I met Lauren Trantham through her Instagram page @ridemyroad and was immediately inspired by her bio which reads:
one girl, one camera, one motorcycle, 10K miles across America, raising funds for survivors of sex trafficking, $55K raised so far!
This fierce woman decided to find a way to combine her passion for photography and riding motorcycles to somehow make a difference. Upon crossing paths with Rebecca Bender she learned how much of a problem human trafficking is in our country. Rebecca is a survivor of human trafficking and runs an initiative to raise awareness and empower survivors.
Lauren had found her way to make a difference!
Setting off on her motorcycle, Lauren's cross country trip took her from Oregon, up to Washington, across to New York City, down to Florida, through Memphis, Texas, New Mexico, San Diego and then finishing back up in Oregon. Along the way she stopped in several big cities for media events to raise awareness and meet with local survivors.
One big way that Lauren was able to use her photography skills was to empower the survivors she met along the way. Lauren explains that women who have been victims of human trafficking tend to have a very low self worth due to the trauma they have experienced. Photography is magical though. It has the power to show the true beauty within you and start to break the shell on the outside. Photography can be powerful for these survivors but also helps tell a story to those of us that may not be as aware of this problem within our country. Lauren uses these photos at her events to paint a picture of the sad reality that human trafficking is in fact a problem we face here in America.
Lauren has now completed her journey but is not stopping her mission to support this cause. She continues to do fundraisers and is also working on a book. One really awesome event she has coming up in the fall is heading to Pakistan to teach local Pakistani women to ride motorcycles. Love this!
Lauren is definitely showing how one woman can use her passion to make a difference. Not only is she speaking up for the women that have for too long been told they had no worth, but she is also healing herself along the way. I think we all have some inner healing in some way that needs to be done and I can imagine that riding along the roads being absorbed in the beauty of nature is an amazing way to do that!
Thank you Lauren for sharing your story, your heart and your passion. The world so needs people like you to bring the light to this problem and to help heal the women that have been affected. What you have started is so very beautiful and I am excited to see how this continues to develop. You are a beautiful soul and a true Personal Hero!
The following video was created by Handsome Asians Motorcycle Club (gotta love their name!) about Lauren's journey....