Moving Pictures

HOUSTON, Texas (A 2nd Cup Virtual Reality Experience Event) – Radical Empathy Live Event with Lieutenant Angela M. Merritt.

Radical Empathy demonstrated their Virtual Reality experience, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, at A 2nd Cup, in Houston Texas. Houston Police Human Trafficking Unit Lieutenant Angela M. Merritt spent a few minutes with us after her experience. Lt. Merritt shared her thoughts on the story itself as well as who could benefit from this teaching tool.

NBC 7 San Diego – Virtual Reality Can Teach Students Signs of Sex Trafficking

If sex trafficking was happening in front of you, would you know it? Many experts say the signs can be subtle.

“I think students are going to be shocked,” said Principal Greg Cohen. “I think they won’t know this is happening in their communities, let alone all of our communities.” The VR app puts students into the perspective of a sex trafficking victim. Slang terms that traffickers and victims use are incorporated.

AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) – Advocates for victims of human trafficking traveled from across the state for this rally at the state Capitol.

State lawmakers were given a chance to better understand the victims of Human Trafficking. It involved taking a step into Virtual Reality. A demonstration took place in the Capitol Extension. State Rep. Tony Tinderholt was one of the first to put on the VR head gear. 

“You know its eye opening to see the triggers to make children potentially want to do this, things you’d never think of,” said Tinderholt. The Arlington Republican wants other lawmakers to put on the head gear. “I’m absolutely going to talk about this upstairs [on the Texas Capitol’s Senate floor],” said Tinderholt.

Read more here.

PBS / KLRU’s Decibel Program Features Virtual Reality Experience Created to Stop Child Exploitation

Researchers and game designers are just beginning to dig into the potential of virtual reality technology. 

Radical Empathy Education Foundation is using this new frontier for a specific mission: Raising Awareness About Human Trafficking, using their VR Experience TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story.

Virtual Reality VS Human Trafficking – Radical Empathy Education Foundation, Billy Joe Cain

RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION SET OUT TO FIND A POWERFUL NEW SOLUTION TO ENDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND FOUND IT IN VIRTUAL REALITY.

AUSTIN, Texas – July 27, 2020 – Research shows the best method to stop human trafficking is prevention education, and the best education is experiential. Radical Empathy developed their ONE GENERATION™ system blending educational materials with experiential Virtual Reality (VR) technology to deliver the most engaging, accurate, and researched-backed educational system in the world. It has seen success bringing it to organizations like the Houston Police Human Trafficking Unit and the University of North Texas Health Science Center, among others.

In Action Design ATX‘s July 2020 Meetup, Radical Empathy Education Foundation’s founder & president, Billy Joe Cain talked through the journey from initial learning objectives to interactive virtual reality script. You’ll see video clips of the solutions they arrived at, and hear the question and answer session at the end.

The experience was built after he spent a year learning the field of human trafficking. During that year, he built a sample version of the program and studied user behavior, ultimately going through eight iterations before settling on the experience as it is now.

Written Words / Earned Media

Virtual reality can teach lessons and serve as an immersive video game platform, but it can also have another purpose: raising awareness about social justice issues, such as human trafficking.

Virtual Reality based human trafficking training group to share education successes and formulate strategies for international cooperation (Full Article here)

By: Radical Empathy Education Foundation

AUSTIN, Texas – June 29, 2022 – PRLog — Pamela-Jean Mohamed, Associate Executive Director International Programs for the International Hospitality Council of Austin, invited Billy Joe Cain, co-founder of Radical Empathy, to meet with participants from the International Visitor Leadership Program by the U.S. Department of State.

The purpose of the 30 June 2022 meeting is to discuss “Combating  – A Project for India.”

The Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

  • Examine efforts to combat trafficking in persons, including crimes against women and children, by examining the formulation, administration, and enforcement of policies at the international, national, state, and local levels;
  • Present innovative strategies for preventing, investigating, and prosecuting trafficking crimes;
  • Explore U.S. initiatives to recognize, protect, and assist victims of abuse and trafficking, including social and economic reintegration services;
  • Discuss  and education efforts and share strategies for international cooperation in combating trafficking in persons.

“This is a very exciting opportunity to share our successes with GlobalAustin and the attendees from the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program,” says Cain. “After our 4500th student completed our virtual reality training this month, we want to share how the training affects people and makes them more interested in learning about human trafficking.”

Their virtual reality experience, called TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, is a completely immersive, interactive story that allows users to explore the world of a 14 year old girl who is tricked by a boy , who meets and manipulates her when she is experiencing vulnerabilities in her life.

In 15 minutes, Lisa explains how she met a boy on , who tricked and controlled her through threats and violence.

——-

Radical Empathy Education Foundation logo blue on whiteABOUT RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) is an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to ending human trafficking in one generation. To capture the attention of young adults, they use virtual reality experiences that include fully interactive, computer generated environments married with narrative, user-directed stories. To support REEF’s work, please visit https://www.reefcares.org/donate/

ABOUT GLOBALAUSTIN

“Think Local, Act Global.” GlobalAustin promotes opportunities for the Central Texas community to experience global, cross-cultural exchange. Our vision is to educate our members through Citizen Diplomacy receptions, Distinguished Speaker Series, film screenings, internationally-themed events, the online International Calendar of Austin, Great Decisions discussion groups, and other International events and activities.

Austin Programming Contact:  Pamela-Jean Mohamed, Associate Executive Director International Programs; Cell: (512)569-9922; e-mail: gaprogofcr1@globalaustin.org

GlobalAustin, PO Box 170127, Austin, Texas 78705; 1015 Norwood Park Blvd., Austin, Texas 78753

Contact
Billy Joe Cain, Co-founder / Creative Director
Radical Empathy Education Foundation
billy@reefcares.org
5125218874

Light the Way Summit Welcomes Virtual Reality Human Trafficking Education  Company (Full Article here)

Radical Empathy demonstrated their virtual reality application to attendees of the invite-only Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) annual event
 

AUSTIN, Texas – June 23, 2022 – PRLog — The Light the Way Summit featured a variety of Texas leaders and nationally recognized experts including Individuals with Lived Experience and Survivor Leaders. In 2.5 days, presenters covered a wide array of topics associated with a spectrum of anti-trafficking efforts in Texas and the nation.

“We are honored to have been asked to and attend this ‘invite-only’ event, where we had the chance to have one-on-one time with attendees from every level of child and family services in the state of Texas,” says Radical Empathy’s co-founder Billy Joe Cain.

DFPS invited all disciplines, from all levels of experience, to participate, collaborate and help increase awareness, prevention, identification, restoration and justice in the fight to end human trafficking. The goal of the 2022 Summit is to elevate the understanding and knowledge of their staff and key partners on the complexities and impact of human trafficking on children and youth to include the lifelong needs to support restoration. The bulk of the conference dives into the various specialty topics associated with human trafficking.

“Our interactive virtual reality application teaches anyone that human trafficking can happen through psychological manipulation and coercion,” explains Cain. “In fifteen minutes, conference attendees were taught how vulnerable children can be to being tricked by predators over the internet.”

DFPS and SSCC staff made up the majority of attendees. There was a concerted effort to ensure front line caseworkers and supervisors, who directly work with our children and families, were in attendance. Additional attendees were dignitaries, judges, law enforcement (Federal, State and Local), prosecutors, government officials, and key Anti-Trafficking partners from around the state (i.e. Taskforces, Coalitions, Advocates and Providers.)

——-

Radical Empathy Education Foundation logo blue on white

ABOUT RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) is an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to ending human trafficking in one generation. To capture the attention of young adults, they use virtual reality experiences that include fully interactive, computer generated environments married with narrative, user-directed stories. To support REEF’s work, please visit https://www.radicalempathyfoundation.org/donate/

Contact
Billy Joe Cain, Founder
Radical Empathy Education Foundation
billy@reefcares.org
512.521.8874
Medium Logo
OneZero Medium Publication
Police Officers are Learning to Spot Sex Trafficking in Virtual Reality

Police Officers Are Learning to Spot Sex Trafficking in Virtual Reality (Full Article here)

VR COULD BE ESPECIALLY WELL-SUITED FOR TEACHING OFFICERS HOW TO SPOT PROBLEMS THAT AREN’T OFTEN IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZABLE

Medium – February 6, 2020 – More than 2,500 people, many of them in law enforcement, have watched Lisa’s story for free at law enforcement conventions, community gatherings, and station visits, says Billy Joe Cain, CEO of Reef Cares, the VR storytelling company behind Trapped. “Most people, including the police, don’t understand what trafficking looks like,” he says. For one, many expect people affected to “foreigners,” but 83% of people trafficked in America are U.S. citizens. 

The shadowy trafficker that snatches kids off the streets is rare; most often victims are groomed, like Lisa was, by a so-called boyfriend. And it can start young, like, really young, which is why, for a small fee, Cain licenses his nonprofit experience to high schools and middle schools as a learning tool.

VR Scout Logo

Raising Awareness Of Human Trafficking Through VR (Full article here)

VRScout – Apr. 1, 2019 – Radical Empathy Education Foundation teaches you how to spot a victim of human trafficking.

Human trafficking is an often-overlooked crime that has a devastating impact on millions of people all across the globe.

To combat this ongoing epidemic, an Austin, TX-based organization called the Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) is using a VR called TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story to educate people on how to recognize the warning signs of a person who might be a victim of human trafficking or being groomed as a potential target.

College of Business and Communication Concordia University Austin Texas

Billy Joe Cain Spoke At IncubatorCTX About Using Virtual Reality To Teach Educators And Youth On How To Prevent Human Trafficking (Read more here)

AUSTIN, Texas – Oct. 24th, 2018 – Radical Empathy’s program “TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story” is a 3D, interactive virtual reality experience, that allows the user to become Lisa, a 14-year-old girl lured into trafficking by a boy she met online. This narrative journey enables users to explore her world, piece together important clues, and learn how she fell under the control of an abuser. It provides awareness of human trafficking, educating users on grooming techniques and how to recognize the signs of human trafficking.

Cain began his idea after a profound personal experience which caused him to realize that, being the 2nd largest criminal enterprise in the world, human trafficking happens in every country, every city, and on every day of the year.

During his speaker series, he also discussed what techniques traffickers use, such as violence, fear, threats, and intimidation. Partnered with Allies Against Slavery, Traffick911, Texas Attorney General’s Office of Human Trafficking, and many others, Cain and Radical Empathy Education Foundation are on a mission to end human trafficking in one generation.

Austin Independent School District Leads Nation in Technology-Enabled Child Safety Programs (I4U News)

INNOVATIVE INTERACTIVE CHILD SAFETY PROGRAM RAISES FUNDS TO SUPPORT PILOT SCHOOL

AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 7, 2018 – I4U News — Who teaches children about the dangers of meeting a stranger online? Recognizing an unhealthy relationship? Can they recognize or avoid sex trafficking? McCallum High School, in the Austin Independent School District, is Piloting a program to answer those questions.

In Texas alone, there are more than 300,000 victims of human trafficking, including almost 79,000 minors and youth victims of sex trafficking and nearly 234,000 adult victims of labor trafficking, according to a 2016 University of Texas Study.

For the 2018-19 school year, McCallum was selected as the Pilot School for the launch of the child safety education One Generation program, from the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Radical Empathy Education Foundation, which teaches children how to avoid becoming trafficked.

University of Texas The Daily Texan
University of Texas The Daily Texan

VR Game Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking (Full article here)

AUSTIN, TX – Mar. 27, 2018 – Daily Texan — The Future of Technology Lounge at SXSW, hosted by Capital Factory, showcased the cutting-edge technology of Austin startups, from VR to rovers. 

The nonprofit Radical Empathy Education Foundation, founded by Austin video game designer Billy Joe Cain, sought to educate users on human trafficking with an interactive narrative story called “TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story.” 

This is an issue that researchers in the Steve Hicks School of Social Work have been investigating for several years with the Statewide Human Trafficking Mapping Project for Texas, an ongoing research project to provide data about the extent of human trafficking in Texas.

Amazon Web Services AWS Houston
Radical Empathy Education Foundation REDM

REDM Talk 

HOUSTON, TEXAS – July 26, 2019 – Join us for our RedTalk event and hear from Billy Joe Cain, President of Radical Empathy! The Radical Empathy Foundation is focused on ending Human Trafficking by the use of education and technology to spark empathy for the victims and their situations. 

Radical Empathy educates using virtual reality to walk people though these extreme situations and help them develop a better understanding. Come and learn more! Free and open to all!

Virtual Reality Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

VIRTUAL REALITY: The Comprehensive Guide for Not-for-Profits 

A COMPLETE GUIDE TO DEVELOPING VR EXPERIENCES FOR SOCIAL IMPACT FOR NONPROFITS.

AUSTRALIA – July 26, 2019 – I met with non-profit producers and VR filmmakers who’d created experiences for social causes, and I spoke with Mercy Ships Global campaign manager Ruben Plomp, on the production process of Mercy Ships’ VR for Good film. I had in-depth discussions with Radical Empathy president Billy Cain, who had designed a unique interactive VR educational game to train teenagers on the signs of grooming, which he had built through the clever use of pre-existing game environments and nuanced game-play storytelling.

If the VR experience is to be an interactive or animated piece, this will require hiring team of game developers to build a 3D world and set algorithmic rules for that world. Game development is laborious and intensive work, and costs can vary significantly. While game development is typically quite a costly path for VR, there are shortcuts. Radical Empathy president Billy Cain showcased his own interactive VR experience at SXSW this year, which he had developed by purchasing pre-built 3D environments. 

Through these environments the narrative is queued through interactive clues scattered throughout a ‘choose your own adventure’ style gameplay. This method was a unique and clever means to reduce development costs and ensure the strength of the story was the focus to the experience. Consulting a studio that develops interactive VR content would be the best process of quoting for your desired project, giving a clearer understanding to the costs depending on the level of interactivity and the quality of development for the 3D world.

The Facts Brazoria County Texas

Video Game Developer in South Texas Battles Sex Trafficking (Read more here)

LAKE JACKSON, Texas – Dec. 30, 2018 – When Billy Cain found out his coworker and close friend of 10 years was contacting his children and talking to them in a sexually inappropriate way, he said he felt shocked and guilty. How could someone he trusted do this to his children without his knowledge?

“Long story short, nothing happened to him because he technically didn’t cross a line legally, but through this experience, I realized we knew nothing about sex trafficking,” Cain said. “My kids didn’t. Their friends didn’t. And not just about trafficking, everything that can lead up to it — sex abuse, spousal abuse, physical abuse, psychological manipulation, Stockholm syndrome. All these things that surround trafficking.”

The Facts reports at the time, the successful video game developer had started searching for a way to use virtual reality technology — or VR — to educate people. After his personal disaster, he made teaching people about sex trafficking his first project, he said. By 2016, he and Kevin Reinis, a technology expert, had co-founded the Radical Empathy Education Foundation.

“When you’re a kid, everything is normalized,” Cain said. “So, if there’s screaming or abuse in the house, you may not know that is bad. So we want people to recognize what is going on that is not healthy.

View Front page of newspaper | View Continued section

 
Good News Ministries

You can use VR to help stop child exploitation (Read more here)

Good News Ministries – June 1, 2018 – This video is a must-see. It’s about a VR project called TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, a narrative story that empowers its users to help stop human trafficking. 

Why is this a must-see? Because the danger is in every town, not just bad neighborhoods or foreign countries. 

With this VR experience, parents and teachers will be able to use this non-profit tool to educate students about how to recognize when they or a friend are being groomed by a perpetrator.

Pond's Press Logo

Radical Empathy Foundation Interview (Read more here)

AUSTIN, Texas – Oct. 28, 2018 – Virtual Reality has always been my least favorite gaming device. No matter how many times I put on those goggles, I never have felt like my virtual entertainment experience was ever enhanced, a couple of potential examples aside. That being said, I’m up for anything having the ability to land a positive impact in the communities, which Radical Empathy Foundation aims to do just that with VR.

VR is a Social Awareness and Education Tool Placing Viewers in Perspective of Sex Trafficking Victims

AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 1, 2019 – Towards the end of the year, websites are doing roundups proclaiming how VR technology is creating a massive sea change in hardware. That’s true, but is VR bringing anything else to the world at large? The answer is a resounding YES and it has to do with social awareness and education about sex trafficking.

When viewers get transported into TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story they embody a teenage girl who is in the grips of trafficking. Viewers of all ages learn about the reality of being a victim — that anyone, regardless of gender, age, and any walk of life can fall prey to this type of abuse.

[S]outhern states like Texas, California, and Florida have the highest rates for human trafficking. Although these states are located close to the border of Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico, the article opens eyes with mention that half of those trafficked are actually from the United States.

Raising Awareness About Human Trafficking

Executive Director Kris Kavanaugh and Founder/Board President Billy Cain of Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) talk more about their interactive experience about human trafficking.

TRAPPED is showcased on FOX 7’s Good Day Austin morning show on March 7th at 7:20 am. It is a virtual experience made to change your perspective about how to recognize a victim of human trafficking. It is an additional tool to educate middle and high schoolers about this very real issue facing everyone across the globe.

“Knowing how to identify a victim could save their life, and we want you to have a lasting empathetic experience when you are learning these signs,” says Billy Joe Cain, President of Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF). “When people care about something, they remember it much longer. We are giving them the tools to stop exploitation.”

Spoken Word / Podcasts

Keren OR Jerusalem Center for Multi-handicapped Children
Dudes and Beer Keren OR

DNB EP 257: Helping non-profits in America with Elizabeth David-Dembrowsky of Keren-or.org (Listen here)

IN THIS EPISODE OF THE DUDES N BEER PODCAST HOST CHRISTOPHER JORDAN WELCOMES TO THE PROGRAM SPECIAL GUEST ELIZABETH DAVID-DEMBROWSKY OF KEREN-OR INC, GOOD COUNSEL SERVICES AND RIGHTEOUS CAUSES INC, AS WELL AS BILLY JOE CAIN, HEAD OF THE RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION TO DISCUSS HELPING NON-PROFITS IN AMERICA.

AUSTIN, Texas – February 19, 2020 – Non-profit organizations provide some of the most necessary services in America. Yet the face a unique set of challenges. From the legal leg work it takes to begin the process and setup an infrastructure to the writing of mission statements and choosing of board members, It can be a daunting task to say the least.

This is where people like Elizabeth David-Dembrowsky come in. Admitted to the bar in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida, and California, Elizabeth’s legal work focuses primarily on helping new and emerging social entrepreneurs. As a non-profit executive with over a decade of experience, she has vast experiences in this area and has helped ensure the success and safety of numerous organizations.

Chong Kim Survivor Dudes and Beer
Dudes and Beer with Billy Joe Cain Radical Empathy Education Foundation

DNB Ep 225: Human Trafficking, Jeffrey Epstein and #every40seconds with Activist Chong Kim (Listen here)

IN THIS EPISODE OF THE DUDES N BEER PODCAST AS HOST CHRISTOPHER JORDAN IS JOINED BY SPECIAL CO-HOST BILLY JOE CAIN AS WE WELCOME CHONG KIM, HOST OF THE VELVET BRICK PODCAST, ACTIVIST BEHIND THE #EVERY40SECONDS CAMPAIGN AND SURVIVOR OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING TO DISCUSS THE DARK WORLD OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

AUSTIN, Texas – July 9, 2019 – With the recent arrest of billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, and the accusations of sex with women as young as 14 for money, the media is abuzz with the words human trafficking. But the issue goes much farther than the headlines would like to admit. Human trafficking is one of the most prevalent and hidden crimes in America and worldwide. 

From children to adults people are taken, brainwashed, tortured, drugged and sol on the open market for everything from sex to labor. It sounds like the plot of a horrific movie, but the tendrils of human trafficking reach far and the clientele includes community leaders, police and even CEOs and politicians. How can we learn to recognize this crime that happens in plain sight and what can we do to help heal victims and educate the public?

Christopher Jordan Curious Realm Dudes and Beer
Dudes and Beer with Billy Joe Cain Radical Empathy Education Foundation

DNB Ep 203: The Scourge Of Human Trafficking In America With Billy Joe Cain Of The Radical Empathy Education Foundation (Listen here)

IN THIS REVEALING EPISODE OF THE DUDES N BEER PODCAST HOST CHRISTOPHER JORDAN ONCE AGAIN WELCOMES BILLY JOE CAIN OF THE RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION AND DUDES N BEER VIRTUAL REALITY CORRESPONDENT TO THE STUDIO TO DISCUSS THE SCOURGE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN AMERICA.

AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 5, 2019 – With events like the Super Bowl providing havens for criminals trafficking people for sex, drugs and everything in between, what can we do to bring this plight to the forefront of social conversation? Everyday thousands of women, men and children are trafficked worldwide.

It could be the wife next door, children at your local school, even the passing person on the street. Trafficked individuals surround us every day. What can we do to learn to recognize the signs of those who are being trafficked around us? How can programs like REEF’s One Generation and virtual reality games such as “TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story” designed by the Radical Empathy Education Foundation do to help the cause?

Christopher Jordan Curious Realm Dudes and Beer
Dudes and Beer with Billy Joe Cain Radical Empathy Education Foundation

DNB EP 196: Virtual Reality And Other Worlds With Billy Joe Cain Of The Radical Empathy Education Foundation (Listen here)

CHRISTOPHER JORDAN IS JOINED BY DUDES N BEER TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT AND INTERACTIVE VR DEVELOPER BILLY JOE CAIN TO DISCUSS SOME OF THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE WORLD OF VR TECHNOLOGY

AUSTIN, Texas – Dec. 17, 2018 – How has the recent upsurge in the release of VR devices to the public changed the once dim expectation of a virtual world? What are the possibilities when it comes to integrating virtual reality into the real world and creating an fully interactive augmented reality? 

Are we as humans ready to take our first steps into interplanetary travel both within and without of our own solar system and how can VR help us prepare for this and other fantastic futures? How does the use of VR help us as people develop a sense of empathy not only for one another but for victims of crimes such as human trafficking, kidnapping and other violent and not violent crimes?

Christopher Jordan Curious Realm Dudes and Beer
Dudes and Beer with Billy Joe Cain Radical Empathy Education Foundation

DNB EP 182: Is Transhumanism The Death Of Humanity? (Listen here)

CHRISTOPHER JORDAN IS JOINED IN STUDIO BY DUDES N BEER TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT BILLY JOE CAIN OF THE RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

AUSTIN, Texas – Sept. 25, 2018 – In this episode of the Dudes n Beer podcast host Christopher Jordan is joined in studio by Dudes n Beer Technology Correspondent Billy Joe Cain of the Radical Empathy Education Foundation to discuss the topic are Transhumanism and Cyborgs the death of Humanity? What is Transhumanism? What does it mean to become a Cyborg? 

How does the marriage of man and machine begin to change humanity as we know it? With the recent announcement by the Pentagon that we can now have telepathic control of drones, what is the future of warfare? Do Sex-Robot Brothels promote unhealthy attitudes toward women? What if we could use technology to resurrect the dead? How does a recent study showing that we can upload information into the human brain bring about the scenario of a real world Matrix? 

When will we begin to have upgrades for our bodies to not only repair damaged limbs and organs, but elongate life? 

These questions and more in this week’s exciting and in depth episode of the Dudes n Beer podcast with special guest Billy Joe Cain of the Radical Empathy Education Foundation.

Christopher Jordan Curious Realm Dudes and Beer
Dudes and Beer with Billy Joe Cain Radical Empathy Education Foundation

DNB Ep 156: New Horizons of Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence with Billy Joe Cain of the Radical Empathy Education Foundation (Listen here)

CHRISTOPHER JORDAN IS JOINED IN STUDIO BY DUDES N BEER TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT BILLY JOE CAIN OF THE RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

AUSTIN, Texas – Apr. 2, 2018 – In this episode of the Dudes n Beer podcast host Christopher Jordan is joined by Steven Bishop and special guest Billy Joe Cain, head of Radical Empathy Education Foundation, an Austin based Virtual Reality endeavor aimed at educating people about the horrors of human trafficking utilizing the technology of virtual reality gaming and “TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story,” an immersive virtual reality experience that places you in the person of a detective trying to solve the case of a missing person. 

How can games like this and other VR experiences bring about a new level of not only cognitive understanding, but allow us to connect as better as people? How has the world of virtual reality already expanded our view of education and training as we know it? What does the all too common term “artificial intelligence” really mean and what does it mean for the future of man and machine? 

How can we begin to marry the technologies of VR and AI and what could the possibilities be? Will they all be for the best or could some outcomes, if left unchecked, lead to horrific electronic nightmares? These questions and more in this revealing and in depth episode of the Dudes n Beer podcast.

The Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) (Read and listen here)

KakeBytes Podcast – May 21, 2018 – Billy Joe Cain is back at it again. And this time, it is the finale. BJC was the first interview I conducted for the show and it was dynamic because he had a lot of personal experiences to share with me throughout his long relationship with games. 

I’m excited that I get to finally showcase the Radical Empathy Education Foundation, BJC’s foray into virtual reality game development that serves a greater purpose. TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story is a great implementation of the noir genre that puts players in the thick of the mystery in case that involves the realities of the world of human trafficking and how it is right under our noses.

Christopher Jordan Curious Realm Dudes and Beer
Dudes and Beer with Billy Joe Cain Radical Empathy Education Foundation

DNB EP 122: Virtual Reality and Learning with Radical Empathy Education Foundation (Listen here)

CHRISTOPHER JORDAN IS JOINED IN STUDIO BY DUDES N BEER TECHNOLOGY CORRESPONDENT BILLY JOE CAIN OF THE RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 23, 2017 – In this episode of the Dudes and Beer podcast host Christopher Jordan is joined in studio by Steven Bishop, Julie Connally and special guest Billy Joe Cain, President of the Radical Empathy Education Foundation to discuss the rapidly emerging and immersive world of Virtual Reality. What is this amazing technology? When did it actually start and where has it come from? 

How can Virtual Reality help when it comes to education and learning? Where did the inspiration for the VR game TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story come from? How can game such as this raise awareness of society to issues such as human trafficking? 

Is it possible for Virtual Reality to help mankind not only better understand each other, but to ultimately find a means to co-exist and see each other as people we all are? These questions and more in this hi-tech and introspective episode of the Dudes and Beer Podcast with our guest from thr Radical Empathy Education Foundation!

Dr. Mara Karpel and your golden years

Gerontologist, Dr. L. T. Force – “The Detoxing of Caregivers;” Billy Joe Cain – the Radical Empathy Education Foundation; Kathleen Ann Hudson – Texas Heritage Music Foundation; & Medicaid and the Elderly…plus Words Matter

AUSTIN, Texas – Jun. 25, 2017 – Billy Joe Cain joined us from Austin to talk about the Radical Empathy Education Foundation, currently using Virtual Reality technology to aid in the prevention of human trafficking. Find out more about this important issue, what this organization is doing to help to raise awareness and stop this national and global problem, and how you can help.

News / Press

Virtual Reality based human trafficking training group to share education successes and formulate strategies for international cooperation (Full Article here)

By: Radical Empathy Education Foundation

AUSTIN, Texas – June 29, 2022 – PRLog — Pamela-Jean Mohamed, Associate Executive Director International Programs for the International Hospitality Council of Austin, invited Billy Joe Cain, co-founder of Radical Empathy, to meet with participants from the International Visitor Leadership Program by the U.S. Department of State.

The purpose of the 30 June 2022 meeting is to discuss “Combating  – A Project for India.”

The Department of State outlined the following specific objectives for the project:

  • Examine efforts to combat trafficking in persons, including crimes against women and children, by examining the formulation, administration, and enforcement of policies at the international, national, state, and local levels;
  • Present innovative strategies for preventing, investigating, and prosecuting trafficking crimes;
  • Explore U.S. initiatives to recognize, protect, and assist victims of abuse and trafficking, including social and economic reintegration services;
  • Discuss  and education efforts and share strategies for international cooperation in combating trafficking in persons.

“This is a very exciting opportunity to share our successes with GlobalAustin and the attendees from the U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program,” says Cain. “After our 4500th student completed our virtual reality training this month, we want to share how the training affects people and makes them more interested in learning about human trafficking.”

Their virtual reality experience, called TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, is a completely immersive, interactive story that allows users to explore the world of a 14 year old girl who is tricked by a boy , who meets and manipulates her when she is experiencing vulnerabilities in her life.

In 15 minutes, Lisa explains how she met a boy on , who tricked and controlled her through threats and violence.

——-

Radical Empathy Education Foundation logo blue on whiteABOUT RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) is an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to ending human trafficking in one generation. To capture the attention of young adults, they use virtual reality experiences that include fully interactive, computer generated environments married with narrative, user-directed stories. To support REEF’s work, please visit https://www.reefcares.org/donate/

ABOUT GLOBALAUSTIN

“Think Local, Act Global.” GlobalAustin promotes opportunities for the Central Texas community to experience global, cross-cultural exchange. Our vision is to educate our members through Citizen Diplomacy receptions, Distinguished Speaker Series, film screenings, internationally-themed events, the online International Calendar of Austin, Great Decisions discussion groups, and other International events and activities.

Austin Programming Contact:  Pamela-Jean Mohamed, Associate Executive Director International Programs; Cell: (512)569-9922; e-mail: gaprogofcr1@globalaustin.org

GlobalAustin, PO Box 170127, Austin, Texas 78705; 1015 Norwood Park Blvd., Austin, Texas 78753

Contact
Billy Joe Cain, Co-founder / Creative Director
Radical Empathy Education Foundation
billy@reefcares.org
5125218874

Light the Way Summit Welcomes Virtual Reality Human Trafficking Education  Company (Full Article here)

Radical Empathy demonstrated their virtual reality application to attendees of the invite-only Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) annual event
 

AUSTIN, Texas – June 23, 2022 – PRLog — The Light the Way Summit featured a variety of Texas leaders and nationally recognized experts including Individuals with Lived Experience and Survivor Leaders. In 2.5 days, presenters covered a wide array of topics associated with a spectrum of anti-trafficking efforts in Texas and the nation.

“We are honored to have been asked to and attend this ‘invite-only’ event, where we had the chance to have one-on-one time with attendees from every level of child and family services in the state of Texas,” says Radical Empathy’s co-founder Billy Joe Cain.

DFPS invited all disciplines, from all levels of experience, to participate, collaborate and help increase awareness, prevention, identification, restoration and justice in the fight to end human trafficking. The goal of the 2022 Summit is to elevate the understanding and knowledge of their staff and key partners on the complexities and impact of human trafficking on children and youth to include the lifelong needs to support restoration. The bulk of the conference dives into the various specialty topics associated with human trafficking.

“Our interactive virtual reality application teaches anyone that human trafficking can happen through psychological manipulation and coercion,” explains Cain. “In fifteen minutes, conference attendees were taught how vulnerable children can be to being tricked by predators over the internet.”

DFPS and SSCC staff made up the majority of attendees. There was a concerted effort to ensure front line caseworkers and supervisors, who directly work with our children and families, were in attendance. Additional attendees were dignitaries, judges, law enforcement (Federal, State and Local), prosecutors, government officials, and key Anti-Trafficking partners from around the state (i.e. Taskforces, Coalitions, Advocates and Providers.)

——-

Radical Empathy Education Foundation logo blue on white

ABOUT RADICAL EMPATHY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) is an Austin-based nonprofit dedicated to ending human trafficking in one generation. To capture the attention of young adults, they use virtual reality experiences that include fully interactive, computer generated environments married with narrative, user-directed stories. To support REEF’s work, please visit https://www.radicalempathyfoundation.org/donate/

Contact
Billy Joe Cain, Founder
Radical Empathy Education Foundation
billy@reefcares.org
512.521.8874
VIDA Vista Unified School District Principal Eric Chagala

San Diego Area Middle School Integrates Virtual Reality Human Trafficking Awareness Education (Press Release here: PDF or online PRLog)

VISTA, Calif. – Jan. 27, 2019 – During a school day on a Friday, teachers and students took a break from their classes to walk in the shoes of a victim of minor sex trafficking, through the innovative human trafficking awareness education program called One Generation, from the non-profit Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF).

Vista Innovation Design Academy (VIDA), in Vista, California, is leading the way with this type of training in California, integrating it into their school curriculum.

Eric Chagala, VIDA’s principal, brought the program to his school. “This is a real problem and we want to do our part through the unique approach of the One Generation program.” He continues, “Students and faculty have been amazed by the way it makes people care about the educational materials they really must know to recognize a victim and what to do.”

NBC 4 Pay Area Radical Empathy Education Foundation

Company Uses Virtual Reality to Teach Students Signs of Sex Trafficking (Read more here

SAN DIEGO, California – Jan. 24, 2019

NBCUniversal Media, LLC.. .If sex trafficking was happening in front of you, would you know it? Many experts say the signs can be subtle.

“They can be simple, like you might see a friend getting a lot of gifts or they might have an older boyfriend,” said Billy Joe Cain, President of the Radical Empathy Education Foundation.

His non-profit uses virtual reality headsets to teach students signs to look out for.

Cain was at SIATech Charter High School in Oceanside Thursday, showing school administrators the technology.

“I think students are going to be shocked,” said Principal Greg Cohen. “I think they won’t know this is happening in their communities, let alone all of our communities.”

The VR app puts students into the perspective of a sex trafficking victim. Slang terms that traffickers and victims use are incorporated.

Cain said VR gives students more empathy for sex trafficking victims by literally putting them in their shoes.

“The people that think sex trafficking is not happening in their neighborhoods are unfortunately incorrect,” said Cain.

The hope is that once students know the signs of sex trafficking, they’ll report it to a teacher, police officer, nurse, doctor, teacher or other trusted source.

PBS Austin Big Bird

PBS Features Virtual Reality Experience Created to Stop Child Exploitation (Press Release online PRLog)

KLRU’s Decibel to Showcase VR Experience TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story from Radical Empathy Education Foundation

AUSTIN, Texas – Mar. 11, 2018 – PRLog — Virtual Reality can make you feel empathy for others. That’s the premise of TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, an interactive virtual reality experience that puts you in the shoes of a victim of human trafficking, Lisa, as she shares what it’s like to be pulled into this horrible life.

Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF) created TRAPPED, a narrative story experience, to change perspectives about how to recognize a victim of human trafficking. Parents and teachers can use it as an additional tool to educate students about this very real issue facing everyone across the globe.

Lisa’s story is aligned with Polaris Project’s “Recognize the Signs” campaign, which highlights potential red flags and teaches the indicators of human trafficking, so users can help identify more victims to help them find the assistance they need. Users learn these signs from Lisa’s experience, and the personal connection increases retention of the material.

Fox 7 Austin

Live on Fox 7 Austin during SXSW (Full Release here: PDF or online PRLog)

NEW TOOL TO PREVENT CHILD EXPLOITATION SHOWCASED THROUGHOUT SXSW
FOX 7 AUSTIN’s Good Day Austin to Experience TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story During South by Southwest

AUSTIN, Texas – Mar. 4, 2018 – PRLog — Virtual Reality can make you feel empathy. That’s the premise of TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, an interactive virtual reality experience that puts you in the shoes of a victim, Lisa, as she shares what it’s like to be pulled into this horrible life.

TRAPPED is being showcased on FOX 7’s Good Day Austin morning show on March 7th at 7:20 am. It is a virtual experience made to change your perspective about how to recognize a victim of human trafficking. It is an additional tool to educate middle and high schoolers about this very real issue facing everyone across the globe.

“Knowing how to identify a victim could save their life, and we want you to have a lasting empathetic experience when you are learning these signs,” says Billy Joe Cain, President of Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF). “When people care about something, they remember it much longer. We are giving them the tools to stop exploitation.”

Prevent Human Trafficking

Anti-trafficking Groups Join Forces At 19th Annual Fundraiser in Washington DC (Full Release online PRLog)

UNIQUE VR EXPERIENCES PROVIDE AN UNPARALLELED PERSPECTIVE INTO THE LIVES OF VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Apr. 28, 2018 – PRLog — Who teaches children about the dangers of human trafficking, including meeting a stranger online? Who gives kids the tools to survive in this fast-paced world where they don’t know what information to trust?

Can children join the adults and become advocates and activists for this cause? The answer is yes.

Prevent Human Trafficking (PHT), the second oldest anti-trafficking group in the United States, and Radical Empathy Education Foundation (REEF), who uses interactive technology for education and awareness of human trafficking, are the first organizations in the world to use 360 video and VR to engage people in immersive experiences that create unforgettable memories and hopefully help bring this issue to life and connect with it in a real way.

Radical Empathy Education Foundation Austin Events

A different kind of VR experience (Read more here)

A MONITOR AT THE “TRAPPED: A VR DETECTIVE STORY” BOOTH AT SXSW GAMING 2018 ALLOWS ATTENDEES TO VIEW WHAT SOMEONE WEARING THE BOOTH’S VR HEADSET IS SEEING DURING THEIR EXPERIENCE.

AUSTIN, TX – Mar. 18, 2018 — Radical Empathy’s virtual reality experience “TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story” is different from the other booths promising a radical VR experience. Attempting to raise awareness of and generate empathy for victims of human trafficking, “Trapped” has attendees strap on an HTC Vive headset to experience an interactive narrative that teaches how to recognize warning signs for human trafficking.

The experience was a SXSW 2017 Finalist Showcase winner, as well as winner of Best In Show at the 2017 Austin Game Developer Showcase. President Billy Joe Cain hopes to use “Trapped” as a teaching tool in schools, as well as draw corporate sponsors to help support their cause and mission.

Radical Empathy Education Foundation Quote

Training and Performing Breakout Sessions at TASC Annual Conference (Press Release here: PDF or online PRLog)

STUDENTS USE VIRTUAL REALITY TO LEARN HOW TO AVOID EXPLOITATION
Texas Association of Student Councils to Experience TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story at Annual Conference

ARLINGTON, Texas – Feb. 27, 2018 – PRLog — Virtual Reality can make you feel empathy. That’s the premise of TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, an interactive virtual reality experience that puts you in the shoes of a victim, Lisa, as she shares what it’s like to be victimized by the horrible travesty that is sex trafficking. TRAPPED is being showcased in the expo as well as being used for breakout sessions for educators and students at the 82nd Texas Association of Student Councils (TASC) High School Annual Conference in Arlington, Texas on April 14-15.

Radical Empathy Education Foundation Austin Events
Radical Empathy Education Foundation Quote

Exhibiting at SXSW Gaming (Full Release here: PDF or online PRLog)

VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE EDUCATES ABOUT HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Experience TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story at South by Southwest

AUSTIN, Texas – Feb. 26, 2018 – PRLog — Virtual Reality can make you feel empathy. That’s the premise of TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, an interactive virtual reality experience that puts you in the shoes of a victim, Lisa, as she shares what it’s like to be victimized by the horrible travesty that is sex trafficking. TRAPPED is demoing at the SXSW Gaming Exhibition in the Austin Convention Center from March 15-17 and the Capital Factory’s Future of Tech Lounge from March 10-13.

AR Post
AR Post

Non-Profit Launches Virtual Reality Game to Draw Attention to the Plight of Human Trafficking Victims (Read more here)

A TEXAS-BASED NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION HAS DEVELOPED A VIRTUAL REALITY GAME THAT EXPLORES THE LIFE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS.

AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 15, 2018 — TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story is more than just another virtual reality game. It is the strategy used by Texas-based non-profit organization Radical Empathy Education Foundation to teach people about the plight of human trafficking victims. The game was developed thanks to crowdfunding and has a unique approach.

Beyond the Excitement of Virtual Reality Gameplay, a Dreadful Reality

In TRAPPED, the player assumes the role of a detective who has to investigate a case. As the game progresses and clues start coming in, it is clear that the victim was exploited as a victim of human trafficking.

Donation of Defender and Stargate machines to National Videogame Museum in Frisco, Texas

Original eSport Champion Donates Historical Artifacts to National Videogame Museum to Help Raise Awareness of Human Trafficking (Press Release online PRLog)

DONATION CEREMONY TO BE HELD AT CLASSIC GAME FEST IN AUSTIN

AUSTIN, Texas, Jun. 2, 2017 — A quarter can go a long way, if you’re a skilled game player. In 2013, Billy Joe Cain played for over 33 and a half hours on a single credit to set the highest verified world record on the arcade game Defender. His effort raised over $1000 for a soup kitchen in Killeen, Texas. Now, he is donating his record-setting Defender machine, and the Stargate machine he won in a 1982 eSport tournament, to the National Videogame Museum in Frisco, Texas, in the hopes that it will raise awareness for his new mission: raising awareness of human trafficking.

“Spending 33 hours in front of a machine is nothing compared to what trafficked victims endure on a daily basis,” says Cain. “If this helps raise awareness of the cause, I’m all in.”

Cain founded a non-profit called Radical Empathy Education Foundation with the goal of eradicating human trafficking by using virtual reality to raise awareness and create training materials. Finding ways to raise money and improve their work is a full time job. With the help from Classic Game Fest and the museum, Cain believes that Texas can help make a difference. “There is a huge interest in eSports, and these are artifacts that go back to the beginning. Since these historical video game events happened in Texas, I want to donate them in Texas, to keep it local,” says Cain, “but for donations to Radical Empathy, we can use all the help we can get.”

Radical Empathy Education Foundation Austin Events

Austin Game Designer Brings Human Trafficking to VR

AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 15, 2018 — January is Human Trafficking awareness month and the problem isn’t confined to third world countries. Could your own children become victims of human trafficking? An Austin game designer’s kids nearly were.

Radical Empathy Foundation founder Billy Joe Cain responded by developing an immersive virtual reality experience called “TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story” which takes place in suburban America. Cain says you first play as a teen girl lured into the sex trade by an online stranger who convinces you to have sex with his friends for money.

College of Business and Communication Concordia University Austin Texas
College of Business and Communication Concordia University Austin Texas Incubator CTX for Innovation and Impact

IncubatorCTX For Innovation And Impact – Interactive Discussion About Radical Empathy Education Foundation and their One Generation Child Safety Program (RSVP Here)

LEARN MORE ABOUT THEIR VR PROGRAM AND FOUNDATION ON NOVEMBER 24TH, 2018, WHEN BILLY JOE CAIN PRESENTS AT THE INCUBATORCTX AS A PART OF THEIR SPEAKER-SERIES.

AUSTIN, Texas – Wed, Oct. 24, 2018, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST – TRAPPED: A Virtual Reality Detective Story

Billy Joe Cain started making games for the SNES in 1992 and has been building interactive games, simulations, and educational products ever since. He now creates immersive experiences for cutting-edge virtual reality systems to teach children the skills they need to survive in today’s world.

Billy Joe Cain founded the Radical Empathy Foundation (REEF), to generate interactive products that open people’s mind to the scourge of human trafficking with a focus on sex trafficking. REEF’s mission is to help children identify and avoid unhealthy situations that may ultimately lead to becoming victims of sex trafficking. Their child safety program, One Generation, integrates in-class materials with a narrative VR experience to help children prevent this happening to them or someone they know. The educational application, TRAPPED: A VR Detective Story, which teaches the dangers and warning signs of human trafficking, is now available on WEARVR. To learn more about IncubatorCTX speaker-series, please visit: www.IncubatorCTX.com

Radical Empathy Education Foundation Quote

Pay it Forward! Every $5 Gives an Online Human Trafficking Essentials Course from PBJ Learning to a Deserving Student.

Radical Empathy Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to ending human trafficking in one generation.