographers or photographers or get paid as an actress."

Other highlights include interpretive dance and visual aids posted throughout the event with human trafficking statistics.

Caitlin Johnston, Times staff writer

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: The HeartDance Foundation's HeartDance for Hope will showcase the play Rahab Project. A story listed a different play name.

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