Anti-human trafficking summit will teach attendees how to end slavery

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Over 29 million people are enslaved, according to the Anti-Human Trafficking Club. (Photo courtesy of sammisreachers)

The BYU Anti-Human Trafficking Club will host a three-hour summit on Saturday, Apr. 9, about the fight against human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Club president Kate Zeller said the summit is focused on “what the average, everyday person can do to fight human trafficking.”

“With all the technology that we have, with all the political will that we have right now, it’s possible that we can end this,” Zeller said. “It would be the first time in history of human civilization that there was no slavery if we were able to end it.”

The Anti-Human Trafficking Club is presenting this summit with the help of the Ballard Center and the Kennedy Center. It will be held in room W410 of the N. Eldon Tanner Building.

Speakers for the summit include Patricia Miller, Krisana Finlay, Lilian Bradley, Chris Gay and Janai Smith.

Miller is a human trafficking survivor, and she works with the Pandora’s Aquarium organization to help victims of sexual violence.

“She’s a survivor of human trafficking in the U.S., so she has the perspective that we can really learn from,” Zeller said. “She’s lived through this, so she’s going to have a lot to say about how we can recognize it, and what we can do to try to help and what needs to be done.”

Finlay, a BYU graduate, works as the Deputy Director of Development at the National Center of Sexual Exploitation.

Club officer Joseph Harding said Finlay is who he is “most excited to hear from.”

Harding’s excitement is because Finlay offers a perspective from an organization he has never heard from.

Bradley, born in Ghana, was adopted by a Heber City family when she was three years old. Her adoptive parents rescued her from a future as a slave, according to Ben Forgesen, a club officer.

“Her story is one of deliverance,” Forgesen said. “Had she not have been adopted, she would have been trafficked.”

Bradley founded the Fahodie for Friends organization to fight human trafficking, providing rescues to other children in Africa .

Gay is a director in Engage Now Africa. He created the “end modern slavery and human trafficking program,” according to the Engage Now Africa website.

Smith is the Youth Outreach Manager of ECPAT, which stands for End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography & Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes.

The summit lasts from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Matthew Mason, a BYU history professor and co-director of Historians Against Slavery, will introduce the summit. Then there will be two one-hour sessions during which attendees can pict two of five classes.

The classes are (1) Labor Trafficking and How You Can Stop It, (2) My Story: Surviving  Sex Trafficking, (3) Human Trafficking in Utah, (4) Linking Pornography to Sexual Trafficking and (5) Stopping Child Trafficking in the United States.

Students can attend the summit for free. This includes students of any college and students in K-12 schools. The cost for the general public is $10. This money is to support the cost of the event, according to Zeller.

The summit will also feature resource booths from various organizations and provide dessert after the sessions.

Those interested can find out more by visiting the event’s Facebook page and the event’s registration website, where they may also sign up to attend the summit.

The club encourages pre-registration so that they may get a good estimate of how many are attending the event, but people are welcome to register between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. in room W410 of the N. Eldon Tanner Building just prior to the event.

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