Michigan Anti Human Trafficking Groups Sing Out Against Modern Day Slavery January 21 at Eastern Michigan University Student Center

Ypsilanti, MI – In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Month, the EMU Student Group Unmasked is partnering with MAP (Michigan Abolitionist Project-Ann Arbor), SOAP Washtenaw (Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution), and Lost Voices to bring you an afternoon of music and information about this endemic problem and how we can fight back against it.

When:  January 21, 2018 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Where: Eastern Michigan University’s Student Center, 900 Oakwood St., Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Price: $20 suggested donation, $5 students. Tickets at the door in advance at www.emutix.com. Free for Survivors. All are welcome regardless of ability to pay. Proceeds will be distributed to Unmasked, MAP Ann Arbor, Lost Voices, SOAP, Sanctum House, Eve’s Angels, and Sister Survivors.

An amazing festival-style musical offering will be provided by artists affiliated with Lost Voices, a group of Michigan singer-songwriters who help kids heal from all sorts of trauma by helping write and perform original music. Hosted by humorist, musician, and Lost Voices Founder Mike Ball, the afternoon will feature Josh White Jr, Annie & Rod Capps, Jen Cass & Eric Janetsky, Sharon Tse & John Finan, and Bobby Pennock.

“Along with the music, guest speakers will help you learn how to get involved to end modern day slavery,” says Mike Ball of Lost Voices. “Find out about the human trafficking problem in Michigan, and how you can support the programs that help survivors to heal and transform their pain into strength.”

Speakers include:

Lost Voices of Trafficked Kids: A Concert

My life changed in the span of an hour.  It was the first time I witnessed youth in a Lost Voices program sing their songs and tell their stories.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  They sang of anger, hurt, sadness, and abuse, and they had the courage, many times while fighting back tears, to sing and to share their stories.

On Saturday, June 17, Lost Voices is hosting a special concert at the PARC in downtown Plymouth.  We are calling this show “Lost Voices of Trafficked Kids: A Concert.”

Our story:
A decade ago, our Executive Director, Mike Ball, starting working with severely at-risk youth in an attempt to help them heal and find hope through the power of music.  At the time, many of these kids were incarcerated or in residential facilities.

For the past two years, we have been working with young women at the Vista Maria foster care facility in Dearborn Hts.  Sadly, some of these young women are victims of the atrocity that is human trafficking.

This special concert will feature our “folk magicians” Jen Cass, Kitty Donohoe, and Mike Ball.  They will perform their own material as well as songs written by youth who have participated in our programs.  An added bonus is that, among the performers, will be some of the young women from Vista Maria who will share their stories through song.

Prepare to be moved.  Prepare to have your life changed.  Prepare to experience the magic.  Through the Lost Voices program, these young women have found the courage to share their stories, as heart-wrenching as they may be.

As a career elementary school teacher, Lost Voices is very personal to me.  My students become “my kids,” not just for the year they are with me but forever.  As much as I wish I could, I cannot always be there for them, and if one ever ran afoul of the law or found themselves in a situation without home or family, I would want an organization like Lost Voices to be there for them.  Lost Voices provides an opportunity for them to process, and, therefore, deal with the root or their anger, sadness, depression, etc.  They begin to heal.

The Lost Voices tag line is “Saving lives one song at a time.”  We believe we are doing that.  Please join us for this special concert.  Together, we will work to bring these kids back from the edge.

Here are the concert details:

Saturday, June 17, 2017
8-10 PM
The PARC, 650 Church Street, Plymouth, MI 48170

Featuring: Jen Cass, Kitty Donohoe, Mike Ball, and the kids

$15 suggested donation

You can Purchase Tickets Here.

There will also be a Silent Auction and other surprises. We promise you a great evening!

Bobby Pennock
President, Lost Voices Board

Lost Voices at Vista Maria

We don’t know their stories, but each girl has one. They are tall and short, thin and not-so-thin, brash and reserved. Some of them show a sadness in their eyes deeper than you want to imagine, and others wear a mask that most of the world will never penetrate.

And they are children.

Continue reading “Lost Voices at Vista Maria”

Never a Bad Seed

This is a column I wrote a few years ago about the documentary I made, Young Poet Incarcerated, which led directly to the founding of Lost Voices…

It was a pretty good line in a really good poem, entitled “Look At Me,” by a seventeen year old African-American poet named Donald. This young man was theoretically every bit as dangerous as he was gifted; he was incarcerated in the WJ Maxey Boys Training School as a violent offender.

Who’d have thought good crops
Could come from a bad seed?

Continue reading “Never a Bad Seed”

Nobody’s Angels, Nobody’s Fools

You can hear it in their voices, sometimes off-key, sometimes wobbling with a tremolo of fear, sometimes styled after some singer they have long admired. You can hear it through the giggling bravado of children struggling to show a veil of courage on stage in front of their peers. You can hear it in the words that they would never dare say in any other place or time, words that express feelings lurking in the deepest recesses of their not-quite-adult souls.

It’s the sound of young hearts crying for help.

Continue reading “Nobody’s Angels, Nobody’s Fools”

Love is Not Hard to Find

She wore a baggy purple shirt over baggy purple sweat pants. Her hair was chopped short and her body was padded with a layer of soft flesh that bore tribute to the starchy diet of incarceration. She had her arms folded across her lap, her gaze fixed on the floor in front of her, and she was almost imperceptibly rocking to a rhythm that only she could hear.

She was maybe sixteen years old.

Continue reading “Love is Not Hard to Find”