Just a few short years ago, I was still in college at Georgia State University, sitting in the student center with a friend while a club fair was taking place on the city streets outside. We were languidly draped across some mass-marketed contempo-esque* furniture, people watching like we were born to do it: smirking, rolling our eyes, flippantly dismissing the endless enthusiasm of our eager young peers.
Until I spotted it: a black velvet riding helmet.
Unmistakable in the otherwise bustling, urban, environment, it was resting on a folding table along with a virtually empty sign-up sheet and a poster board advertising Georgia State’s equestrian club.
“I have to go! Bye!” I screamed over my shoulder as I vaulted over chairs and bowled into students in my rush to get to the street before the mirage evaporated.
One of many conditions that all people probably share is the the cruel inner whispers of doubt about who we are, what we can do, and where we belong. I have always felt like an outsider. No matter which party I go to, what crowd I’m with, etc., there is almost always a hushed little mean girl in the back of my mind, reminding me in bored, condescending tones, “You don’t belong here.”
Saturday at Dragon*Con, this voice was sent to its room to think about its actions and not come out until it’s ready to behave.
Georgia Capitol dome
On most days of the year, the Georgia capitol building is swarming with activity. On February 1st, however, there is a sense of urgency and purpose not often seen among the usual visitors to the political center of the city. Community leaders, activists, students, and others are there to remind their legislators that throughout the state of Georgia, minors of both sexes are sexually exploited. Approximately 7200 Georgia men pay pimps to participate in sex acts with these youth, who are coerced and manipulated into performing.  In 2005, Atlanta was named by the FBI as among fourteen U.S. cities with the highest incidences of sex trafficking,and the latest research from the Governor’s office of families and children suggests that in Georgia alone, between 220 and 500 girls are commercially exploited each month. 
Posted in Editorials, News & Press Releases, Uncategorized
Tagged 2012, A Future Not a Past, atlanta, CSEC, Elizabeth Clymer, Georgia, Georgia capitol building, human trafficking, Lobby Day, Sex Trafficking, Street Grace, wellspring living
War Horse, a movie based off a famous play that makes use of seriously epic puppetry, tells the story of a horse who’s swept up into World War I. As a film, it falls short in several places and does well in others, but I’m no movie critic and I won’t pretend to be. However, I am a horseperson, so it behooves me (haha. get it?) to point out the movie’s major incongruities with reality when it comes to horses. War Horse is certainly not the only movie guilty of misrepresentation, and horses are not the only misrepresented characters in film. Nevertheless, here are a few of the things that War Horse gets wrong – and a few things it gets right – about horses.
Posted in Blogs
Tagged Canton, Elizabeth Clymer, equestrian, Film, Georgia, horseback riding, horses, Humor, Joey, War Horse, War Horse movie
In December of 2011, Out of Darkness launched Atlanta’s first 24/7 rescue hotline. Trained volunteers take calls from and rescue women and girls who are seeking an escape from commercially exploitative circumstances. After retrieving a victim, Out of Darkness then coordinates with other organizations like Wellspring Living and Solomon House, which provide residential and non-residential rehabilitative treatment to victims of sex trafficking. The hotline serves victims of sex trafficking as well as concerned citizens, family, and friends.
Posted in Editorials, News & Press Releases
Tagged atlanta, commercial sexual exploitation, Elizabeth Clymer, Georgia, help for trafficking victims, human trafficking hotline, Innocence Atlanta, Meet Justice, Out of Darkness, rescue, Sex Trafficking, sex trafficking victims, volunteer
If running were my boyfriend, we’d be listed as “It’s complicated” on facebook. I like running. Unfortunately, running doesn’t like me. I’m not an athlete. I kick myself in the ankle when I run and my face turns weird colors after my first mile.
“I am a rider, dammit.”
This is what I tell myself some days as I tack up the most recent project horse I’ve started riding. There have been times I have had trouble believing it.
As a starry-eyed seven year-old enamored with the film “The Last Unicorn”, I arrived at the conclusion that I, like the lead character, was a unicorn trapped in the body of a human. Eventually, I admitted to myself that unicorns did not exist and that was a silly thing to believe. I exchanged that whimsical notion for another: I was a horse trapped in the body of a human being. By nine years old, I’d abandoned my self-inflicted identity crisis and decided that I just thought horses were really, really cool.
I cast my pom-poms to the side (much to the relief of all parties involved) and declared that I wanted to take riding lessons. My passion was ignited and history unfolded soon after my first joyful lap around the ring on a pony named Charlie. For half an hour every Saturday morning, I was an Olympic hopeful and Charlie was the equine archetype of athleticism and speed.
Tragically, we were trapped in the stubby-legged bodies of a suburban fifth-grader and a slightly bored lesson pony. But I was a rider, dammit!