‘Freedom Matters’ to address U.S. trafficking

June 4, 2014

chonHuman trafficking in the United States will be the focus of a conference, Freedom Matters, sponsored by the Bryan chapter of Students Stopping the Trafficking of Persons Monday through Wednesday, February 18-20.

Katherine ChonBen Norquist, who is coordinating conference arrangements with student leaders, said, “In the U.S., we have both foreign nationals and our own citizens enslaved. Our citizens tend to be minors forced into prostitution, while foreign nationals often are in forced labor in agriculture or factories, or in domestic service.”

Keynote speaker will be Katherine Chon, senior advisor on trafficking in persons in the immediate office of the assistant secretary, administration of children and families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and co-founder of the Polaris Project, one of the largest anti-trafficking organizations in the United States.

Bryan Professor of Bible Dr. Ken Turner will open the conference with a chapel presentation Feb. 18 on the spiritual foundation for fighting human trafficking. Also on the schedule are presentations by a number of anti-trafficking and after-care organizations, mainly from Atlanta. “Atlanta is one of the top cities in the U.S. for trafficking in and out of the country,” Mr. Norquist said.

“We want to ask the question, ‘As believers who live in a world that includes slavery, what is God calling us to do; how should we respond?”

The conference is another in a growing list of programs at Bryan that are addressing modern slavery, he said. “Our ultimate goal is to graduate students who are aware of and are addressing slavery in the world from the perspective of the Gospel.”