These three men are biking across the U.S. to help stop human trafficking.
Women being bought and sold in sex trafficking rings sounds like something that happens far away. But it occurs all over the world. And possibly right in your hometown.
Jay Atlas, 25, Sylvester Williams, 28, and Jonathan Moore, 19, are cycling across the United States — north to south — to spread awareness of human trafficking. They left Fargo, North Dakota, four days ago and plan to bike all the way to San Antonio, Texas.
They posted a Facebook update from their first day on the road, as Williams celebrated his 28th birthday: “As a founder of the program, his constant service has been a reminder to all of us that enough is never enough – persevere. Do better; or do more. Riding 50-60 miles may not be everyone’s ideal birthday, but it’s exactly what he wanted to do.”
The team is part of the nonprofit organization Worthwhile Wear, which provides vocational training and employment for women in India — as well as safe houses, employment and therapy care for women in the U.S.
Trafficking often occurs in countries where poverty and lack of education force women and girls into prostitution. Many of the women are kidnapped from their home country and sent elsewhere to countries like the United States, where they have no family or resources to help them escape their forced slavery.
This isn’t the first time Atlas and Williams have done awareness campaigns to combat trafficking. In 2013, Atlas and his brother, Shannon Sprowal, spent three months walking cross-country from Atlantic City, New Jersey, to Los Angeles. And in 2014, Atlas and Williams biked from Seattle, Washington, to Miami, Florida — a trip that took four months to complete.
For a glimpse at what a cross-country bike trek is like, see this video Atlas filmed during his Seattle-to-Miami trip with Williams last year:
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Photo: Worthwhile Wear GO/Facebook