Youth organize Man Pageant against child sexual exploitation
July 23, 2012 at 11:22 am
Area teens are organizing a Saturday, July 28, charity Man Pageant to raise money and awareness for Love146, an international organization that works to end child sex slavery and exploitation. The slogan for Army of the Kind's Man Pageant is “Silly. Funny. Important.” The pageant will be a comical twist on traditional beauty pageants, featuring young men as the contestants. Contestants include Matt Kreiser (Beloit College), Cory Lang (Carroll University), Alex Taylor (UW-Whitewater), and Ryan Jones (UW-Rock). The event will feature many of the hallmarks of typical beauty pageants, including an evening wear competition, a swimwear competition, a talent competition, and a question and answer portion. The Man Pageant will be held in Beloit Turner High School's auditorium. Tickets are $3 for students and seniors and $4 for adults. Tickets are general admission and can be purchased at the door. The pageant starts at 7 p.m., and doors open at 6:45 p.m. The sponsoring group is Army of the Kind, a group of local high school and college students who spend their summer vacations and winter breaks devising ways to do good in both their local and global communities. They derive their name from a quotation by Cleveland Amory : “What this world needs is a new kind of army — the army of the kind.” The Man Pageant is one of several Army of the Kind projects. More information can be found at www.facebook.com/armyofthekind. All proceeds from the Man Pageant will be donated to Love146, a non-profit organization that works against the sexual exploitation of children in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Love146's mission includes advocacy, prevention, and aftercare. They engage local communities and law enforcement in an effort to build new prevention networks and strengthen existing ones through outreach and education. “In 2002 co-founders Rob Morris, Desirea Rodgers, Lamont Hiebert and Caroline Hahm traveled to South East Asia to witness first hand the atrocity of child sex slavery and the hope of abolition and restoration. While there, Rob and Lamont went undercover with professional investigators into a brothel. In that brothel, they witnessed little girls standing behind a wall of glass, each wore a matching red dress with a number pinned to her chest; they were watching children’s cartoons on small television sets. Men were purchasing these girls by the number pinned to her dress. As Rob and Lamont looked at these children watching cartoons they were struck by the eyes of each child. Their eyes seemed empty, without spark of life, like robots. And then there was #146. The only one not watching cartoons, she was staring back through the glass with fire and fight left in her eyes, there was still life there. In her eyes we found our calling. In her number came our name.” - Love146, http://love146.org/faq The most pervasive forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children are child pornography, child prostitution, trafficking, and sex tourism. Upwards of 1.2 million children are trafficked annually, and 2 children are sold every minute, according to Love146.