"In Our Own Backyards" - Rebecca Dharmapalan

Rebecca is a 19-year-old artist and activist, born and bred in Oakland, California. Her work is primarily focused around the issue of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children in her city.


Rebecca Dharmapalan

Rebecca Dharmapalan is a 19-year-old artist and activist, born and bred in Oakland, California. Her work is primarily focused around the issue of Commercially Sexually Exploited Children in her city. Rebecca exposed this issue in her first film, "International Boulevard a Documentary," which won grand prize at Girls Impact the World film festival at Harvard University, the Los Angeles International Film Festival and received Honorable Mention at Harvard Westlake Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA. “International Boulevard” also won the Jewish American Film Festival in Los Angeles, was a second place winner of Adobe Youth Voices in New York and recently won the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Rebecca's continued her work, becoming Chair of Oakland Youth Commission and creating the first ever CSEC task force in the country. Through the Youth Commission, Rebecca worked on a citywide billboard campaign to create awareness of child sex trafficking and reach children who were trapped in "the life."

Now, Rebecca is embarking on her latest project: a feature film. This feature film will be a sequel to her short documentary, in which she will finally be able to expose the entirety of the industry of sex trafficking through complex, multidimensional characters, hard facts and evidence. Rebecca says, “I am not a filmmaker, I am a change-maker,” and she continues to change the world through art everyday.

2015Valerie Grant