The Voice of Justice organization on Troy’s campus held a “Shine a Light” benefit showcase event on Tuesday, Nov. 1, in Claudia Crosby Theater to raise money and awareness for modern day injustices.
Isaiah Russel, a sophomore dance major from Nashville, Tennessee, won first place for his choreographed dance called “Closure” that was performed by Miche Smith, a sophomore theater and dance major from Gautier, Mississippi, and Vincent Rosec, a senior theater major from France. The piece incorporated the reality of heartbreak in a relationship.
“An important part of dealing with topics like the ones that we are shedding light on today is the ability to find closure in the end,” Russel said.
“It was really emotionally captivating,” said Jonathan Cellon, Voice of Justice faculty adviser, coordinator for service learning and civic engagement, who was also a judge for the event. “You couldn’t look away; you were just drawn in.”
In second place was Ingrid Lieb, who attends Charles Henderson High School, and the honorable mentions were Patrick Jackson, a sophomore theater major from Troy, and Alicia Hornberger, a junior interpreter training major from Prattville.
Human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault are all major causes that Voice of Justice works to bring to light and ultimately end.
Each of the 13 acts performed by high school and college students incorporated aspects of these injustices through poetry, dance, music or theater.
“All of the acts for Shine A Light had to pick a song or a theme or a monologue that reflected the concept of how a sexual assault victim would feel or how someone coming out of a domestic violence situation would feel,” said Chelsea Singleton, a senior social work major from Troy and president of Voice of Justice.
This is the third year that the organization held this event, but it decided this year to hold a more interactive event than in past years.
“It was time for a change,” Singleton said.
The organization is a merged group of two former organizations, Stella’s Voice and the International Justice Mission. The two organizations came together for the common cause of bringing awareness to these injustices.
“It’s important, especially with our age group, to know,” said Corinne Jacobs, a senior exercise science major from Auburn and a performer in Shine a Light. “We (the millennial generation) are a big push in some of the social changes that are going on in the world right now.
“I think it’s really important for us to be educated in it … so once we leave here we can continue pursuing these injustices and hopefully correcting them.”
“It was one the best talent shows I’ve seen since I been in Troy,” said Sadaris Williams, coordinator of student involvement and leadership and one of the judges of the event.
The proceeds from the event will be going to organizations specific to the causes, including The One Lover Foundation, The No More Campaign, Stella’s Voice and The International Justice Mission.
Voice of Justice moves to continue bringing awareness about domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is the largest criminal business in the world,” said Denise Green, chair of the department of human services and social work and the third judge for the event.
“And as the largest criminal business in the world, it cuts across every country, every race and every creed of color, it affects the lives of millions of people, and it is the huge elephant in the room.”
The organization looks to hold the event again next year and continue spreading awareness.