Love 146 visits Cabrini, advocates to abolish sex trade

By Natalie Crawford
April 6, 2011


Love 146 is an organization that started in 2002. Its mission is to protect, defend, restore and empower those millions of children, women and men that have been forced into sex slavery and exploitation.

“Some colleagues and I were working for a non-profit at the time and had seen some things first hand that required a response,” Lamont Hiebert, Love 146 Co-Founder and the Director of U.S. Prevention, said. “We heard a lot about human trafficking and exploitation so we took a trip with some under cover investigators to South East Asia. We witnessed children ages 8 to 16 years-old being sold for sex about five to 10 times a night,”

“When we first went into the one particular brothel where numbers were pinned to the girls’ dresses, we noticed a lot of the girls didn’t seem to have much life left in their eyes. Their eyes were glazed over, some were watching children’s cartoons but this one girl with the No. 146 had a lot of fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in her. We decided that we would fight for her and what she represents.”

That is how Love 146 began its quest.

Love 146 is an organization that started in 2002. Its mission is to protect, defend, restore and empower those millions of children, women and men that have been forced into sex slavery and exploitation. Love 146 strives to work toward an abolition movement through rescue, prevention and aftercare solutions.

One of the ways Love 146 educates awareness is through school presentations.

During National Human Trafficking week, which was March 14-18, Cabrini College dedicated the whole week advocating to the Cabrini community through a series of activities every day of the week. On Wednesday, March 16, Love 146 presented its mission through lecture, slide shows, pictures and music to Cabrini.

“My favorite audiences are colleges because high school students tend to have enthusiasm, but not the ability to fully understand and to make the life choices that where they can become leaders,” Hiebert said. “When I look at college students I see plenty of students that can become leaders in this fight.”

Love 146’s appearance at Cabrini was not just a small speech about human trafficking. It was an event supported by on -campus human trafficking ambassadors, Cabrini’s fraternity, a concert performance from Hiebert and an on-campus band named Small Town Trio. Small Town Trio opened for the event. The band consists of three sophomores from Cabrini, all of whom were personally asked to play for this event.

“I know Danielle who runs the event and she asked us to play for this event.,” Rick Tumminello, sophomore biology major, said. “We knew it was a good cause and with our freshman class we had to read the book ‘Not for Sale,’ so we already knew about the topic and we figured it would be a great event to play for.”

Cabrini’s only fraternity, Alpha Delta Gamma, co-sponsored this event. They attended and assisted in all of the events during that week. For five weeks before this event, the frat, along with Danielle DiBartolo, head CRS Human Trafficking ambassador, were doing research on what events to have and what special speakers should attend.

Besides just attending the events, some took pictures at each one. For the Love 146 event, Anthony Sestito wrote a rap about human trafficking and played it for the audience.

“Danielle gave me info to go off of and I just sat down and wrote the rap,” Sestito, freshman communication major, said. “Even though this is a serious topic, I did have fun writing the rap and producing it. It was played during the concert before Lamont performed.”

Prior to this event, a majority of the people had no idea that this was happening in the United States, let alone this area.

“All of this really brought to my attention and I learned things that I never would even imagine,” Mark Chila, senior marketing major and president of the fraternity, said. “I didn’t realize that this was happening in all of the areas and in the areas that are so close to us, especially at the King of Prussia Mall. We need to find a way to stop it. This was an eye-opening event for all of us.”

Turns out that statistics were done and more students didn’t know about human trafficking than those that knew.

Hiebert started out his performance by singing and playing guitar to a song that he wrote on his own. He has been a musician all of his life and produced two albums about human trafficking, justice and restoration.

“Music is a natural fit for me,” Hiebert said. “Music helps keep me sane as well. I never truly recognize my thoughts until I sit down on the piano or sit down with my guitar and write music.”

Before Hiebert became involved with non-profit organizations for human trafficking, subconsciously he would write songs about it, in his early 20s. There is a particular reason why this was happening.

“I’m a survivor of child abuse myself and just the thought of someone else not being able to move forward. I’m a survivor that lives a great life. I want to give victims the opportunity to become survivors and then survivors to become overcomers and leaders in this fight,” Hiebert said.

Hiebert made an emotional connection with his audience that day. There was not one person in that room that was taking their eyes off of what he was showing them. He showed pictures, videos and music videos for his songs that he has written. People were speechless.

“This was extra credit for my social psychology class but I’m really glad I came because it was absolutely amazing,” Taylor Bonanni, sophomore psychology major, said. “I knew about human trafficking by watching the movie “Taken” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” I knew the psychological effects on the girls would be traumatizing. These girls think that this is their own fault. I learned how important it is for people to do the right thing and stand up for what is right. Lamont really did that with his music. He said he could have been a famous musician and live the rock star life, but instead he went out for the aftercare of girls that were trafficked.”

There was not anyone who beat what Hiebert accomplished that day at Cabrini. This takes bravery, inspiration and inner strength to dedicate your life to help those that cannot help themselves. All just because of one little girl with the No. 146 on her dress and the look of fight in her eyes.

“We don’t know what happened to love 146, we don’t know her name, we don’t know anything about her, but were doing this in her honor and what she represents,” Hiebert said. “I think she would be incredibly happy to know that people are fighting in her honor.”

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Natalie Crawford

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