April 13, 2024

APU Alumna Coordinates One-Day Human Trafficking Summit

Author: David Hubler
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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, Online Learning Tips

Mars Hill University near Asheville, North Carolina, is hosting a one-day Anti-Trafficking Summit on Saturday, September 21. Between 75 and 100 people are expected to attend.

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The event was coordinated by alumna Bren Journey, who earned a Master of Public Health at American Public University.

Journey, now the CEO of Legacy of Hope International (LOHI), will speak on the global connections of human trafficking, concentrating on Cambodia.

Human Trafficking Summit Will Feature Two Training Sessions

Journey will also lead two scheduled training sessions – one on the connection between pornography and human trafficking. Her second training session will be a discussion of public health issues involved in human trafficking geared to medical and public health workers.

“The goal of the summit goal is to inform, empower, and encourage. We are not in this fight alone. We cannot defeat slavery alone,” Journey explained.

“The Asheville Anti-Trafficking Summit is an amazing mix of religious, non-religious and  government people all focused on bringing awareness, prevention and intervention to those most in need of saving,” Journey added. “I am honored to be a part of a social justice-minded community that is coming together to inform and network resources to save lives.”

According to the 2018 Polaris Project Report, there were 10,615 reported victims of human trafficking in the United States in 2017. Justice said 221 cases of human trafficking were reported in North Carolina, not counting actual law enforcement reports or from other agencies.

Speakers Will Discuss Their Expertise in the Fight against Modern-Day Slavery

The summit also will feature three speakers, each with a different expertise in the fight against modern-day slavery. The scheduled speakers are:

  • Alex Bumgardner, the Western North Carolina Case Manager with Project Fight. She will talk about the history of human trafficking dating back to the early 1800s, providing trauma-informed crisis intervention and comprehensive case management best practices in North Carolina.
  • Demetria Gillman-Williams, Executive Director of Life 107, will explain what human trafficking is and what it might look like in Asheville and the surrounding areas.
  • Reverend Stephanie McLeskey of Mars Hills University will give a brief history of Mars Hill and its connection to slavery.

There will also be breakout sessions for teachers, parents, foster caregivers and public health officials. The topics include:

  • Human Trafficking Prevention at Home and Abroad
  • Trafficking Awareness for the First Responder
  • HT Social and Mental Health Worker Best Practices
  • Childhood Trauma
  • LGBTQ and All Genders at Risk

A wide-ranging panel discussion will close out the event.

For more information and to register for the September 21 summit at Mars Hill University, click on Anti-Trafficking Summit and follow the instructions.

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