CAST benefit

Exactly one week ago, I had the opportunity to volunteer at CAST’s annual benefit dinner. CAST (a.ka. the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking) is a LA based non-profit, dedicated to empowering survivors to be their own advocates for change. (See our previous profile of CAST here.)

The venue was beautiful. The event was held at the Skirball Center, which is located in LA right down the street from the Getty. I had never visited the Center before the event, but now that I have been, I will definitely be making it a point to go back.

Before the actual benefit began, I was stationed in an exhibit called “Women Hold Up Half the Sky.” The exhibit was based on a book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, which documents social injustices suffered by women worldwide.

Unfortunately my camera died a few minutes after I arrived, so I didn’t have the opportunity to take many pictures. This picture doesn’t even do justice to the extreme creativity of the exhibit.

There were handmade quilts, videos, pictures, pottery and a variety of other displays. There was even a hands-on opportunity for viewers to send letters to Barbara Boxer, asking her to step up and advocate for better treatment for women.

I wish I could share more pictures… Sadly, the exhibit is no longer being featured at the Skirball center.

I guess we will all have to read the book to learn more about Kristof’s and WuDunn’s work.

Okay back to the event…

Five minutes before the benefit began, I cleared the exhibit and headed to the hall where the formal dinner was being held.

Although I didn’t have the opportunity to listen to much of the program, it looked very interesting. I was able to catch a glimpse of a trafficking survivor’s story and a clip from a NCIS LA episode, which mentioned CAST and was based on the rescue of a woman who had been trafficked. From the bits and pieces I was able to pick up, I’m sure the entire dinner presentation was very moving.

Overall, I loved having the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to such a worthy cause. Check out Cast’s website to see more pictures of the event and to learn more.

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