Friday, January 29, 2016

Break the Silence: Human Slavery Is Not Dead!

Human slavery is not dead but neither are we!  At the Crossroads (ATC) Chapter of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force is dedicated to ending human slavery for 80 miles of interstate at the crossroads of I-94 and I-69. We are a multi-discipline group of advisers offering prevention, intervention and restoration. ATC is offering a FREE daytime conference and evening community gathering on February 25th, 2016.

This conference is packed with expert trainers from law enforcement, victim's agencies, health care, trafficking survivors and more coming together to educate and activate anti-trafficking efforts in Michigan.

Who should come: Law enforcement, community members, helping professionals, field professionals, NGOs, and students.

Register here. The cost of registration is free and donations are accepted. For more information call 269-781-9094 extension 13.

POWER-PACKED Speakers and Trainers Include:
  • Joyce Dixson-Haskett, LMSW, ACSW, is a human trafficking survivor who served a 17 year prison sentence for saving her own life by killing the person who sold her as property. She is an advocate for children of incarcerated parents and author of L.O.R.T.E. (Levels of Response to Traumatic Events) A Vital Aid in Serving Children of Incarcerated Parents.
  • Jane White is the Director of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force and former Associate Director of the National Center for Community Policing at Michigan State University.
  • Dr. James Henry is a co-founder of the Community Training and Assistance Center with a professional history that includes over 17 years as a child welfare and protective services worker.  Professor at Western Michigan University' School of Social Work, he is an expert on child traumatic stress.
  • Shawn Loughrige recently retired from the Michigan State Police Forensic Science Division and Biometrics and Identification Division. While employed he held the position of D/F/Lt. and statewide Commander of the polygraph section for 15 years, Criminal Investigative Analysis and Behavioral Analysis statewide Commander of the Investigative Services Section.
  • Bridgette Carr is Professor and Director of the world-wide renowned Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School.  She has dedicated her career to advocating for the rights of human trafficking victims and advancing comprehensive domestic and international anti-trafficking policies.
  • Dr. Rev. LaClaire Bouknight, MD is the founder and director of Eaglevision Ministries Inc, a faith-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping ex-offender females find employment, health and hope.  She is Chairperson of Capital Area Anti-trafficking Alliance and former Medical Director of Juvenile Justice, Michigan Department of Social Service.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Music and Modern Day Slavery

Music is a powerful way to tell a story, convey a message, make a point, or spread awareness according to Mark Sullivan, MHTTF member and Associate Professor and Director of Computer Music Studies at Michigan State University’s College of Music.  Concerned that many people can become paralyzed by the overwhelming problem of human trafficking, Sullivan has been inspired to create work that doesn’t just dwell on the horror of human trafficking.  His goal is to use art and music to illustrate the gravity of human trafficking while also showing that it’s possible to solve the problem and empower survivors.  

Collaborating with an amazing team of artists and administrators Sullivan is part of a team that is bringing internationally known jazz artist, Billy Childs, to Fairchild Auditorium to perform a commemorative concert celebrating the birth of Martin Luther King Jr. on Sunday January 17.  President Lou Ann K. Simon and Dr. Roy J. Simon personally commissioned Childs to write and perform a new composition on human trafficking, “Do You Know My Name,” which will be performed at the concert.  The original work by Childs will communicate the anguish and isolation of human trafficking in a lyrical, artistic, and audience-inclusive manner.  There will be two performances on Sunday, January 17 at the Fairchild Auditorium.  Tickets for the 3:00 and 7:00pm performances are free but tickets are required and have been going fast. 

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed in and fought for the equality and dignity of all human beings.  It is appropriate that his memory is celebrated with a musical performance that communicates the injustice of human sex and labor trafficking and invites all of us to become aware and to work together to fight it.

Take Action:  

posted by Carrie Booth Walling, editor of the Voices of Change blog and member of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force.  Walling can be contacted at