James Shelby, aka Qadhafi, has been incarcerated in Missouri for over 22 years. While inside, Qadhafi was active with the NAACP prison branches and he helped to found the Missouri chapter of IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC). Since his release five months ago, Qadhafi has continued to be a leader in the struggle. He worked with KC Tenants to pass legislation that prevents landlords from discriminating against felons in housing. He founded his own non-profit – HugYoHood. And he recently accepted a position as a community advocate for Elad Gross’s campaign for Attorney General. Tune in Monday to hear us talk with Qadhafi about his activism, contributions and insights to the movement as a formerly incarcerated person.
During the second half of our hour, host Melvin Merritt discusses sex trafficking in our community. There are estimated to be more than 4 million people – half younger than 18 – in human trafficking across the country. This breaks down to about 80,000 people per state. Sex trafficking is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, including sexual slavery. A victim is forced into a situation of dependency on their trafficker and can then be used by the trafficker to give sexual services to customers. The profit goes to the trafficker.
In Missouri, most of human trafficking cases involve sex trafficking. The National Human Trafficking Hotline states most of its calls come from massage parlors and spas. It is easy to guess that Kansas City is a high-risk area because of our central location with easy access to interstates. Melvin speaks with Lucy Bloom of Veronica’s Voice and Bennette Seaman of the KC Church of Scientology.