Cullman local Penny Billings has a passion for bringing awareness to human trafficking, and she now has the national stage by way of a crown to share her message. On June 13th, Penny was crowned Ms. Classic Global Continental 2021 in Orlando, FL, while ironically celebrating her 34th wedding anniversary with her husband, David.
Penny’s platform for the pageant is human sex trafficking. What is human sex trafficking? Sex trafficking is the crime of using force, fraud, or coercion to induce another individual to sell sex. It is modern-day slavery at its worst, and it must be stopped. Countless vulnerable women, men, and children are sold daily without regard to their human rights to fulfill the sexual pleasures of others.
With a $150 billion industry per year globally, it is the second-largest criminal enterprise in the United States. Commercial sex exploitation is approximately $99 billion per year. According to Doug Gilmer, Resident Special Agent with the Department of Homeland Security, it represents $110 million per year in the Birmingham metro area alone.
Penny is a volunteer to The WellHouse and partner of A Way Out Ministries. “I have had the blessing of meeting many survivors of this horrible lifestyle. These women are some of the most beautiful and courageous women I’ve ever met. I want to be their voice. I cannot be silent. My experience has gone beyond just simply volunteerism to a calling from the Lord, a passion that cannot be ignored.”, said Billings.
Penny will spend the next year as Ms. Classic Global Continental, traveling and sharing awareness of human trafficking. Billings said, “I am deeply honored to have been chosen as Ms. Classic Global Continental 2021. As the inaugural National Queen, I am excited about this incredible opportunity to work with a very caring & amazing director, LaCrisha Burton-Saba & to represent such a prestigious pageant organization over the next year. The National Title will provide me with many opportunities to promote my platform and bring awareness to human trafficking – a cause for which I am truly passionate.”
Congratulations to Ms. Penny Billings. The Cullman community is exceptionally proud of you and your accomplishments. We look forward to you spreading the message to fight human sex trafficking.