CSU, Chico News

Students Plan Human Trafficking Awareness Conference March 2-6

Date: 02-06-2015

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs
Kate Transchel, Advisor
STOP! Conference

Students at California State University, Chico are planning a number of activities and events for Human Trafficking Awareness Week March 2-6, including a training led by trafficking survivor and author Carissa Phelps on Wednesday, March 4.

The fourth annual Stop Trafficking of Persons (STOP!) Conference, organized by the student club of the same name, features daily film screenings, discussions and presentations around the subject of human trafficking, including activity in the Chico community. Students have been working for months to bring awareness to this important issue, said club president Courtney Hudson.

“We are lucky enough to have connections with local law enforcement, survivors, authors and specialists who are willing to speak at our conference,” Hudson said. “Last year we had a little over 1,000 attendees, which we are hoping to surpass this year.”

The March 4 training by trafficking survivor Phelps is aimed at supporting local efforts to protect and care for at-risk youth. Trafficked as an adolescent in Fresno, California, Phelps is now a human rights activist and author of “Runaway Girl: Escaping Life on the Streets” and will share her experiences and insights with attendees.

According to the Polaris Project, an organization working to end trafficking, in 2010 an estimated 27 million people were enslaved across the world, and the trafficking industry profited nearly $32 billion annually. Eighty percent of transnational victims were women and girls; 2 million children each year were exploited by the global commercial sex trade.

The full conference schedule follows. All events take place in the Bell Memorial Union Auditorium and are free to attend.

Monday, March 2, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Film: “Call+Response”
This 2008 anti-slavery documentary features numerous musician-activists, including Ashley Judd, Cornel West, Nicholas Kristof and others. Following the film will be a demonstration of www.slaveryfootprint.org, a website designed to help people understand the intricacies of modern-day slavery.

Tuesday, March 3, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Roundtable Discussion: Law Enforcement
Officials, including FBI special agents, Sacramento Assistant Chief District Attorney Paul Durenberger, an assistant U.S. attorney and local law enforcement agents, will discuss labor and sex trafficking issues in Northern California.

Wednesday, March 4, 6 to 9:30 p.m.
Human Trafficking Training for Communities and Schools
This experiential training led by trafficking survivor Carissa Phelps aims to support and enhance local efforts to protect and care for at-risk youth. The training is hosted by the Central California Intelligence Center. Participants will receive a certificate of completion, if desired.

Thursday, March 5, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Presentation: Survivors Speak! Slavery in Your Neighborhood and Victim Services
Trafficking survivors Shamere McKenzie and Kiesha Head will share their experiences of being trafficked while attending college in the United States. Shamere is now CEO of the nonprofit Sun Gate Foundation, which provides services for trafficking victims.

Friday, March 6, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Presentation: Author and Activist Kelsey Timmerman
Kelsey Timmerman is the author of “Where Am I Eating? A Journey Through the Global Food Economy” and “Where Am I Wearing? A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People That Make Our Clothes.” His work has appeared in numerous media outlets, including the Christian Science Monitor, Condé Nast publications and NPR. He regularly speaks at universities across the United States on labor trafficking, globalization and social responsibility.

For more information about the STOP! conference and student organization, please visit www.csuchico.edu/stop. People who require an accommodation in order to participate in any of these events or who have questions about accessibility should contact the Accessibility Resource Center at 530-898-5959.