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The Scene was our Illinois arts & culture podcast through 2017. Rachel Otwell curated the podcast which provided full-length stories and follow-ups, links to other reports, and conversations with you.This podcast contained a range of stories from the world of arts & culture, from visual art to Springfield's DIY music scene, to profiles of interesting local characters. The podcast was about what makes artists tick, and the diverse culture that exists within our community.

"Dressember": Wearing The Same Dress To Combat Human Trafficking

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

In 2009 a movement was created by Blythe Hill, who had a unique idea to take on human trafficking. Human trafficking is the practice of using people, mostly women and children, against their will for work that includes everything from sweat-shop factory work to sex-slavery. You can see a TED talkHill gave about her project earlier this year, below. She calls it, Dressember.

"It's about opening up my heart to be broken, and to hear these really hard stories." -Apryl Mayes

Apryl Mayes is a lifetime Springfield resident and Montessori school teacher who was inspired by the project, and has gotten involved for the past few years. She is raising awareness about her campaign through social media and has already gotten some others to join the cause. We wanted to hear more about her experience and how it has changed her life, and how she hopes it could change others. Take a listen:

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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