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September 23rd, 2018


The Queen Theater

We are all connected to human trafficking. It’s time to break the chain.

Reimagine your childhood, ripped away at a young age from your freedom and forced into a world of laborious work with no play, no time for discovery. Reimagine the story of how you grew up, if you managed to grow up at all. In this world, you have no choice but to obey, because what follows disobedience is far worse than the daily fight to retain your sanity in the walls of isolation. In this world, you have no choice. Unfortunately, this is a reality faced by far too many people.

In the state of Michigan, lines of human trafficking run unnoticed and because of this we easily forget the urgency of this issue. In their eye-opening and award-winning documentary film, Break The Chain, Laura E. Swanson and Kirk Mason recount the experiences of Kwami and Debbie; two survivors of human trafficking, to bring the attention the topic of human trafficking. Kwami was held prisoner to child labor trafficking and went for unnoticed for nearly five years, alongside three other children. Debbie spent five (13-18) of her teenage years held captive to sex trafficking in the Detroit area. Viewers of this documentary will listen to the multitudes of interviews with Senators, non-profit organizations, legal service agencies, law enforcement officers, and artists who share their thoughts on the global issue of human trafficking. 

Screening Discussion Panelists

  • ‘Break the Chain’, filmmaker Laura Swanson‘s second feature-length documentary film,  has been independently produced with the help of Michigan-based task force agencies, law enforcement, shelter homes, and non-profit organizations.
  • Special Agent Yvette Thomas of Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations
  • Sandy Bowman is on the Board of Directors and Committee Chair for Outreach and Community Education for the Meet Me At The Well Foundation.
  • Yolanda Schlabach, Executive Director of Zoe Ministries, Inc. of Delaware since 2012, will be represented by her Executive Assistant, Patty D’Angelo
  • Suzie Ashmead, Licensed Professional Counselor with Ashmead EMDR and Counseling and Survivors of Abuse in Recovery, Inc.


Break the Chain Official Trailer from Kirk David Mason on Vimeo.

On Screen/In Person is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Break The Chain Website