UHD Faculty Featured in 'Stopping Traffic' Documentary
By Mike Emery
The award-winning documentary, "Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex Trafficking," delves into the issue of human/sex trafficking around the globe. The film features activists and experts offering perspectives on this international epidemic, including a pair of University of Houston-Downtown faculty members.
UHD professors Dr. Robert Sanborn and Dr. Rebecca Pfeffer lend their voices to "Stopping Traffic," which runs through Oct. 5 at Houston's AMC Studio 30 (2949 Dunvale Road). The documentary traces links between child sexual abuse, pornography, prostitution and sex trafficking.
"With a topic as big, global and complex as human trafficking, a documentary such as 'Stopping Traffic' can be a great way to offer an introductory glance at the scope of the problem around the world," said Pfeffer, assistant professor of criminal justice. "The best documentaries give you some sense of what you can do now that you're more informed about a topic. I hope this film leaves viewers with some sense of what needs to be done to address the problem so that they know how they can contribute to local anti-trafficking efforts."
Pfeffer researches this topic extensively and recently collaborated on a human trafficking study with the Houston Police Department.
The film recently premiered in Hollywood and Sanborn had the opportunity to attend that advance screening.
"At the premiere, someone asked me why this issue should be more important than anything else," said Sanborn, a distinguished lecturer with UHD's Master of Nonprofit Management Program. "I think this is a topic that impacts communities far and wide, and it's something that may not be top of mind for many audiences. A documentary like 'Stopping Traffic' raises the visibility of issues such as this and helps inspire people to join the movement to put an end to it."
In addition to his duties at UHD, Sanborn is the CEO of Children at Rick, a nonprofit organization aimed at improving the lives of children through research, policy analysis, education, collaboration and advocacy.
"I'm happy to be a part of this film," he added. "I hope people leave from this documentary more educated and motivated to make a change."
"Stopping Traffic" is directed by Sadhvi Siddhali Shree. The film's assistant director Sadhvi Anubhuti, and executive producers are Acharya Shree Yogeesh and Jeannie Mai (co-host on television talk show "The Real). In addition to Sanborn and Pfeffer, the documentary also features experts such as Dr. John A. King, a trafficking survivor and activist; Rosi Orozco, Mexico's leading human trafficking activist; "Sons of Anarchy" star Kristen Renton; and Dolph Lundgren, actor and activist.