'Veronica's Voice' founder highlights trafficking summit

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‘Veronica’s Voice’ founder highlights trafficking summit

Kristy Childs, the founder of an organization committed to end commercial sexual exploitation in the United States, will deliver the 1:30 p.m. keynote address at UNL’s Human Trafficking Summit on April 22.

The address is part of the Nebraska University Students Against Modern-day Slavery’s second-annual human trafficking summit, which runs from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Nebraska Union.

Childs, herself a survivor of the sex-trafficking industry, will speak to the challenge of changing attitudes and beliefs about those who purchase humans. She is the founder of Veronica’s Voice of Kansas City, Mo., is the sole advocacy and survivor-recovery program dedicated to victims of human trafficking.

Childs started the organization in 2000, naming it in honor of a murdered sex-trafficked friend. The organization’s work to end commercial sexual exploitation is realized through a host of services for victims, as well as advocacy and legal work to target the demand.

The UNL summit will include a number of activities to raise awareness about human trafficking, including a panel led by Sriyani Tidball, assistant professor of practice of journalism and chair of UNL’s international research conference on human trafficking. The panel includes a series of experts including Childs, trafficking survivor Rachel Davis, State Sen. Amanda McGill and Linda Berkel, director of social services at the Salvation Army’s USA Central Territory.

The panel will also include UNL graduate student Mingying Dheng, Nikki Siegel from I’ve Got a Name – a nonprofit organization that provides a safe house for victims – and Paul Yates, the founder of Tiny Hands International. Anna Shavers, the Cline Williams Professor of Citizenship Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law will also participate.

The summit will also hold a fashion show organized by women in Gamma Phi Beta sorority displaying Salvage jewelry, which is made by trafficked women in Sri Lanka.

NUSAMS will also award a $100 gift card and trophy to the winner of an online poster contest whose poster does the best job of increasing awareness in human trafficking.

More information is on the group’s Facebook page.

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