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In this episode of The 411 Live, Beverly Taylor talks to Lisa McCormick, the mother of a sex trafficking victim and Dr. Debbie Lassiter, the Executive Director and co-founder of Convergence Resource Center on the importance of awareness when it comes to sex trafficking and families. We discuss how to be more aware of sex trafficking and the impact it has on the family.
In this first of two part series, we follow along as Lisa McCormick tells her story of how she went from someone who didn’t know much about sex trafficking to her son becoming a victim to the violent trade. Lisa says, “You know, being from rural Wisconsin, we really were not aware of what trafficking was and if it was, it was something, you know, in a much bigger city than, you know, small town America”. Dr. Lassiter guides us along as she explains the impact sex trafficking has on victims and their families. Using Lisa’s McCormick’s story to explain how we are to understand this world which is unknown to so many people and how we are to react and support those who are victims. Especially if they are a family member or friend. Dr. Lassiter says, “So what they didn’t understand is that the families are now in shock and they don’t know what to say to you. They don’t know what to do. Unfortunately, some of them then said, well, I’m going back to my trafficker because at least he loves me”.
Lisa’s story stands out amongst the others because unlike the typical victims of sex trafficking that we’ve come to assume, Lisa’s child that was sex trafficked was her son. A white boy from rural Wisconsin who was trafficked to woman, a story we are not use to hearing. Join Beverly and guest as we embark on a change, for a better future.
National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888 or text BeFree (233733)
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Our current project is the “Trafficked” More Than Just A Story Healing Series. Production costs for this project are well over $300,000, and we are asking for your assistance. Donations will go towards The 411 Live “Trafficked” More Than Just A Story Healing Series and to continue The “I Dare You To Heal Movement” that helps support survivors through their journey of healing focusing on human trafficking and other traumatic experiences.
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Beverly Taylor, Host
Beverly Taylor is a prober, listener and talker. She utilized all those skills as an anchor and reporter at WITI-TV (Fox 6 News). During her 21 years there, Beverly became a very recognized face in southeast Wisconsin. The most rewarding aspect of the job for her was telling stories that make a positive difference in people’s lives and stories that bring awareness. That included multiple stories about sex trafficking, which makes this podcast about the subject a logical fit.
For her efforts, Beverly has received a lot in return. She’s met people in different stages of life: during their most joyous times, their most vulnerable times, and their most painful times. These people have given Beverly tremendous examples of courage, generosity and determination.
Beverly has received many honors for her reporting, including three EMMY nominations. The University of Tennessee graduate also has a Master’s Degree in Dispute Resolution from Marquette University. She left TV news in December of 2019. Resolving conflict is another way she hopes to make a positive difference in the lives of others. She is a video production contractor, voice-over artist and podcaster.
Putting God first is a constant aim for Beverly. She is a member of New Testament Church of Milwaukee, and loves hanging out with her husband Julian and son, Nate.
Lashondra Scott, Producer
LaShondra Scott is a visionary leader on a mission to change the conditions, mindsets and attitudes of community residents through transformative and mission-driven films, television shows and new media.
LaShondra, a production executive for over 15 years, has produced and directed television programing, documentaries, video and radio content that has been broadcasted on a variety of outlets including, MPTV, radio 1290 WMCS and cable outlets. Scott, President and CEO of Neo Soul Productions also creates inspiring videos for business, organizations and non-profits.
LaShondra’s keen interest in her community and an intense desire to change the conditions so many of her fellow citizens experience, help her focus her eye on films that make a difference. With God’s guidance, she seeks to completely transform the mindsets and attitudes of individuals as wells as provide a sense of direction and purpose for all who share her vision.
“Always live life with a purpose” is Lashondra’s motto. She strives to make at least one person smile everyday because, as she says, “You never know what that person is going through, and making them smile could change their mood and make life just a little better.”
At an early age, Lashondra saw her life through the lens of a camera. She was 16 when she decided that television/video production would be her vocation. With that in mind, she attended Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) and earned an Associate’s Degree in Television/Video Production. She then earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Cardinal Stritch University in Glendale, WI.
She is on the programming committee of the Milwaukee Film Makers Alliance and is part of the Human Trafficking Taskforce of Milwaukee and Sojourner’s Family Peace Center’s human trafficking task force.
Dewayne Edwards, Associate Producer
Dewayne Edwards was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He loves all areas of filmmaking and is passionate about using the world around him to inspire his stories. With his passion for writing, he loves to develop stories to not only show a journey but to get the audience thinking.
With experience in writing, producing, and directing, Dewayne inspires to grow the filmmaking community in Milwaukee to show the different ways we can express our creative minds. Having grown up in Milwaukee, Dewayne knows that there are a lot of stories to tell to help and inspire people all over the world.