Costa Mesa, CA, March 11, 2014 – The past weekend’s annual Ensure Justice conference was host to nearly 300 attendees, representing law enforcement, political officials, policymakers, faith-based groups, businesses, Orange County community members and students from universities across Southern California. Each year the conference is geared to facilitate emerging networks in human trafficking prevention and create connections across disciplines and regions.
The conference theme, “Why is SHE a slave? went beyond theory and anecdotes. The conference was dedicated to Aubreyanna, 17-year-old Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) victim killed here in Orange County on February 4th. Being face to face with this reality compelled students and attendees to take advantage of every moment of access to our guest experts,” says Sandie Morgan, director for the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University.
During the conference, Stephan Bauman, president and CEO of World Relief, challenged attendees with the possibility of ending slavery with the integration of faith and practice, while survivor advocate, Shyima Hall, stepped up to the microphone with her own powerful survivor’s story. “I got to see them go to justice,” said Hall, after witnessing criminal court charges against the family who held her as a slave in their upscale suburban home. Rev. David Myers, senior advisor to the administer/director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, spoke on “Faith in Action” which focused on building strategic partnerships in educating the community as well as law enforcement on human trafficking in your own neighborhood.
Workshop speakers for the weekend included Amy Hewat, U.S. anti-trafficking specialist for World Relief, Sherri Harris, NETS-OC program director from The Salvation Army, and Nicole Wood, also from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and other top experts in preventing and educating on the subject of human trafficking.
The Global Center for Women and Justice called attendees to study the issues, be a voice and make a difference. “While our conference ended with a call to action to ‘do something’, it was based on carefully researched best practice strategies,” explains Morgan.
Save the date for next year’s Ensure Justice conference, being held March 6-7, 2014. The Global Center for Women and Justice will also hold a More Priceless Than Diamonds luncheon at the Balboa Bay Club on September 13, 2014. To learn more about the Ensure Justice conference and more upcoming events, visit vanguard.edu/gcwj
ABOUT VANGUARD UNIVERSITY
Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-focused leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 10 regional college in the west for 2014 and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit www.vanguard.edu
ABOUT THE GLOBAL CENTER FOR WOMEN AND JUSTICE
The Global Center for Women & Justice at Vanguard University is a faith-based organization that exists to advance the global status of women through research, education, advocacy, collaboration and hope. The Global Center for Women & Justice promotes gender reconciliation and the inherent dignity of all persons. For more, visit vanguard.edu/gcwj