Jada Pinkett Smith goes to Washington to fight human/sex trafficking
ABOVE PHOTO: Jada and Will Smith with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ambassador-At-Large Louis CdeBaca and Maria Otero, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights at the launch of the TIP (Trafficking in Persons) Report 2012 at the Department of State.
It's not every day that your 11-year-old wants to have a conversation about human trafficking and sex slavery.
But that's exactly what happened to Jada Pinkett Smith when daughter Willow broached the topic after watching the KONY 2012 video (about a Ugandan warlord) that went viral this spring.
"She did her own research and realized that there were young girls her age in this country being trafficked for sex," Pinkett Smith remembers. "She was like, 'Mommy -- you don't know what's happening!' I was like, 'Hold up, pause right there!' And, she was like, 'I've got to give my voice to this. These young girls out there need me.' "
That simple directive from Willow, who has gained fame herself with a hot music career, pushed Pinkett Smith, 40, to ally herself with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the fight against human trafficking and sex slavery. The Madagascar 3 star and husband Will Smith visited the State Department Tuesday for Clinton's release of the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report, which details the nation's anti-trafficking efforts.
"I was actually really quite ashamed that I didn't know about this particular situation in our country, because when you think about human trafficking, you think about it 'over there.' Wherever 'there' is," Pinkett Smith says.
That guilt, however, is fueling her activism for the sensitive issue. Pinkett Smith recorded the song Nada Se Compara with her band Wicked Evolution and starred in a video directed by Salma Hayek, which is posted on the site DontSellBodies.org.
Pinkett Smith is also using the macro platform of anti-trafficking to continue important micro conversations with Willow.
CNN contributed to this report
+ Top Story
Zoe Saldana has played an alien and a future space traveler — but taking on the role of an actual famous person proved even harder. The 34-year-old star of Avatar and Star Trek plays pianist, singer and activist Nina Simone in the forthcoming biopic Nina.
Mel Brooks, director, producer, writer and actor, is in an elite group as one of the few entertainers to earn all four major entertainment prizes – the Tony, Emmy, Grammy, and Oscar. His career began in television writing for Your Show of Shows and...
Besides detailing the ups-and-downs of the turbulent, 2011 tennis season, this riveting and revealing documentary treats the audience to an intimate look at the close-knit sisters with the help of home movies from their adolescence.
His rise to success with “The Office” and his stand-up prowess quickly brought him to the attention of comedy maven Judd Apatow. Robinson made audiences question their notions of vanity, playing the sensitive bouncer in Knocked Up. He then kept audiences glued to their seats as...
A 17-year-old from Pittsburgh has won the fifth annual August Wilson Monologue Competition, performing a section of the playwright’s “King Hedley II” with powerful skill. Tambi Gxuluwe, who attends West Mifflin Area High School, took the first place trophy Monday night...
Collected and curated by Penn professor and PBS "History Detectives" host Tukufu Zuberi, forms the basis of a provocative new exhibition at the Penn Museum: Black Bodies in Propaganda: The Art of the War Poster, opening at 1:00 pm on June 2, 2013, and running through March 2, 2014.
“Twenty Feet from Stardom” - featuring Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Tata Vega, Patti Austin among others - spotlights the untold true stories of the backup singers to some of the greatest musical legends of our era. And, because their stories begin most often in church...
In the upcoming science fiction film After Earth, our home planet goes through some serious changes over the next 1,000 years. So it’s fitting that the film’s stars, actor Will Smith and his son Jaden, would take some time to envision what the future of Earth might entail.