• Press Release

Hear Their Voices CommemoratesHuman Trafficking Awareness Month at Slover Library


Kim McCoy, artist stands by the Hear their Voices exhibit, a box made of wired frames with fabric items attached on all sides. It sits on the sand with dune plants in the background.

Words and Images courtesy of Slover Library.


Hear Their Voices, a social activism assemblage by Kim McCoy, will exhibit at Slover Library from January 19 through February 27. The exhibition commemorates Human Trafficking Awareness Month in January, and represents the stories of captive victims.

Men, women, boys and girls are victims of human trafficking. Sex trade, servitude and forced labor make up the estimated 25,000,000 – 41,000,000 current victims. The estimates are so broad due to the concealed nature of the industries. At least 300,000 Americans are currently victims.

A closeup of one side of the exhibit, with crosses, peach flags, satchels, beads, bells, etc.

To raise awareness about human trafficking and lend a voice, local artist Kim McCoy collected sacred objects and personal belongings donated from the community to construct a solemn monument to the victims and their stories. Undergarments, sculpted and hardened in acrylic wash, hang and sway wordlessly in a wooden cabinet eerily lined with chicken wire and secured with a heavy, old padlock. Each item is bound in materials symbolic of their captors: black duct tape, electronic cords representing online trafficking trade, ornate black necklaces for high net-worth traffickers, and paper chains of birth certificates and passports as victims’ identities held hostage.

“This art piece is a prayer for all victims of human trafficking,” said McCoy, “…that their voices will be heard and that we will do everything we can when confronted with the opportunity to help.”

To put awareness to action, McCoy has set up an online fundraiser for Samaritan House in Virginia Beach, a leading resource for individuals and families fleeing violence in Hampton Roads. She has now raised $400 and continues to collect donations to give to the organization. The artwork will be reconstructed to exhibit in the Slover Library Forum, free and open to the public during library hours beginning Tuesday, January 19. Slover Library will also host a virtual artist talk with Kim McCoy on Thursday, February 18 at 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m to discuss the work and ways to support victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.

“May this piece raise awareness and may we all experience the freedom deserved by all beings.”

The piece sits on the sand with the sun streaming through the wire that makes up the sides.

Hear Their Voices A social activism assemblage by Kim McCoy January 19 – February 27 Slover Library Forum Free and open to the public

Hear Their Voices: Artist Talk with Kim McCoy Thursday, February 18 at 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Join Slover Library for a virtual discussion with the artist and ways to support victims of human trafficking. Free and open to the public Register at sloverlibrary.com/HearTheirVoices

Donations to the Hear Their Voices fundraiser may be made at justgiving.com/fundraising/heartheirvoices. All proceeds will go towards Samaritan House to fund support for victims of human trafficking.

About Slover Library:

Slover Library blends traditional library functions with the best of contemporary library resources and services. The innovative space design creates a vital and dynamic center of community learning, leading-edge technology and civic engagement, available to all citizens of the region, and it is known as an attraction for residents and visitors alike.

Slover Library is located in beautiful downtown Norfolk on the corner of Plume and Atlantic Street near MacArthur Square and the MacArthur Memorial. Call (757) 431-7491 for more information.

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