Northwest MN Faith Community Receives 2015 Interfaith Social Justice Community Award

March 11, 2015

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – On Tuesday, March 10, as a part of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC) Day on the Hill, the Detroit Lakes Human Trafficking Working Group, represented by The Rev. Georgia Hecock of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Detroit Lakes, was awarded the 2015 Interfaith Social Justice Community Award for their involvement in Blank Slate Theater’s production of bottom.

Bottom is a hard-hitting play about human trafficking, and more specifically about sex trafficking in Minnesota. Last summer when JRLC was trying to recruit host communities to sponsor the play, they reached out to The Rev. Georgia Hecock, priest at St. Luke’s.

Hecock assembled a few colleagues including her neighbor, Brenda North from the United Methodist Church, and Sally Oja from the Congregational UCC Church across town. These three ecumenical leaders convened an initial planning committee, which JRLC attended, and this in turn led to the creation of the Detroit Lakes Human Trafficking Working Group. They secured the sponsorship of the Historic Holmes Theatre in downtown Detroit Lakes, and the endorsement of Chairwoman Erma Vizenor of the White Earth Nation just north of Detroit Lakes.

This started a chain reaction that resulted in the largest attended community-wide performance of bottom to date, along with continued building of community resources in the Detroit Lakes Area to combat human trafficking.

Cosponsors of the production include: Bremer Bank of Detroit Lakes, Lakes Area League of Women Voters, The Episcopal Churches of White Earth, Detroit Lakes Community Foundation, Lakes Crisis and Resource Center, Circles of Faith UCC Church in Waubun, The Refuge, Down on Violence Everywhere (DOVE), and United States Senator Amy Klobuchar.

The Interfaith Social Justice Community Award is given to a faith community or organization each year at the JRLC Day on the Hill event.