A group of rising seniors from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have been biking cross-country to raise both awareness about human trafficking and money to fight modern-day slavery. They arrived in Knoxville on Friday, July 18.
The Freedom Cyclers team includes accounting majors Jason Elliott, Taylor Carlisle and Jeff Maier, and Matthew Roelofs, a public relations major.
Local cyclists joined them at West Bicycles in Farragut for the ride down Kingston Pike to the Haslam Business Building on the UT campus. College leadership greeted them and congratulated them on their ride.
BACKGROUND: The UT students set off on a 3,100-mile journey across the U.S. on June 11. They are spending 45 days on the road as they bike from Los Angeles, California, to Savannah, Georgia, in an effort to educate people along the way about the fact that slavery still remains an issue around the globe.
The Freedom Cyclers also are raising money during their ride to benefit three organizations leading the global fight to end slavery: The Mekong Club, ONEless Ministries and the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking.
Modern-day slaves can be found in factories, construction sites, fisheries and the sex industry. They suffer silently, often out of sight in business supply chains and in communities. It is estimated that 21 million people are still in slavery around the world.
Stories that aired in Knoxville about their journey are below:
KUSI News (SanDiego): Tennessee Students Cycling Across Country
Daily Reporter (Greenfield, Indiana): Tennessee Students Cycling Across Country to Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking
CNN reporter: Eric Marrapodi (@EricCNNBelief)
WBIR NBC-TV: http://www.wbir.com
Knoxville News Sentinel: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2014/jul/18/cycling-for-a-cause-four-bike-us-for-trafficking/