Although it began nearly 20 years ago, Live 2 Free is a club that is gaining momentum and visibility on campus.
Founded by Dr. Sandra Morgan, under the name The Lydia Today Foundation, Live 2 Free was born after Morgan witnessed countless trafficking incidents in Greece while serving as a missionary. According to club president Jazmyne French, Dr. Morgan saw a need for an organization that could raise awareness about the risks of human trafficking, and created Live 2 Free to fulfill that.
French described Live 2 Free as an anti-trafficking mobilization team on campus, but what club members do over the course of the semester goes far beyond the confines of Vanguard.
Every year Live 2 Free visits 20 to 30 high schools, middle schools, and churches outside of Costa Mesa, giving hour-long presentations about what human trafficking is, how the individual is involved, and what they can do to help. They then show students videos and engage them in skits to involve them with the material.
“You learn all this stuff in class. I’ve taken family violence, commercial exploitation of children…all these heavy topics. And you get so angry, because you don’t know what you can do about it. But then we have Live 2 Free, [where] you are kind of able to channel that passion…and really plant seeds,” French said.
As for what they are doing on campus, Live 2 Free hosts three events per year, two in the fall and one in the spring, but French hopes that they will do even more campus events in the future.
The first event is a Fair Trade Fashion show, which took place mid October. The next fall event is called the Solitary Sleep out, in which participants spend the entire night outside, in Scott Courtyard, in order to raise awareness about homeless youth.
“We know that us sleeping… in Scott Courtyard, with Campus Safety aware, is not going to alleviate the issue of homeless youth, but it does give us a taste of what it may be like to be in their shoes for one night,” French said.
Live 2 Free’s final event, held in the Spring, is called Night of Hope, and it includes poetry, figurative dance, and even sign language, in order to bring the community together for the cause in a positive way.
“We want students to know that even though trafficking is a dark and heavy topic, there is hope in this, and there is light,” French said.
Live 2 Free has a specific set of goals that they aspire to achieve this year. The first being club cohesiveness followed by the will to inform Vanguard students about what Live 2 Free does, so that their events can grow, and more students can become involved.
The club’s third goal is to make Vanguard a certified fair trade campus through Fairtrade America. French explained that Vanguard is very close to achieving this goal, as the final few steps are currently in the works. Live 2 Free’s fourth and final goal, is to involve Costa Mesa schools and youth groups specifically, so that the youth of Costa Mesa can be a part of what of everything the club is doing.
“If we can give students tangible ways to make little differences, it can make a big impact,” French said.