By Ondrea Johnson, Director of Development & Community Relations
Though the presentation schedule is full and requests come in every day, we are thankful for a fruitful end to a busy summer. In all, volunteers logged over 400 hours this summer on behalf of End Slavery Tennessee. Over 1,000 people attended training and learned more about human trafficking, including almost 600 professionals.
The month of August presented two impactful opportunities for the Education Department. At the beginning of the month, we were invited to Siloam Family Health Center to speak to a group of medical care providers. We know through recent research that 87% of victims receive some form of professional medical care during their captivity. A follow up study, however, determined that only 10% of emergency medical staff said they had been trained on how to identify victims or felt confident in their ability to identify victims. This represents a serious missed opportunity for the majority of trafficking victims. Anytime we are able to present to a group of caring professionals, particularly professionals who intersect with victims, we are hopeful that our efforts will have a deeper reach into the community.
End Slavery Tennessee was invited to present at the 2015 national convention of the American Association of Service Coordinators on August 25th. The presentation, entitled A Professional Response to the Crime of Human Trafficking, was well attended by professionals from across the country. Attendees learned how to recognize and respond to or aid potential victims of human trafficking. The opportunity to be part of this conference allowed us to encourage them to become proactive in their own communities as they consider how best to serve the growing population of exploited men, women and children. AASC is an organization that boasts nearly 3,200 members who serve individuals, families, the elderly and persons with disabilities in housing situations through leadership, education, training, networking, advocacy and other member services.
August also saw the wrap-up of a very busy summer schedule. We presented to over a dozen student youth groups from all over the country. Youth and college groups from the Center for Student Missions came through our doors to hear our youth presentation and to carry what they learned back into their own communities. These young volunteers carried educational materials to neighborhoods in the metro Nashville area, engaging neighbors and leaving informational fliers as part of our door hanger project.