Jon Voight Kicks Off Studio Lab Speaker Series

Acclaimed actor Jon Voight visited Ringling College of Art and Design last week to kick of the College’s Studio Lab Speaker Series. His time here was spent exploring and learing more about the College; helping to expand awareness of ‘Sugar’, the Dylan McDermott, Semkhor and Ringling College Studio Lab co-produced dramatic web series on sex trafficking; and supporting his long-time friend and ‘Sugar’ expert consultant Dr. Brook Bello, founder of More Too Life, the Sarasota-based but nationally-recognized organization that has been leading the charge in fighting sexual trafficking and slavery for over the past decade.

Jon Voight was the first male mentor of Brook as she rebuilt her life in her twenties after escaping being trafficked. Jon became the first man she trusted and he saw something special in Brook as she served him pancakes at the LA Hamburger Hamlet each week.  His belief in Brook reinforced her belief in herself and has led to her many achievements since then.

Jon’s appearance is part of the continual evolution and growth of the ‘Sugar’ project. As part of this effort, Semkhor founder David Shapiro has linked arms with local non-profit More Too Life in a unique way to gain philanthropic support to fight sex trafficking and distribute supporting original content.

While at Ringling Jon, Brook and Ringling president Dr. Larry R. Thompson visited with students, toured college facilities, including the new construction of the soundstage and post facility, spent time with media talking about Sugar, More To Life and Ringling and then conducted a stimulating and SRO discussion with college students and supporters.

Jon, Brook, Ringling and Semkhor are building awareness of ‘More Too Media’ ( - the ongoing multi-media narrative on the causes and effects of sexual exploitation designed to give a voice to victims and provide information to those who seek help. As part of this effort Semkhor and Ringling College are developing documentary projects with Brook Bello that highlight the root causes of human exploitation with the idea that original content can be used as an engine for social justice as well as creation of meaningful programming.

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