This weekend the Feminism class and the Community Service Roundtable hosted a GEMS Coffeehouse. GEMS stands for Girls Education & Mentoring Services. We wanted to raise money for such an amazing organization working right here in New York to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) or child prostitution as many people would know it better as. We raised $1,400.

You are probably thinking… “This doesn’t happen in the States!” But unfortunately it does. Some facts are:

  • In New York City alone there are about 2,200 children victimized by commercial exploitation annually.
  • 100,000 – 300,000 children are at risk for commercial sexual exploitation each year in the United States
  • The average age of CSEC is 12~14
  • There are about 1.6 million children who run away from home each year. The average time it takes before a runaway is approached by a trafficker or solicitor is 48 hours
  • 70% – 90% of CSEC have a history of child sexual abuse

These facts were astonishing to hear when I first heard them as well.

GEMS has 5 things you can do today:

  1. TALK about the issue with friends and family
  2. JOIN them on Facebook, Twitter, and The Council of Daughters
  3. SUPPORT the girls and young women of GEMS. Donate today.
  4. INVITE five or more friends to watch Very Young Girls (It is a documentary made by GEMS to expose the truth about CSEC and how so many institutions are against these young girls like the culture of ‘pimpin’, the court system that doesn’t see them as a victim, and being stripped of all identification by their pimps leaves them with absolutely nothing.)
  5. PLAN a film viewing night or fundraiser to inspire others to end CSEC

So, PLEASE support this amazing organization!


On a different note, the spoken word artist who came to support GEMS at the Coffeehouse was Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene. I thought she was absolutely amazing. Her voice was strong and her words were even more powerful. Please go check her out at her blog.