Anti-sex trafficking musician to answer questions

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David Zach of Remedy Drive will talk from 1 to 4 p.m. at a Q & A event this Saturday at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. Zach completed intense social work, including exposing underground sex-trafficking organizations to local government with the organization Exodus Road. He will also perform during the Sunday morning services at the North Iron Church in Ishpeming.

Isabelle Tavares

In 2018, there were 5,147 human trafficking cases reported in the United States, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline website. Lead singer David Zach of Remedy Drive, an alternative Christian rock band dedicated to anti-sex trafficking, will be in Marquette to share his stories of working undercover to bust sex-trafficking organizations.

Hosted by the student organization Amnesty International (AI), the Q & A will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. Zach will also perform on Sunday during the morning services at 9 a.m, 10:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the North Iron Church in Ishpeming. Owner of Velodrome Coffee Company and former drummer for Remedy Drive Brice Sturmer said Zach’s work is intense.

“I have so much respect for David. He will tell me these crazy and heartbreaking stories but through that, he has all this hope and light,” Sturmer said. “The Q & A on Saturday will be really special because it will be a conversation about his work and what he does.”

Zach traveled to brothels in Asia and Latin America in pursuit of video evidence and any information he could collect on sex workers, including their name and age. The organization Zach worked with, Exodus Road, then takes the information to the local government to bust the brothels. Zach’s concept album “Commodity” was inspired by the anti-sex trafficking organization he worked undercover for, Exodus Road. The album wrestles with the intersection of Christian faith and sex-trafficking, Sturmer said. Statistics suggest younger and younger girls are being trafficked, Sturmer said. Although the grimy hands of sex-traffickers are seemingly clean in the United States, he said it goes on in our backyard. The Michigan trafficking hotline tallied 176 cases alone for 2018. Sturmer said it’s important to invest in organizations like Exodus Road because they do the actual work to raise awareness.

“I’m kind of cynical when it comes to giving money to nonprofits and organizations [because] it’s hard to know where your dollar is going. With Remedy Drive, they publish their budget online and are actually showing results,” Sturmer said. “If one person is pulled out of sex-trafficking then it’s absolutely worth it.”

Regardless of being a former drummer for Remedy Drive, Sturmer said its music is prevalent and important to the world.

“It’s incredibly inspirational and its music has an absolute purpose. You can find music where it’s great or creative, but it’s hard to find music that’s creative and also has that message behind it,” Sturmer said.

Senior social work major Abi Austin and Amnesty International (AI) co-president said this organization is a vehicle to host Zach. As a budding student organization with a strong focus on campaigning for human rights, Austin hopes that their influence results in large student turnout.

“I really want to hear what he has to say about being in the midst of so much injustice while still staying hopeful,” Austin said.

Zach’s Q & A will provide an honest conversation of what his job looks like and Austin said she hopes people who are interested in that line of work will come. This event will illuminate how his work has affected multiple aspects of his personal life such as dealing with PTSD and the effect it has had on his relationships with people, she added.

“There’s not these really clear, happy endings all the time but I hope that people can get a really realistic picture of how to stay hopeful in the middle of so much injustice,” Austin said.