From ‘Barbie’ extra to victim advocate: Rayborn helps increase trafficking awareness

Contact: Joseph Newell

Portrait of Bébé Rayborn
Bébé Rayborn (Photo by Grace Cockrell)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—“Barbie” movie extra. International magazine and runway model. World traveler. Communication and philosophy student at Mississippi State University.

All of these descriptors of Bébé Rayborn may be important to her, but the one goal she is currently immersing herself in to personally complete is one that saves lives.

Rayborn, an MSU junior and native of Brandon, is using her talents to build a nationwide platform for human trafficking awareness.

“I hope to use any skill set I possess to advocate for those that do not have a voice, especially those victims caught up in human trafficking,” Rayborn said. “People caught in trafficking are voiceless. I hope to use the voice I am so fortunate to have to speak for those that are silenced. I hope this is the one way I can show gratitude for the life I have—to speak for and advocate for the people who have had that option taken from them.”

Rayborn said her modeling experience with international companies such as Maybelline, Elle UL, Giorgio Armani and Burberry also has helped in building her platform for more awareness on what matters to her.

Rayborn plans to keep expanding her advocacy for victims of human trafficking. She has joined No Longer Bound, a charity organization which gives students the opportunity to join the fight against human trafficking. She also has served on the Mississippi Human Trafficking Counsel Outreach and Awareness subcommittee.

“I am gaining much knowledge on the anti-trafficking task force and how to advocate in a way to bring awareness to specific problems in our state. These methods often include encouraging people to speak out if they see something unusual and to say something about it, which is also why it is important to know signs of trafficking,” she said. “These organizations continue to allow me to be educated about human trafficking not only locally, but also nationally. I hope to continue to highlight the devastating plague of human trafficking while advocating for some relief and resolution for these victims through anti-trafficking efforts.”

At MSU, Rayborn said Albert Bisson, a philosophy and religion instructor, is a “large reason” she has a high appreciation for educating herself on a variety of topics.

“He is so wise, yet so humble. He treats all students with respect and welcomes any questions on any topic he teaches. He also is content to take time after class with students if they have more questions on the topics he covers in class,” Rayborn said.

The National Human Trafficking Hotline is 1-888-373-7888 and any indication of trafficking should be reported.

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