Apex mayor works on podcast to help end human trafficking

Wake County News

When not at the town hall, Apex Mayor Lance Olive spends some time in a recording studio.

“For me, this has become a passion,” Olive said. “I want to put the bad guys in jail, or at the very least, convince them that this line of work is not worth it, and to quit.”

This past year, he and Nicole Bernard of local non-profit Shield North Carolina have worked on the Red X Podcast, getting the word out about human trafficking.

For Olive, this comes after Apex Police said they were led to a local massage parlor in 2016 where three people were arrested.

“I felt a sense of violation to my town,” he said.

Two were charged with practicing massage therapy without a license, while one was charged with promoting prostitution.

“This is an issue that kind of flies under the radar,” Nicole Bernard said.

Olive said the title of the podcast is also a universal symbol to end human trafficking.

He and Bernard said they’ve interviewed many guests, from filmmakers to law enforcement and even survivors, helping share their stories and raise awareness about this issue.

“We were able to interview a survivor,” Bernard said. “She had been trafficked since the age of 5 by her family member. She said other people weren’t coming into her school complaining about sweeping the floor or doing the dishes, and she wasn’t complaining about her chore for her family, which was her mother selling her for sex.”

Both hope the podcast will help create a conversation.

“I think that it’s critical to have communities rise up and say, ‘we don’t want this happening in our town, or in our city or in our state’,” Bernard said. “That’s really the only way we’re going to fully end it.” 

And spark action in other communities across North America.

“I want to get every angle of this, so that anybody that listens to the podcast learns about it,” Olive said. “Then, they can learn to leverage their own talents right where they are to change the laws in their county or state to help their municipality.”

To learn more about the Red X Podcast, click here. 

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