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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

UF adjunct professor and photographer Jeremiah Stanley and his wife, Meredith, are preparing to go to Greece to capture the stories of sex trafficking victims.

“The more we researched and learned, the more it started to change us as people,” he said. “We felt like we had to do something.”

After brainstorming ideas, the two decided a portrait project would be a good way to document the slavery and help spread the message. They set up a page on www.USAprojects.org with a goal of $15,000. The money will help pay for travel expenses, food and equipment. As of press time, about $5,000 had been raised.

Jeremiah Stanley said they picked Greece because it’s known as the gateway into Europe for slavery traffickers. The team, which also includes their assistant, Sierra Clemons, plans to be gone for about a month.

“It’s really hard for them to talk about their experiences,” he said. “For the first week, we may not even take a picture because we don’t want to make victims feel any more exploited than they already are.”

Meredith Stanley said she hopes the victims will realize that by standing up and showing their faces, they’ll be able to make a difference in educating people.

Upon the completion of the trip to Greece, the photographs will be on display at Anthem Church in Gainesville.

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