The Ragdoll Project is an ongoing community art project created by Joanna Fulginiti and Bonnie MacAllister and members of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art that educates the public on human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) and supports survivors and at risk women and children. By engaging artists and the public in a creative project, The Ragdoll Project brings more people into the discussion and offers an opportunity to contribute to the lives of those affected by this crime. The dolls are presented along with educational information at various public venues including: protests, doll-making workshops, and art exhibitions. Funds from the sale of dolls support survivors of trafficking. The project has been exhibited across the US and traveled to China in April 2014.

History of the project
In 2010, artist Joanna Fulginiti was introduced to the A21 Campaign - a non-profit organization combating human trafficking that operates a shelter for survivors of trafficking in Thessaloniki, Greece. After reading about trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, she was taken aback at how such a devastating and rampant crime was not understood by the general public and was moved to educate her peers and take action. With the help of friends, she collected and shipped donated supplies to the A21 Campaign's shelter in Greece for Christmas and then turned her attention locally.

In 2010, Bonnie MacAllister was the President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Women's Caucus for Art and had overseen three community art activism projects created by Chapter members during her presidency. Joanna and Bonnie called a special meeting for WCA members who would be interested in supporting a new activism project where they held an educational session about the subject of sex trafficking. Ten members attended and after 3 hours of learning about the issue and the discussion that followed, it was enthusiastically decided that a multi-faceted, ongoing project would be initiated. The group chose to create ragdolls as they were a fitting symbol of how victims of trafficking and CSE are treated.

What we did! (We made dolls. LOTS of dolls.....)

The group put out a call to the Philadelphia community for hand-made ragdolls with the intention of creating an installation that could be presented along with educational information on human trafficking and CSE.

In Philadelphia, The Ragdoll Project organized movie discussion nights, hosted multiple doll-making workshops, performed a protest at the Fringe Festival, hosted a fundraising event featuring local bands, sold dolls at craft shows, collected signatures to move forward legislation supporting victims, presented and curated the art exhibition Stop Slavery Now, and hosted a reading/book signing with Rachel Lloyd, Founder and CEO of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) and a leading figure in the national movement to end CSE. 

The project was exhibited at additional local venues as well as the Steinbeck Center in California and the LuXun Academy of Fine Art in China.

Thank you.
The Ragdoll Project was the result of the work of countless dedicated volunteers, who put their hearts and an unimaginable amount of time and effort into this project over several years. Together we did our small part to make our peers more knowledgeable about commercial sexual exploitation, how they can contribute to ending it, and support survivors. Thanks to the generous support of the Women's Caucus for Art and the International Caucus, particularly Priscilla Otani and Sherri Cornett, our work reached even further. 

We would like to thank everyone who supported The Ragdoll Project and extend a very special thank you to the following volunteers and supporters.

The Ragdoll Project Committee: Joanna Fulginiti (Chair), Bonnie MacAllister, Rachel Udell, Eva Preston, Heather Penn, and Jeanne Lombardo.

Artists: Allison Altergott, Megan Wachlin, Ruth Schanbacher, Virginia Maksymowicz, Ellen Bonnett, Adam Harbottle.

Jessica Stichter - Circle of Hope Church - Rachel Lloyd