By Corporate Communications staff
Delta and its partner Wellspring Living recently painted a new mural at Delta’s headquarters as part of Wellspring Living’s 20th anniversary anti-human trafficking awareness campaign. This campaign is part a multi-site, multi-partner campaign led by Wellspring Living in which unique murals will be painted around the Metro Atlanta area depicting communities coming together to see lives of sex trafficking survivors transformed. The mural is now prominently displayed on a wall at Delta’s In-Flight Training Center, where hundreds of employees walk through daily.
"This mural not only commemorates our important partnership with Wellspring Living but also serves as a constant reminder of Delta’s fight to end human trafficking,” said Allison Ausband, E.V.P. and Chief Customer Experience Officer, and leader of Delta's Anti-Human Trafficking Executive Steering Committee. “Wellspring Living’s work to help survivors recover and get back on their feet is so important and I think everyone will be inspired and challenged to keep fighting this fight when they see it.”
The mural was brought to life by 20 Delta volunteers from across the company including pilots, mechanics, airport customer service agents, flight attendants, and IT and marketing professionals.
“These murals just don’t serve as a painting that you just pass by. They serve as a reminder of someone’s life that you can be saving, someone’s life that was taken and someone’s life that’s still fighting,” said Susan Santos, Project Leader – Technical Operations at Delta.
The mural was envisioned and led by local artist Ashley Bella, a social worker who has spent more than a decade dedicated to driving social change through mental health services, social work and community involvement.
“As a social worker, I worked with over 400 survivors, and I have heard over 400 stories. I have had the opportunity to see them go from being victims to finding freedom as survivors. I painted this in their honor,” Bella said.
Delta has partnered with Wellspring Living since 2018 and, together, created an apprenticeship program for women who have been trafficked, experienced sexual exploitation or are at-risk. These apprenticeships help survivors overcome feeling confined or defined by their stories and offer career skills, mentorship and critical work experience to help them chart a course to new opportunities. Delta has hosted seven apprentices since October 2018.
“Nothing is more beautiful than to see people coming together and creating something as beautiful as this mural. Hand in hand. Paint brush against wall. Bringing hope, not only to survivors, but also to those who see this mural and recognize that even though this is difficult and very hard for someone to overcome, there is great hope,” said Mary Frances Bowley, Wellspring Living Founder and Executive Director.
About Delta Air Lines
Delta has long been at the forefront of the fight against human trafficking. In 2011, the airline became the first and only U.S. carrier to sign a Code of Conduct outlined by End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking, which includes a network of organizations working together to eliminate the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Delta was also one of the 12 founding companies of the Global Business Coalition against Human Trafficking in 2012.
Serving as a leader in the fight against human trafficking, Delta continues to raise awareness on the difficult topic and puts their insights, perspectives and stories at the helm of the airline’s strategy to fight exploitation. Delta offers apprenticeships to human trafficking survivors in partnership with Wellspring Living, has developed training for employees to identify and report human trafficking, and has also committed $2.5 million to the anti-trafficking experts at Polaris in support of the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline. Delta SkyMiles members can also donate miles to Polaris through our SkyWish program at delta.com to cover the airfare survivors need to return home, receive critical services or reunite with their families.
About Wellspring Living
Founded in 2001, Wellspring Living is a non-profit organization in Atlanta, Georgia that provides survivors of sexual exploitation and those at risk (ages 12+) with specialized recovery services through residential programs, community-based programs and graduate services. Each program provides transformative care through therapy, education, life skills, and personal and professional development. Through operating best practices and with highly qualified staff, Wellspring Living programs are statistically proven in providing restorative services that yield positive, life-changing results. Wellspring Living is a leader in the nation for residential care and through the Wellspring Living Institute are able to educate, train and mentor organizations around the world. For more information, visit www.wellspringliving.org.
Delta employee Noah Khayat with Atlanta-based artist Ashley Bella and Wellspring Living brand strategist Cierra Bobo.
Allison Ausband with Delta volunteers.
Allison Ausband and Wellspring Living Founder Mary Frances Bowley with Delta volunteers at a ribbon-cutting ceremony unveiling the final mural.