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Infinite Hope: A Night of Art and Unity Event Review by Cadence Brown and Shriya Venkataraman

Our Future of Change, a youth-led chapter of Her Future Coalition is an organization meant to combat human trafficking. Our organization has around 250 ambassadors from more than 25 countries across the globe. After months of preparation, our ambassadors and representatives for Her Future Coalition recently had our first virtual event, Infinite Hope: A Night of Art and Unity. We raised $1,040, all of which will go to supporting Her Future Coalition rehabilitation, education, and employment programs for survivors. The theme throughout the night was “Rebirth”, and it brought a sense of unity exhibited through art of many forms: poems, visual art, and performances. Also featured were videos of what Rebirth meant to our ambassadors, and it gave a better appreciation for the art itself to understand the perspectives of others and their experiences. One of the highlights of the event was how interactive the whole event was, from the overwhelming support in the chat to getting to hear how these pieces impacted the audience. The live performances by Annabelle Li, Sreenidhi Mudigonda, and Rebecca Candeloro brought a space of collectiveness affirming the emotion of growth and empowerment.

All of the pieces featured were empowering and truly captured the meaning of this night. Abigail and Lauren, the co-founders of the event and organization, had created a virtual exhibit to display each of the art and poetic pieces. Additionally, the musical performances were live, and were a delight to watch. One of our favorites was the piece “Violet” by Emilee Kain. It is very minimalist with the few colors and an outline of a woman, but when she spoke about the artwork, it brought rebirth to a simple form of resilience to transformation. Another favorite of ours was Sreenidhi’s singing “Warrior” by Demi Lovato. A special part of the night was getting to see actual pieces by survivors in Her Future’s programs, as well as testimonials as to how HFC and OFOC have changed survivors' lives. Many don’t have family, and HFC’s jewelry program has helped them bond and forge relationships with other survivors. HFC arrived as a miracle of the survivors’ lives when they were most vulnerable, and the organization has been a stepping stone for their successes. Art can be used as a form of healing in rehabilitation for survivors to use a medium to reduce loneliness, and instill a sense of belonging and identity.

An incredible part of the night was getting to hear Sarah Symons, the founder of Her Future Coalition. She spoke on her story, and what inspired her to fight trafficking. It was amazing to see her talking about her work, and how they developed their three pillars, education, shelter, and entrepreneurship. One thing she said that really stood out to us is when she was beginning her work against trafficking she asked the questions “What do you need?” and “How can I support you?”. I feel like this is applicable in many situations, and it benefits everyone of us being able to learn how to support and be humble. It was such a reminder of why we joined this organization, and seeing her support was inspirational.

All in all, “Infinite Hope: A Night of Art and Unity” was an absolute success. It was a night of growth and joy. Getting to see the emotions of Abigail and Lauren, the co-founders of OFOC, throughout the night, with the amazing donations and support we saw from the audience, was heart-warming. The event was around 90 minutes, and it was remarkable; OFOC raised around $1000 dollars throughout the event. With this money, OFOC is able to sponsor one entire classroom for a month!

One of our prominent ambassadors, Rishika Singhal says, "as one of the virtual event ambassadors and the messenger at the event, I got to see and admire the hard work that all the ambassadors and coordinators took to make this event successful. A virtual art exhibit was a very new concept for me, and I am really happy that I got to see this new type of art exhibit, as I had never been to a virtual and live art exhibit. Due to this unique idea, many people, including me, got to experience a live art exhibit and perform while sitting at home. All the ambassadors and I hope to continue helping Our Future of Change and make events even more successful in the future. Once again, thank you to Lauren and Abigail, Her Future Coalition, and all the other ambassadors and team members at Our Future of Change!"

One survivor shares her story and expresses her gratitude to Sarah Symons, HFC, and the up-and-coming OFOC!

Surely, OFOC has a bright future as the number of ambassador applications surged after the event. With the mission statement of this virtual event appealing to all sorts of people- from artists to poets to speakers, around 50 attendees who thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed HFC and OFOC’s efforts to combat human trafficking. OFOC plans on hosting many more events to spread awareness of these prevalent issues, and if you wish to be a part of the process, apply to be an OFOC ambassador!

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