Mayor “Chris” Harris poses in a classic truck for Elaine Turso’s Dudes Against Human Trafficking calendar, available for purchase at Elaine Turso Photography

Challengers for Change: Online project to raise awareness, funds to fight human trafficking

BREMERTON — Elaine Turso, creator of the Dudes Against Human Trafficking “dudoir” calendar, has another project to help raise awareness and support to end human trafficking.

After being made aware of the problem, Turso reached out to a member of the Shared Hope International organization, which is working to end human trafficking. From her, Turso received a lot of educational material and a movie about the horrific world of human trafficking.

“It’s very humbling to actually sit down and really, truly educate yourself about this topic,” Turso said. “It’s really sickening, the things these children and teenagers and adults are going through.”

Turso said learning that the criminal justice system often treats the women victimized in human trafficking as criminals was particularly moving. As was learning the average age girls are pulled into that world is 12 years old.

“I wanted to educate myself about this topic so that I can educate others,” she said.

Currently, Turso is working to fundraise for her Soroptimist International organization by selling a calendar called Dudes Against Human Trafficking. The proceeds will be going toward human trafficking-related projects.

“On top of doing the calendar … I wanted to do something that would provide me a way to reach more people,” Turso said. “I decided to do an online campaign, under the headline of Dudes Against Human Trafficking. I’m calling it ‘Challengers for Change.’ ”

Turso said one thing that really stuck out to her when reading articles about arrests made in sting operations revolving around human trafficking was that the jobs of the people arrested were always listed.

“CEO, bus driver, whatever. These people are in a position of public trust,” she said.

So, she reached out to 31 men in the community and photographed them to represent their own profession and help raise awareness for the problem and possibly raise funds to help end it.

Architect, the Bremerton police chief, corrections officers, real estate agents, psychotherapist, football coach, judge, a dad…those are only some of the examples of the men featured in Turso’s project.

“I have a really wide assortment of gentlemen who came down and posed for a quick headshot and gave permission to use their photo to raise awareness about human trafficking,” Turso said. “They’re kind of the face of their profession.

“It’s just really awesome to have people step forward and say, ‘Yes, I’ll help you with this project.’ ”

Turso plans to publish one of those headshots to her Dudes Against Human Trafficking Facebook page every day in January, which is human trafficking awareness month. Along with those photos will be statistics and facts about human trafficking.

She said each of the men chose a human trafficking-related organization that will be promoted with their photo as well, to hopefully raise some funds. Those organizations include Scarlet Road, Shared Hope, Best Alliance, Thorn and Operation Underground Railroad.

“It (is) just a really great opportunity for people to become more aware,” Turso said. “Awareness won’t cure (human trafficking), but being aware of it is the first step to ending it.”

Learn more about Challengers for Change at or Purchase the Dudes Against Human Trafficking calendar at elainetursopho

Michelle Beahm is a reporter with the Central Kitsap Reporter and Bremerton Patriot. She can be reached at

Bill Barnum, a roller derby referee, poses with roller derby gear for Elaine Turso’s Dudes Against Human Trafficking calendar, available for puchase at When Barnum applied to participate in the calendar, he said, “As a past member of BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse), I have seen the impact that any abuse against another human being can have. As a parent of a special child, my wife and I know firsthand what damage can mean long term to a child.” Elaine Turso Photography

More in News

Thousands lose power in Kitsap County from windstorm

Approximately 100,000 Puget Sound Energy customers without power regionwide

“Quincy Square” moves ahead, with or without Quincy Jones

City still trying to secure the naming rights for an urban redesign project from the legendary musician.

Kitsap County Road Report

County roadwork to run through Dec. 21

Carrying on a sweet Kingston tradition

Local keeps the tradition of making fudge around the holidays for businesses, friends and neighbors

Carlisle II foot ferry is out indefinitely

Vessel will be replaced by Admiral Pete on route in the interim

It’s official: Randall wins 26th District state Senate seat by 102 votes

Kitsap, Pierce counties’ manual recount altered vote count by just two votes.

Arrest made in hit-and-run that injured nurse

The victim remains in serious condition, a hospital spokesperson said.

Sex offender meeting leaves many questions unanswered

Questions still remain for many of those who attended a Thursday night… Continue reading

Kitsap filmmaker takes on balloon industry in new documentary

The documentary “Rubber Jellyfish,” from Kitsap local Carly Wilson, exposes the dark underside of a popular consumer product.

Most Read