Voices of Freedom, a Collaboration with StoryCorps

February 1, 2021
| Katherine Chon, Director of the Office of Trafficking in Persons
Story Corps-woman with laptop

I am thrilled to announce the “Voices of Freedom” initiative, a public-private collaboration with StoryCorps Visit disclaimer page to record, preserve, and share the stories of individuals who have experienced human trafficking and allied professionals.

In the words of Dave Isay, Founder and President of StoryCorps, “StoryCorps tells the true American story—that we are a people defined by small acts of courage, kindness and heroism. Each interview reminds people that their lives matter and will not be forgotten.” We see these attributes reflected in the lives of the survivors and professionals we work with on a daily basis and are excited to provide a platform that will capture their stories for future generations.

In recognition of the 20-year anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), the “Voices of Freedom” initiative will chronicle the impact of this seminal piece of legislation by preserving the stories of survivors and exploring the legislation’s legacy. We will also invite allied professionals working on policy, victim services, and prevention, to share their perspectives on how the anti-trafficking field has evolved over the past two decades. These firsthand accounts will be preserved in the StoryCorps Archive at the American Folklife Center Visit disclaimer page at the Library of Congress and will be distributed as part of our broader public awareness and education initiatives. The perspectives shared throughout the project will also be used to inform our future priorities and initiatives.

We will also partner with the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) to engage those with experience at the intersection between human trafficking and the Missing and Murdered Native Americans crisis.

Phase 1: On March 5, StoryCorps will kick off the first of two customized training sessions on StoryCorps’ methods, the power of storytelling, and how to create a culture of listening at any organization.

Phase 2: OTIP will conduct an interview drive, inviting survivors and allied professionals to use StoryCorps’ digital platform to record their own virtual StoryCorps interview about their work and experiences with a colleague, friend, service provider, or family member.

Phase 3: StoryCorps will record a series of conversations between survivors, allied professionals, and people who know them well.  A trained StoryCorps Facilitator will guide the pair through the recording process, but the two participants will talk to each other directly, to ask and answer questions in their own words, and share memories that are meaningful to them.

Participants who share their story through the digital platform or record their stories with a StoryCorps facilitator will receive a digital download of their interview, which they can then grant permission to have archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and on the OTIP website.

For more information about the Voices of Freedom initiative, email EndTrafficking@acf.hhs.gov.


About the Office on Trafficking in Persons

The Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) is responsible for the development of trauma–informed, person-centered, culturally and linguistically appropriate anti-trafficking strategies, policies, and programs to prevent human trafficking, build health and human service capacity to respond to human trafficking, increase victim identification and access to services, and strengthen health and well-being outcomes of trafficking survivors. OTIP advises the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families by providing subject-matter expertise and leadership of the Administration for Children and Families’ (ACF) anti-trafficking activities. OTIP collaborates with federal partners and other stakeholders to raise public awareness, identify research priorities for ACF’s anti-trafficking work, and make policy recommendations to enhance anti-trafficking responses.

About StoryCorps

Founded in 2003 by Dave Isay, StoryCorps is a nonpartisan national organization that has given people of all backgrounds and beliefs, in thousands of towns and cities in all 50 states, the chance to record interviews about their lives. The organization preserves the recordings in its archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered, and shares select stories with the public through StoryCorps’ podcast, NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful human stories reflect the vast range of American experiences, wisdom and values; engender empathy and connection; and remind us how much more we have in common than what divides us. Learn more about how to record and preserve your story at storycorps.org Visit disclaimer page.

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