In 2012, Derri Smith moved End Slavery Tennessee, an organization she founded in 2008, out from under a parent organization to become an independent 501c3.
Previously she served as Director of End Slavery Ministries with International Teams, with global responsibility for building teams and placing workers in the worldwide fight against slavery. But her heart and passion remained for the travesty of this crime, in epidemic proportions yet hidden in plain sight, right here in her own backyard.
Her career leading up to these roles includes teaching elementary school, heading an inner-city ministry in Nashville, and serving overseas in a ministry to refugees and those recovering from decades of repressive government in Eastern Europe. She’s authored books and articles on child-training and spoken on the issue of child abuse in the church, informally counseling women recovering from such abuse.
Derri has presented sessions on the topic of Human Trafficking and Slavery to thousands in professional, community and civic groups and churches, and is the 2011 regional recipient of the Soroptimist Ruby Award for Women Helping Women and 2012 winner of the Trafficking in America Service award.
She now devotes her knowledge, experience, and passion to end slavery and aids its victims in Tennessee.
As ESTN’s Community Educator and Trainer, Karen Karpinski speaks on college campuses and at leading community, civic, and service groups and trains professionals most likely to come in contact with victims. Karen served for years as a high-involvement volunteer worker herself, and also trains and coordinates the activities and appointments for a growing team of volunteer presenters who now fan out to a wide range of venues and forums.
Karen retired from Skyline Medical Center where for over 10 years she was the Director of Volunteer and Spiritual Care Services on two campuses. She is a certified Volunteer Management Professional with more than 30 years experience in for-profit and not-for-profit businesses and organizations. She holds the Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications. Her experience ranges from the arts, to healthcare, to community service organizations.
Shelia’s story began with sexual abuse at an early age, followed by running away from home and early drug use. By the time Shelia was 18, she was being prostituted and was subsequently trafficked across the country. Shelia has learned to turn her past experiences into the driving force behind her desire to help those who are victims of trafficking. She’s been able to turn all the wrongs in her life into her greatest asset and a sense of empowerment. She is working on a B.A. in Psychology with the goal of a Master’s in Social Work in order to provide a higher level of service to those she serves.
Rachel Britton provides case management for survivors of human trafficking to help them begin their new successful life. Rachel earned a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Tennessee as well as a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Trevecca Nazarene University.
Through her education she has become familiar with many services and agencies in the Middle Tennessee area. She counts it an honor to be able to use that knowledge to work on behalf of the many people who End Slavery Tennessee comes in contact with, in an effort to make a difference in the state she has called home for most of her life.
Jessica Hawkins aids survivors of human trafficking in obtaining the resources they need to begin their new lives. Jessica earned her Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and her Bachelor of Social Work from Western Kentucky University. There, she became aware of the horrors of human trafficking and focused her studies on the issue. She is passionate about advocating on behalf of the survivors End Slavery Tennessee encounters.
In her free time, Jessica likes to take her dog to the park, read, and play guitar.
Janna Carlson was born and raised in Tennessee, where she graduated high school from Davidson Academy and received her Bachelor’s Degree from Trevecca Nazarene University. Janna is the Events Coordinator for ESTN and the Location Leader for the Nashville RIDE for Refuge. The RIDE is ESTN’s largest annual fundraiser and is how she originally discovered their important work.
She is married to her best friend and is currently employed at Men of Valor, a prison ministry. Janna understands that many struggle daily with some form of slavery, whether to themselves or circumstances, and her “vision” is to help break that vicious cycle. She recognizes community awareness and education play a crucial role in helping end modern day slavery, and is committed to ensuring the public gains a greater understanding of this heinous crime.
Marcus lends his passion and expertise in all things tech to the End Slavery Tennessee team. He is serving as the IT department, as well as helping to update and manage the organization’s websites and social media pages. His goal is to support the leaders in a way that allows them to be able to focus on what they do best, instead of spending valuable time on the digital tools that are supposed to help them do their jobs.
Marcus also taps into his early years on the road as an audio engineer, as well as his audio-visual installation experience, to serve at End Slavery Tennessee and The Village Chapel.
A twenty-year resident of Nashville, Marcus assists his wife Jenn with their social media and content marketing business, Mixtus Media (when he’s not chasing their four-year-old son Isaac around).
Chris Cohen’s goals are to be a strong, confident, courageous, loving man who walks with Christ every day, which motivates his service with End Slavery Tennessee. He’s from South Bend Indiana where he was bred to bleed green; he says he is the biggest Notre Dame fan in Tennessee! Chris moved here when he was 6, graduated from Hillsboro high school, then went to College at Western Kentucky University. When he graduated from WKU in 2006, he moved back down to Tennessee and now lives in Hendersonville.
Chris works for Liberty Mutual Group and loves helping people. He first learned about human trafficking locally at a benefit concert a few years ago and God has been leading him to further his involvement with End Slavery Tennessee ever since.
Bucky Elliott is an Army brat, husband, dad, and full-time digital media producer who serves as an End Slavery TN community educator and group leader for Franklin/Spring Hill. He has led teams in raising awareness about human trafficking in Williamson and Maury counties since May 2010 through literature and poster distribution, movie screenings, public awareness presentations, and other events. In cooperation with the Spring Hill police department, his team has also provided training for citizens and law enforcement officers.
Scott Hardesty is an End Slavery Community Educator, Volunteer Group Leader Liaison, and has been leading the Nashville Volunteer Group since 2010. He received his bachelor’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University and MDIV from Vanderbilt University. Scott joined End Slavery TN because of their holistic approach to ending slavery in our state and hopes that the model we are creating can be replicated in other cities, states, and countries to end modern day slavery.
Sandra Mohr studies Child Life at Tennessee Technological University. She has worked with children of all ages through-out the last four years and her passion for children spills over into her passion for anti-human trafficking work. Sandra hopes for a day when all children will have the opportunity to experience a safe and playful childhood. She believes that if people will come together in love, the innocent can be set free.
Dana’s passion as a nurse is to educate medical professionals about Human Trafficking. She recognizes that these healthcare workers have a high chance of encountering victims and that it is therefore vital for them to know the red flags that enable them to recognize victims and get appropriate help. Dana is a Community Educator for ESTN as well as the Murfreesboro volunteer group leader.
Dana is currently employed as the Executive Director of the Rutherford County Health Department. She’s worked in public health and community education for more than 15 years. She has bachelor’s degrees in Nursing and Public Health from Western Kentucky University as well as a Public Health Leadership certificate from University of TN. Dana lives in Murfreesboro with her husband Steven.
Teresa Yoder is leader of West Central ESTN Group. She has a passion and desire to see survivors be restored into new lives with brand new beginnings. She also feels it is very important to create awareness in each community to avoid seeing young vulnerable people lured into such tragic situations.
Teresa is a homeschooling mother of 5, two which have graduated. Teresa and her 2 daughters run their own small soap and body care business. She also manages their small homestead with her husband of 19 years in rural Tennessee.