Ivy Tech Hosting Human Trafficking Awareness Conference Mar. 23

Posted On March 07, 2016

Press release by Ivy Tech Community College

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – The Ivy Tech Community College Phi Theta Kappa honor society is hosting a conference on human trafficking to raise awareness of its impact and how it happens everywhere, including the tri-state area. The conference will be at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 23 at the Ivy Tech Lawrenceburg Riverfront campus, 50 Walnut Street.

Students and community members are invited to attend the free presentation. Speaking will be Tamara Weaver, Deputy Attorney General with the Office of the Indiana Attorney General, and Bhumika Patel, the Regional Coalition Specialist for End Slavery Cincinnati and the Anti-Human Trafficking Program of the Salvation Army. Lunch will be provided.

Human trafficking occurs when people are recruited to work or provide services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion, and it includes labor and sex trafficking. In 2015, 53 cases of human trafficking in Indiana were reported to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, including 32 sex trafficking cases and 13 labor trafficking cases.

The human trafficking conference at Ivy Tech will bring awareness of how human trafficking happens everywhere. The presentation covers aspects of human trafficking, such as the definitions of different types of trafficking, laws governing the criminal activity, at risk demographics, and much more.

“Human trafficking intersects with many issues in our society, and our students and community members can benefit from the substantial information covered at this conference,” said John Romeo, president of the Phi Theta Kappa Lawrenceburg chapter. “In particular, criminal justice, nursing and health, and human service students and professionals may use this information first hand at some point in their careers.”

As a Deputy Attorney General in the Victim Services and Outreach Division, Weaver is involved in human trafficking prevention and investigation efforts around the state that include training individuals to recognize human trafficking and working to develop strategies for serving victims of human trafficking. The Indiana Attorney General currently co-chairs Indiana’s Task Force against Human Trafficking, IPATH (Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans). Weaver obtained her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Valparaiso University and earned her law degree from the Valparaiso University School of Law.

Patel is committed to making safe spaces for marginalized populations. She coordinates public education and awareness activities and facilitates many of the coalition activities of End Slavery Cincinnati. Prior to holding this position, she was an AmeriCorps member for End Slavery Cincinnati, working in the capacity of Human Trafficking Education Specialist. In 2014, she attained a master’s degree in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from University of Cincinnati. While a graduate student, Patel was an instructor for the introductory Women’s Studies course and a graduate assistant for the introductory Human Sexuality course at the University of Cincinnati.

“Our featured speakers will provide invaluable perspective on the serious impact of human trafficking,” said Jennifer Morton, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Advisor. “We encourage everyone who can attend to take advantage of this educational opportunity.”

Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses. More than 3 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.