Radical Empathy Education Foundation’s goal is to End human trafficking in one generation. Research shows the best method is prevention education and that children need to be fully engaged in their learning. REEF uses best-in-class educational materials and cutting-edge virtual reality technology (VR) to deliver the most engaging, accurate, and researched-backed program on the market.
The “three phase” One Generation Education System™ is designed to eliminate future victims. Children and young adults learn how to recognize signs of human trafficking, how to protect themselves and others, and what to do if they suspect this is happening.
Phase One – Empathy
A fully immersive and interactive virtual reality experience that generates empathy for victims because it allows students to feel what it’s like to be lured into trafficking. During the experience, they “become” Lisa, an at-risk teenager who, like many others, met a boy online that took advantage of her when she was vulnerable.
Phase Two – Education
Blended educational modules “continue the story” from Phase One. Modules can be used “as-is” or adapted for use in any classroom. Learning modules include: Basics of Human Trafficking; Recognizing the Signs of Trafficking; and Consent and Empathy. These explain the danger of physical and psychological traps and teach corrective behaviors.
Phase Three – Empowerment
The program culminates with a final project, where students are empowered to become “Changemakers,” raising awareness, educating others, and making tangible changes in your community.
Who has Experienced Phase One: Empathy
Not only is the VR story informed by experts in anti-trafficking prevention education, many others in the field have tried TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story.
- Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA
- Jennifer Hohman, Founder of the Houston 20 & Houston Area Against Trafficking
- Lisa Knapp, Co-Founder of the Austin 20, and her husband, Dave Knapp
- John Nehme, President & CEO of Allies Against Slavery
- George Lynch, CEO, Traffick911
- Sharon Windham, Founder & President of United For Human Dignity
- Christina Arnold, Director of Prevent Human Trafficking
- Texas State Representative Tony Tinderholt
- Dr. HaeSung Han and Jennifer Tinker, Co-Founders and Co-CEOs of POETIC, in Dallas
- Dr. Don Christian, President and Chief Executive Officer of Concordia University Texas
- Angie Goeke and Board Members of Not in Our City Houston
- Lauren Petrowski, co-anchor, Good Day Austin on KTBC – FOX 7 Austin
- PBS Decibel’s Crew: Blair Waltman-Alexin and Joe Rocha
- NBC7 San Diego‘s Digital Correspondent Danielle Radin
- EPIK Project‘s Justin Euteneier and volunteers
- Erica Raggett, Owner, and staff of A 2nd Cup
- Staff and volunteers of Refuge of Light
- Staff at Love146 Houston
- Hilary Sherrer, Marketing & Communication Coordinator, and other staff from The Landing
- Capital Factory staff and guests
- Ken Rogers, Cinematic Arts Teacher, and Andrea Rogers, Data Processor at McCallum High School, Austin, Texas
- Eric Chagala, Principal, and Angela Townsend, M.S., 8th Grade Math, 8th Grade History, and PBL Coach, from VIDA Middle School, Vista, California
- Eric Cohen, Learning Design Coordinator, SIATech School for Integrated Academics and Technologies, Vista, California
- Chenda Moore, M.Ed., Coordinator of Counseling Services, Pearland Independent School District, Pearland, Texas
- Fred Schmidt, Capital Factory Mentor and Director of International
- Louis Fellini, Senior Partner for Tier One Holdings, LLC
- University of North Texas Health Science Center‘s Martha Felini, PhD DC MPH, Associate Professor, Epidemiology, Department of OB/GYN and other leaders
- Andrea Sparks, Director, Texas’ Governor Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team
- Todd Latiolais, Associate Director, Texas’ Governor Abbott’s Child Sex Trafficking Team
- Matt Antkowiak, CEO and co-founder of Tier One Holdings, LLC.
- Staff of Kirsta Melton, Human Trafficking Unit in the Texas Attorney General’s Office
- RJ Garcia, Drug & Alcohol Counselor, MA, LCDC, from Doable Recovery Institute
- Over 1300 students, parents, teachers, and administrators across the United States
How Does My Group Get Started?
Virtual reality is a new way to educate children, so we want to be certain you are completely prepared. Every group is different. Our program may blend with your preexisting programs, your technology, or any number of other variables, so we adjust to your needs.
During our full-day intensive orientation event, there are three key goals: Community buy-in, technology training, and curriculum integration.
Community Buy-in. Our staff performs demonstrations for children, parents, teachers, administrators, and any interested community members you invite.
Technology Training. We bring and set up all the equipment you need, and educate your staff on how it is used. You learn how to set it up, run the VR application, and how to safely store the hardware.
Curriculum Integration. Our on-site educator trains your teachers and staff to use our materials and / or blend our curriculum into their lessons.
Perpetual License. Our curriculum and VR program is yours to keep to serve as many learners as you want, forever.
Hardware Ownership. You take ownership of the VR System and its powerful computer, under manufacturer’s warranty.
As with all new technology, there are always questions. We are available by phone 9am – 5pm weekdays, and by email 24/7.
All inclusive. One price includes the entire program, support and updates for a full year, hardware, and in-person orientation*. Discounts are available relative to size of school, socioeconomic factors, additional campuses, and other factors. Our staff work with you to get to “yes.”
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing information.
* Reasonable travel and lodging costs may apply for areas outside a 120-mile radius of Austin.
Our Virtual Reality Educational Experience
Our core immersive experience, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, is an interactive “narrative story” that raises awareness of human trafficking by using the empathetic nature of virtual reality to educate users about grooming techniques used for exploitation as well as how to recognize the signs of human trafficking.
You become Lisa, a 14-year-old girl from an idyllic suburb, lured into trafficking by a boy she met online. Explore her world, piece together important clues from her past, and learn how she fell under the control of an abuser. Learn how victimization techniques feel and affect you from the receiving end. The immersive experience:
- Teaches how to recognize signs of human trafficking
- Educates about exploitative grooming techniques.
- Provides an immersive, interactive, movie-like experience. Turn your head and hear the neighbors arguing through the thin walls; peer out the window and see the world to which Lisa longs to return.
- Script developed alongside a broad group of educational partners, including survivors and survivor groups.
- Incorporates direction from: Texas Attorney General’s Office of Human Trafficking, Prevent Human Trafficking, Allies Against Slavery, Traffick911, UNICEF-USA, and ECPAT-USA.
Praise from Anti-Trafficking Leaders
“Since 1999, I have seen how cultivating empathy for victims and survivors of human trafficking is fundamental to raising awareness of the issue in the public as well as support for those providing direct services.
TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story does this very skillfully, reaching straight into people’s hearts to make this impactful connection through the VR experience they created. It literally impresses people with the seriousness of the topic, and inspires people to learn more and even get involved as change makers. TRAPPED is very accurate and is created with a perfect combination of facts and beautiful aesthetics that holds the viewer’s attention.
I jumped at the opportunity to work with REEF as soon as I experienced TRAPPED! It’s a pioneer effort in the field and is a wonderful new tool for the movement. REEF hit a home run with TRAPPED, and I am excited by the potential of having a greater impact with our combined passion and experience.”
– Christina Arnold, CEO, Prevent Human Trafficking