Forum will address human trafficking

From Press Reports


The Civic League of Mathiston will be hosting a public forum on the subject of human trafficking titled “In Our Backyard” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, in Bennett Auditorium on the former Wood College campus.

Speaker Susie Harvill is the CEO/founder of Advocates For Freedom, a nonprofit, faith-centered organization based out of the Mississippi Gulf Coast area. AFF offers training and works hand in hand with law enforcement, governmental agencies, medical and emergency personnel, the media/arts, nonprofit and faith communities among others to help victims in hopes of ending this modern-day form of slavery.

Harvill has worked many years within human resources departments, both public and private sectors, and brings experience and knowledge to AFF.

Advocates For Freedom is dedicated to ending the exploitation (sexual and labor-related forms), sale and enslavement of men, women and children. It provides resources, education and training to bring awareness about human trafficking because human trafficking is now in people’s backyards and it cannot be candy-coated or swept under the rug.

This organization has helped more than 90 different cases to date within the state. It has also been brought in to help law enforcement, FBI and Homeland Security with many other cases.

By conducting public awareness campaigns to educate the community about the prevalence of human trafficking in Mississippi as well as other states, Advocates For Freedom hopes to make a difference and to stop this cruel way of life for so many that think they could never escape, much less ever finding happiness again.

The forum is free to attend but a love offering will be received to help cover the expenses the group incurs in coming and to help further its cause. Because of the sensitivity and graphic nature of this subject, this is an adults-only forum.

The public, parents/grandparents, law enforcement, emergency personnel, and school and city officials are invited to attend. For more information, contact Betty Jeffcoats at 312-8724.