April: Be Informed, Do Your Part

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

National Child Abuse Prevention Month, also known as Child Abuse Prevention Month in America, is an annual observance in the United States dedicated to raising awareness and preventing child abuse. April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States since 1983. U.S. President Barack Obama continued that tradition, and in 2016 issued a Presidential proclamation stating: “During National Child Abuse Prevention Month, we recommit to giving every child a chance to succeed and to ensuring that every child grows up in a safe, stable, and nurturing environment that is free from abuse and neglect.” The World Health Organization (WHO) defines child abuse and child maltreatment as “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power.” In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses the term child maltreatment to refer to both acts of commission (abuse), which include “words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child”, and acts of omission (neglect), meaning “the failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, emotional, or educational needs or to protect a child from harm or potential harm”.The United States federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act defines child abuse and neglect as, at minimum, “any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation” and/or “an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm”.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that for Nation Child Abuse Prevention Month, communities should rededicate themselves to being supportive of families, and play an active role in preventing child abuse and neglect as well as taking positive action to promote child and family well-being. One way the Federal government of the United States provides funding for child-abuse prevention is through Community-Based Grants for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (CBCAP).

A report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services noted that in FFY 2014 in the United States, an approximately 646,000 children were victims of child abuse or neglect, while still another 1,580 children died from abuse or neglect. The majority of child abuse cases result from conditions that can be prevented through community programs, systems, support and interventions. April has been designated Child Abuse Prevention Month in the United States since 1983.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.[1] It is observed in April. Each year during the month of April, state, territory, tribal and community-based organizations, rape crisis centers, government agencies, businesses, campuses and individuals plan events and activities to highlight sexual violence as a public health, human rights and social justice issue and reinforce the need for prevention efforts. The theme, slogan, resources and materials for the national SAAM campaign are coordinated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center each year with assistance from anti-sexual assault organizations throughout the United States.

As early as 1976, Take Back the Night marches rallied women in organized protest rape and sexual assault. These marches protested the violence and fear that women encountered walking the streets at night. Over time these events coordinated into a movement across the United States and Europe. Because of this movement broader activities to raise awareness of violence against women began to occur.

In the late 1980s, the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCASA) informally polled state sexual assault coalitions to determine the preferred date for a national Sexual Assault Awareness Week. A week in April was selected. By the late 1990s, many advocates began coordinating activities and events throughout the month of April, advancing the idea of a nationally recognized month for sexual violence awareness and prevention activities. SAAM was first observed nationally in April 2001.

In 2009, President Obama was the first United States president to proclaim April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

April is also sexually transmitted disease awareness month in the United States, started in 2009 to promote education about STDs and prevention.

A Communication Student’s Perspective: Gabrielle Gomez


Student Impact Blog #6

Hi, my name is Gabrielle Gomez and I am a student worker for the Global Center for Women and Justice. Working here has been such a blessing. It is a constant reminder that God is watching out for me and He always has a bigger plan involved. Working for the Global Center has not only exposed me to women’s rights around the world and human trafficking, but it has equipped me with the knowledge that I can help bring social justice for men and women around the world. I have always had a heart for helping those in need and bringing exposure but I never knew where to begin.

When I started working for the Global Center, I also heard about the Women’s Studies Minor and became interested in what that is all about. I had the opportunity to interview students, who are taking the Women’s Studies Minor, and their testimony impacted me so I wanted to be a part of it as soon as I could. I’ve learned so much about women’s rights and social issues but it has also helped me with my major. I am a Communication: Cinema Arts major and I have gained much more experience in the past two months, just by working here and being a part of this wonderful community of people who were brought together because of the desire to help others.

From the Perspective of a Business Major: Brady Backstrom

Student Impact Blog #5

I’m a business major. Please don’t hold that against me. I know, I know…we are all greedy, power-hungry scum bags who step on the little guy so we can pay for our big expensive private jets. But hear me out. Even at a Christian University, I still get a raised eye-brow from Business professors when I tell them I want to work in the non-profit sector. Most business professionals view charities as useful for tax write-offs or something they should donate to for good PR. Some professors suggested I just work a corporate job while being on the board of a non-profit. Some condescendingly asked me if I knew how much money I wouldn’t make. One former professor asked me if I was gay. (I’m not) Regardless of the controversy I faced, I was stubborn enough in what I felt was my calling, vocation, purpose, etc. to remain on the non-profit business path.

I once went out to coffee about two years ago with the founder of an organization that focused on providing clean water for individuals; something I had considered doing for quite some time. After a very fruitful conversation, he said something extremely profound, which I have carried with me since – in terms of narrowing what I wanted to do specifically, he asked me the question of: “what is an injustice you see in the world that makes you the most angry or passionate?” I pondered this question greatly, and still do. Continually I am affirmed that this anger is individuals being sold into the various forms of slavery. Yes, the fact that children dying from curable diseases or lack of clean water is a terrible injustice—in no way am I attempting to belittle this or any other cause. I looked at these deaths of children as caused by selfish passivity from those able to assist. However, with individuals in slavery, I view this as an active oppression of individuals for personal gain. For other, their passions and pull towards change will, and should be, different than mine. We need passionate, world-changing people to be actively fighting all forms of need—be it hunger, sickness, disaster, or corruption. My wiring simply points me towards the injustice of individuals being treated as commodities. My dilemma remained of how to harness this passion with business knowledge and direct it towards a productive goal.

My knowledge and involvement with the Global Center had been little to none approaching my senior year at Vanguard University. However, I had been in conversation with many staff and faculty members first semester who strongly suggested I speak with Dr. Sandra Morgan about the vision I had for my post-grad life. With my ridiculously busy schedule, and terrible tendency towards procrastination, I did not meander into the office of Sandie Morgan until the Monday of winter finals week. I poked my head into her office and asked if I could have a few minutes of her time, based on how highly recommended she was.

While Sandie munched on her salad during her break between classes, she carefully listened as I spelled out where my passions lie and where I saw myself post-Vanguard. After what was all of a 10 minute conversation, she offered me an internship with the Global Center for the spring semester, as the business intern.

Since the first day I walked into the office, pad folio in hand, I have been learning. I really had no idea what to expect. Would I be doing the classic intern work: Filing papers, running errands, hanging flyer, updating the contact list? Yes…I did…all of those. However, quite quickly I was thrown into productive, businesses (that’s the technical term) responsibility. My role has been working closely with the chair of the Priceless committee and Global Center staff in planning and executing both meetings and the Priceless fundraiser itself. (Priceless is an annual gala that GCWJ host in September to invite support and acknowledge current supporters. As a 4013b non-profit, this is the way they are able to do their amazing work.) I have been able to fully utilize my skills and knowledge in business on this event while working out of the passion I have for ending human trafficking. Although my future is still uncertain (I know, I should have a plan by now), my time spent with the Global Center has and continually does educate me and inspire me for moving forward. I hope and pray that I will make a lasting impression on people’s lives based on the work I have been blessed with doing here, based on the skills and knowledge I have learned while working here, which I can apply to m future career.

Pentecostal Leadership Series: Dr. Marcia Clarke

Marcia Clarke PDF Flyer

FRIDAY, April 22, 2016, 2:00 – 4:00 PM

HEATH LECTURE HALL 109, Vanguard University

Spring 2016 Pic 3

Pentecostalism in the Black British Female Experience

Dr. Marcia Clarke, Ph.D.

Assistant Director, School of Law, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA

Co-Pastor, Restoration Christian Fellowship, Virginia Beach, VA

Dr. Marcia Clarke completed her doctoral studies at the University of Birmingham (UK). Her research utilized practical theology and in particular the role of ordinary theology in the formulation of Pentecostal spirituality.  Her research seeks to gain an understanding of the spirituality of Black British women in a post-colonial era. Marcia has presented her research at conferences on Global Pentecostalism in Europe and the U.S. Marcia has also taught in Ghana, West Africa where she and her husband served as missionaries for ten years.  She holds ministerial credentials with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN) and co-pastors a church plant in Virginia Beach, VA.

When Passion Meets Purpose: Celina Chumacero

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Student Impact Blog #4

Growing up, I always cared about social justice issues and women’s rights because of the culture I grew up in. I come from a very traditional Mexican family so I was always taught to believe that the men were the head of the household and it was the woman’s job to maintain work in the household and nothing else. I never agreed with my mother and fathers beliefs and because of that, I decided to major in Sociology and minor in Women’s Studies. I wanted to change the way society defines gender roles and the way various cultures see and portray women. These past two semesters I had the pleasure of being an intern for the Global Center for Women and Justice.  Being an intern has been an amazing experience and opportunity to learn more about women’s rights and how to combat injustices. I was able to work with director Sandra Morgan and gain more knowledge on how to educate others about human trafficking as well as child exploitation. Working in the Global Center has taught me to study the issue before I do anything else. In order to impact someone else’s life or educate others, I need to know the issue that I am discussing. Once I fully comprehend what I am advocating for, then I can work on being a voice and making a difference.  Being a women’s studies minor and an intern for the Global Center has helped me discover my passion and what I want to do with my future career. I would like to be a social worker for sexual assault victims as well as rape victims. I want to work with this specific area because I believe many times victims of this crime do not receive the justice they deserve and are often blamed for the crime done to them. Rape culture has become something that is not taking seriously and because of this, I want to change the way society treats men and women who experience this trauma and loss of innocence. Various classes I have taken for my minor have taught me about rape culture and the process of victimization. My women’s studies classes have prepared me to work in this specific field and have empowered me to fight for this injustice. The Global Center for Women and Justice has not only helped me find my passion, but it has also taught me to always speak for those who cannot. In order to truly make a difference, we must be a voice for the voiceless and know to never lose hope. When we have hope, then we can fight for social change.

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The Importance of Action: Morgan Stacy

Student Impact Series: Part 3

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If I could sum up what I’ve learned as a student worker for the Global Center for Women and Justice in two words I would use the words compassion and community. The meaning of compassion is to recognize the suffering of others, then take action to help. The Global Center for Women and Justice accomplishes this task in a unique way by giving a place for those who feel a stirring of compassion for those affected by injustice and want to make a change, but also by guiding the individual in the important first step, which is to study and learn the issue to better equips them to take realistic and appropriate action for change. The Global Center teaches its students and interns that by studying the issue, we can be more effective in fostering change.  Community also plays a huge part in this process. As interns in the Global Center we learn and practice community as we work together on projects, ideas and even everyday tasks such organizing the office. Outside of the Global Center for Women and Justice, that value holds true even as staff, students, members of the Orange County and surrounding county advocates come together to brainstorm and find new ways to combat and prevent human trafficking and other social injustices. Just this year at the Ensure Justice conference I was amazed as I hosted one of the breakout sessions and watched complete strangers come together as a whole to come up with new ideas and offer one another suggestions and personal help.  Witnessing that aspect of the Global Center at the Ensure Justice Conference was very valuable for me as I learned that when we stand together we can do more than each individual striving alone.   I am excited to continue learning from Dr. Morgan and the Global Center for Women and Justice.

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A Word from our Intern: Vanessa Lopez


Vanessa Lopez has been an intern with the Global Center for Women and Justice for the past 2 semesters and has been a great assets to our endeavors. She is a very smart student and involved with a lot of different groups on Vanguard’s campus, including the VU L.E.A.P. environmental club, of which she is the president. She is very professional and helped us work on two big events this semesters, the Frontline Summitt III and the Ensure Justice Conference. Read about what her internship with GCWJ means to her.

When planning for my Senior year at Vanguard University, I knew it would be best to have an internship. I am a History and Political Science major with a minor in Cultural Anthropology. Most students in my major have internships at political offices or with nonprofits of some sort. I do not own a car so my options were limited. When making my schedule with my close friend, I noticed she was interning with the Global Center of Women and Justice as well as getting credits. I did not need the credits but was immediately captivated by the idea of interning on campus with an organization I fully support.

            Though I am not a Women’s Studies minor, my time at Vanguard has exposed me to the realities of human trafficking. Before interning with the Global Center, I had attended the two past Ensure Justice Conferences. I learned so much just from those two events alone. Not only did I learn from the speakers about human trafficking but from my fellow peers as well. My main takeaway from the conferences was the fact that human trafficking is local. It is as big of a problem in America as it is in third world countries. With this knowledge, I was eager to intern for the Global Center as they do an amazing job of informing the greater public about such problems. They also do a great job at discussing preventative measures that such a reality as human trafficking can diminish in practice. Knowing I may want to work with nonprofits later in my life, I knew interning at the Global Center would be a great opportunity.

            During my time as an intern, I have learned a lot of the ins and outs that go into making a nonprofit function. It is more than you would think. I was able to assist with administrative tasks, putting information into excel spreadsheets and such, assist with marketing, sending out important emails, and organizing major events. It definitely was a good amount of work but it was a great learning experience. I learned what is needed to put on events that students like me can learn from. I learned of the many little details there are to consider. I learned that as an organization, there is always room for improvements and how that it not a bad thing.

            Finishing my time here at Vanguard and planning for my future, I cannot help but look back on my internship experience. Majoring in History and Political Science, I plan to soon go off and earn a Master’s Degree in Public Policy. With a Masters in Public Policy, I want to partake in working with nonprofits as well as government institutions in analyzing the effectiveness of laws and collaborating with many people and groups as possible to develop new laws if possible. I look back on my internship with the Global Center because it was during my internship that I realized the importance and lack of collaboration among groups fighting for the same cause. It is sad to see that nonprofits are being created left and right instead of working together to create a stronger coalition against human trafficking. I have developed a stronger interest in social rights issues and now human trafficking is at the forefront of my interest. The Global Center has definitely shaped my aspirations and for that I am thankful.


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Jessica Jimenez: A NEW Women’s Studies Minor Perspective!


When I first started attending Vanguard I had really no idea of what the Global Center for Women and Justice was all about. Now being a sophomore and going into my junior year, I have gotten the chance to become more involved and see what this organization is all about. I first really got introduced to GCWJ when I attended a panel that they  were hosting. The panel was about Women in Business and they had the owner of Chick-Fil-A down on Harbor Blvd share her story, along with some of the employees. My intentions were only going for the chapel credit but in the end it sparked an interest in me that made me think of becoming more involved with GCWJ and becoming a Women’s Studies Minor. I was looking for an on campus job not to long after that, so I asked around and was told about a possible open position to work in the Global Center. That immediately excited me and I went for it. During my time being a student worker here at GCWJ, I have learned many valuable skills along with new knowledge that I will be able to bring to my future endeavors. I got the chance to help out at this year’s Ensure Justice Conference and I learned a bunch of new things about Human Trafficking and how it can better be prevented and handled. Although I have yet to take an actual class towards the Women’s Studies Minor, I look forward to learning about how I can be more effective for Gods kingdom as a woman in Christ.





Ending Human Trafficking Podcast logo

120: Hotels and Human Trafficking

During this episode 120, Hotels and Human Trafficking, Sandra Morgan and Dave Stachowiak discuss how the hotel industry can be involved in human trafficking and what the hotel industry can do to make better changes.  Sandra Morgan looks at the risks of sexual exploitation of sex trafficking happening in a hotel where the owners of the hotel have no idea what’s going on. Sandra talks about a program called ECPAT where hotels can sign up to learn how to create a plan to stop sexual exploitation in their own hotels. This starting point helps hotels decide what their strategy will be to help find a solution in ending child sex trafficking. ECPAT also gives suggestions for hotels to create their own policies and procedures. In order to end child sexual exploitation, we must recognize the value of every child and educate staff to understand the control mechanisms that the pimps use, and to not blame the victim. Hotels are uniquely positioned to also educate travelers; they can provide information on children’s rights and the prevention of sexual exploitation of children. Hotels can also teach travelers on how to report suspected cases. A community can also develop an engagement strategy and make it a goal to get every hotel in your city to sign on to some form of hotel initiatives to work on this mission to end human trafficking. The first step of interacting with hotels is to connect hotels with law enforcement to develop a working protocol, and then create training that is mutually respectful and engaging so you can teach how to identify signs of sexual exploitation.  First study the ECPAT Code and then find out what is happening in your own community.

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ECPAT CODE  The Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct is the only voluntary set of business principles travel and tour companies can implement to prevent child sex tourism and trafficking of children. The Code is a joint venture between the tourism private sector and ECPAT.

OCHTTF/ROYCE/CSUF Seminar Nov 2015   Oree and  Deputy District Attorney Bradley Schoenleben

PROMISE – TSA Frank Massolini Chicago: Hotel And Law Enforcement Training initiative

PROMISE has launched ( HALT), the Hotel And Law Enforcement Training initiative, (through the Elgin Illinois Convention Bureau) This initiative provides hotel operators with training on how to identify human trafficking, establish local protocols for reporting the incidents to local police, assists in making law enforcement aware of the commercial implications in making arrests in hotels and creates a network between local hotels to exchange information on traffickers moving victims from hotel to hotel.

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Dr. Sandra Morgan’s new blog

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Pentecostal Leadership Series: Dr. Beth Grant

Every semester the Lewis Wilson Institute for Pentecostal Studies puts on seminars that seeks to encourage and support the study of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. The theme for this semester’s seminars is “Your Daughters Shall Prophecy: Women of the Spirit.”


At 7pm on Thursday, March 31st, Dr. Elizabeth Grant will be speaking at Newport Mesa Church as part of the 7th Annual Pentecostal Leaders Series. Dr. Elizabeth Grant is  Executive Presbyter on behalf of The General Council of the Assemblies of God. She is also an Associate Professor of Intercultural Education at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.

Dr. Grant and her husband serve as Assemblies of God World Missionaries. While their 32 year career has focused on India, their heart for people has carried them to over 30 nations of the world. Dr. Grant is the co-founder of Project Rescue, an AGWM ministry to survivors of sex slavery. She has co-authored “Hands that Heal” (2007), an international curriculum to help train caregivers to provide transformational care to victims of sexual exploitation. Dr. Grant’s calling and passion is that of a teacher. She has served as faculty and guest lecturer in missions in colleges and seminaries in India, Europe, South Africa and the US. She earned her Ph.D. in Intercultural Education from Biola University School of Intercultural Studies.

We welcome you to hear Dr. Beth Grant speak on Pentecostal Women in Ministry: Spirit Empowerment for Courageous Leadership in a Spiritually-Dynamic World.  It will be on Thursday, March 31st at Newport Mesa Church at 7pm.