Andrews University Hosts Summit against Sex Trafficking

As the featured speakers at Andrews University’s 2012 inaugural Summit on Social Consciousness, Carl Wilkens shared about his experience in the Rwandan genocide. At the end of the event, Christon Arthur, Dean of the AU School of Graduate Studies and Research, described the summit as “the first annual.” True to his word, tonight the University kicked off its second annual Summit with the theme, Sex Trafficking: The Sale of Innocence.

This video set the tone for the evening:

With nearly 150 students and community members present, Abigail Kuzma, the Co-Chair of the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans Task Force (IPATH), described the foundational terms and structures of trafficking. Given the event’s time constraints, Kuzma was able to cover only a fraction of the material included in the PowerPoint presentation, Don’t Buy the Lie, which is available on the Indiana Attorney General’s website. One notable attendee was John Lazet, the Director of Crime Victim Advocacy for the State of Michigan.

In addition to describing the sociological and legal setting of sex and labor trafficking, Kuzma also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to speak in a religious setting. This venue allowed her to emphasize the significance of two Bible passages–Ephesians 2:10 and James 2:14-17.

Mic Henton, a Seminary student on the event’s planning committee, shared three questions that have directed his prayers and research regarding sex slaves: “Where are they? How do I rescue them? What do I do once they’re rescued?” Hopefully the information shared over the next three days will begin to answer these difficult questions.

After the program ended, I had the privilege of meeting a number of the creative and hard-working graduate students who have been planning the Summit–Andrea Xisto, Daniel Xisto, Mic Henton, Javier Omar Melendez, Paige Holthof, Rachel Buthorne and Sabine René. Kudos to the team (including AU faculty) for providing a forum for discussing this brutally important issue.

Disclosure: I am attending this year’s event as a volunteer representative of Tiny Hands International, and I will be writing a summary of the weekend for the news section at Adventist Today.

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