Eastern Michigan University hosted a Human Trafficking Advocacy Day for the first time Tuesday in the Student Center.
This new event was created to inform EMU students and faculty about the rising issue of human trafficking in the U.S. and Michigan.
Jess Klein, the program coordinator of EMU’s Women’s Resource Center, said Michigan was in the top five states for human trafficking, and Detroit was the nation’s second most popular city for human trafficking.
Emily Keyes, co-creator of the event, said, “Last year people were fired up and disgusted with human trafficking and had no outlet, so Amber [Hickman]and I thought up Advocacy Day. The purpose of Advocacy Day is to get students involved with the movement and make them feel like they can make a difference.”
Hickman, another co-creator, was not available for comment.
Klein estimated about 40 students showed up to the event.
Organizations such as Jewish Family Services, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Michigan Abolitionist Project had
booths with representatives present.
Other organizations that could not send representatives, like Hope for the Voiceless and Love 146, sent information and brochures instead.
Save our Adolescents from Prostitution, an outreach group that focuses on educating motel staff about human trafficking, sent bars of soap with the human trafficking phone number the group uses to try to reach girls kept in motels.
Soaps, snacks and candies were placed on tables in the center of the room to promote discussion.
“This [event] is a way for everyone who is involved in this movement to come together and see each other face to face, and it’s a way for Eastern students to see something is being done in regards to human trafficking, specifically to Michigan,” Klein said.
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