Soroptimist International of Idyllwild will feature Opal Singleton, president and CEO of Million Kids (www.millionkids.org) and training and outreach coordinator for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Anti Human Trafficking Task Force at a Wednesday, March 18, event. Singleton will present “Seduced: The Grooming of America’s Teenagers” as part of Soroptimist’s focus on the growing crisis of human trafficking in Riverside County.
The event is a fundraiser and silent auction with the themes of educating and ultimately eliminating human trafficking. Singleton notes in her presentation that contrary to popular belief, 72 percent or three out of every four young women pressed into human slavery in California are U.S. citizens. “Gangs can sell a gun once but can sell a woman many times,” said Singleton. “Pimps can make $150,000 to $180,000 a year selling one young girl.” She said all parents should be concerned about the growing threat in Riverside and San Bernardino counties as illustrated by a January 2014 headline in the San Diego Union Tribune noting human trafficking had replaced gang drug sales as the highest generator of gang income in the county.
She will speak about how predators identify young targets through social media and online gaming, and how they groom and recruit them in the Inland Empire.
Singleton’s mission is to educate — speaking to nonprofits and faith-based organizations about how they can create programs to protect youth most at risk.
The event, “Celebrating Women in the Arts,” begins at 5:30 p.m. with a wine reception and silent auction at the Rainbow Inn at 54420 South Circle Drive, followed by Singleton’s presentation at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, available at the door or at Prairie Dove and Muir Mountain Realty. Contact [email protected] or 951-452-4599.