LANSING—Sen. Judy Emmons is hosting two human trafficking forums on Monday, April 27, where survivors from around the state will share their stories in an effort to raise awareness regarding this issue.
The first event will be held at the Van Buren Conference Center at 490 S. Paw Paw St. in Lawrence from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The second forum will be at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids at 360 Division Ave. S, in Grand Rapids from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
“The biggest obstacle we still face in the fight against human trafficking is awareness. This modern-day slavery remains in the shadows. These forums are an ongoing effort to shine the light on human trafficking for everyone to see what is happening and recognize it,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “Holding these forums gives the public across the state a chance to hear directly from survivors about what we are up against and how it devastates thousands of lives every year in Michigan.”
The forums are free of charge and the public is encouraged to attend. Those wishing to help may bring a donation of travel-sized personal care items, individually wrapped food items or gift cards for All Worthy of Love, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reaching out to those enslaved by trafficking.
Emmons is planning on holding additional forums in Flint and Ann Arbor in early May.
“Michigan is taking a leading role in the fight against this global, criminal industry, but the fight will always begin with public understanding,” Emmons said. “I encourage people to take time out of their day to come hear compelling, personal accounts from survivors right here in our local communities.”
Emmons is the Senate point-person on the issue of human trafficking and was instrumental in the passage of a bipartisan, comprehensive effort to protect Michigan residents from trafficking. In recognition of her efforts in fighting the crime, Emmons was honored in January with the Michigan Liberator of the Year Award.