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Press Release

WFMN and Partners Award More Than $355,000 to Expand Outreach and Prevention of Sex Trafficking During Super Bowl LII

The Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, in partnership with the Super Bowl Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee (Committee) and corporate and foundation sponsors, has awarded $355,317 in grants to 11 organizations to support the Committee’s coordinated response plan to prevent and disrupt sex trafficking during the 10 days of Super Bowl LII (Jan. 27-Feb. 5, 2018).

The grants to expand outreach and prevention during Super Bowl LII were made to nonprofit organizations to support three priority impact areas:

  1. prevention and awareness campaigns;
  2. training; and
  3. outreach and housing.

Prevention and Awareness Campaigns

A key priority of the Committee was to decrease demand for commercial sex by educating and mobilizing public support and activism through two prevention and awareness campaigns: I Am Priceless and Don’t Buy It Project. Collectively, the two campaigns engage youth (ages 10-14), men, and the broader community to prevent sex trafficking in Minnesota.

Created and launched by The Link (Minneapolis) in collaboration with creative agency KNOCK, inc., I Am Priceless is a prevention marketing campaign created by survivor-leaders of sex trafficking and targeted to at-risk youth (ages 10-14) and the public about the manipulative, violent, and harmful nature of sex trafficking. The Women’s Foundation awarded The Link a total of $240,037 in grants to develop and launch the campaign.

Don’t Buy It Project, developed and launched by Men As Peacemakers (MAP; Duluth), is a campaign to engage, educate, and mobilize men (ages 18-49) to reduce the sex trafficking of girls and women in Minnesota. The Women’s Foundation awarded MAP a total of $206,163 in grants to develop and launch the campaign.

Members and partners of the Business and Communications subcommittees of the Super Bowl Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee, including Clear Channel Outdoor, Intersection, AllOver Media, and Sinclair Broadcasting, donated media via digital billboards, radio and TV spots, and transit posters.

Corporate and foundation partners, including Carlson Family Foundation, Minnesota Vikings, Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Best Buy, Target, Medtronic Foundation, Holms/CSM Family Foundation, Delta, Faegre Baker Daniels, and the Culp Family Foundation sponsored the robust media campaign, which yielded millions of impressions on billboards, buses and light rail, TV, radio and online PSAs, Snapchat, YouTube, and Facebook.


Training volunteers and service-sector employees to spot the signs of sex trafficking and know how to respond played a vital role in the plan. Training focused on service sectors, including hospitality, transportation, lodging, food, and entertainment, as well as emergency responders and service providers. Overall, training was provided for 10,000 Super Bowl LII volunteers, employees of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, hotel employees, bus drivers, Mall of America staff, City of Minneapolis staff, Airbnb renters, neighborhood organizations, and faith communities.

Outreach and Housing

Grants were made to expand outreach and increase resources for shelter, housing, and services for victims of sex trafficking and exploitation during the 10 days of Super Bowl LII (Jan. 27-Feb. 5) in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Increased services included expanded street outreach, expanded hours at drop-in centers, extra beds, collaboration with law enforcement, and collaboration with child protection services.

Corporate and foundation sponsors, including the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, National Football League, Verizon, Greater Twin Cities United Way, Midwest Sign & Screen Printing, Blattner Energy, and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, supported these comprehensive outreach and training efforts.


Airline Ambassadors International (AAI) | Arlington, VA | $3,000 – To provide in-person, counter-trafficking training at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for more than 1,900 airport staff. Airline Ambassadors International has led global airline industry awareness for Trafficking in Persons since 2009 and developed the first industry-specific training.

Breaking Free | St. Paul | $20,000 – To provide three levels of support: 1) street outreach to identify, build relationships, and provide crisis intervention and connections to at-risk and sexually exploited or sex-trafficked adults; 2) a drop-in center where adults receive assistance and meet basic needs; and 3) additional emergency shelter beds during the 10 days of Super Bowl LII.

Cornerstone Advocacy | Bloomington | $4,000 – To increase capacity of Cornerstone’s Day One Crisis Hotline, designed to support victims/survivors of human trafficking, sexual exploitation, domestic violence, and sexual assault. Highly trained staff provide trauma-informed support, resources, and referrals 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via a toll-free line, chat message, and text features.

Men As Peacemakers | Duluth | $110,759 – To support the multi-channel media campaign for Don’t Buy It Project (DBIP) on billboards, bathroom posters, public transportation, TV, and digital media before, during, and beyond the Super Bowl. The goal of DBIP is to engage, educate, and mobilize men and boys to reduce the commercial sexual exploitation of young women and girls across the state.

Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center | Minneapolis | $7,500 – To support street outreach and delivery kit supplies, assist clients in accessing emergency shelter beds, and training sessions to 3rd Precinct law enforcement during and beyond the Super Bowl.

Oasis for Youth | Bloomington | $8,000 -To provide increased, targeted outreach efforts to at-risk young adults in the suburbs, specifically focused on the corridor of the Mall of America, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, and Mystic Lake Casino.

The Family Partnership-PRIDE | Minneapolis | $5,000 – To focus on Super Bowl outreach on the Lake Street corridor in the Phillips and Powderhorn neighborhoods of Minneapolis, concentrating on at-risk adult survivors of sex trafficking, age 25 and older.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota-StreetWorks | St. Paul | $15,000 – To increase outreach by Bold Outreach workers in areas identified by youth survivors of sex trafficking, extending from north Minneapolis to the Mall of America. To provide a four-hour training to all Bold Outreach Workers, developed by StreetWorks and The Link, with event-specific training that includes safety, boundaries, approaches, confidentiality, data collection, care for supplies in extreme cold, security and law enforcement interactions, media, early morning outreach, and more.

The Link | Minneapolis | $146,391 – To support the multi-channel media campaign for I Am Priceless on print, digital, and social media before, during, and beyond the Super Bowl, and to support outreach and training efforts. Funds were also granted to provide four additional street outreach shifts per day in north Minneapolis and downtown; a 24/7 response through the Juvenile Supervision Center and West Metro Safe Harbor Regional Navigator program, which responds to additional requests from law enforcement for help with services and shelter; and six additional emergency shelter beds at Passageways for trafficked youth (ages 12-17). To provide trainings to Mall of America staff and security, law enforcement, Super Bowl LII volunteers, faith-based congregations, Check & Connect staff within Minneapolis Public Schools, court system staff, and child protection workers. The Link coordinated outreach, donation drives, and logistics for the Services subcommittee of the Super Bowl Anti-Sex Trafficking Committee.

The Source| Minneapolis | $9,167 – To help victims of sex trafficking identified and/or recovered by law enforcement and to provide 20 emergency beds for women (18 years and older) and additional staffing to support women with immediate needs, including emergencies at the drop-in center.

YouthLink MN | Minneapolis | $26,500 – To support expanded drop-in center services for young people ages 16-24 identified as involved with or at risk of trafficking or exploitation during the 10 days of the Super Bowl; street outreach to identify and support young people and disrupt efforts to exploit youth; and coordination/training with law enforcement.

Since 2011, the Women’s Foundation has provided key statewide leadership and invested more than $6 million through its MN Girls Are Not For Sale campaign to end sex trafficking through grantmaking, research, policy, and public education, and catalyzed a sea change in our community’s response to this crime.

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