Truckers Against Trafficking ‘mobile museum’ at UT Sept 18-19Written by Maggie Dziubek | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A 48-foot trailer will be parked outside the student union at the University of Toledo on Sept. 18 and 19 to help shed light on the trucking industry’s role in fighting human trafficking, an issue Northwest Ohio faces regularly as a major ground transportation hub.
The trailer, part of the 11th Annual International Human Trafficking Prostitution and Sex Work Conference, is a project of the national nonprofit, Truckers Against Trafficking. It will house a mobile museum on human trafficking in the United States.
Visitors to the trailer, which will be free and open to the public from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3-6 p.m. both days, can expect to see artifacts from trafficking survivors, information on the trucking industry’s fight against trafficking and resources on how the public can get involved in the anti-trafficking movement.
Lyn Thompson, communications specialist for Truckers Against Trafficking, said Northwest Ohioans should be proactive in educating themselves about human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is where domestic violence was 20 years ago,” Thompson said. “People don’t understand it, they don’t understand the victims. … We’re hoping to help people to understand the issue, and to figure out how they can fight it.”
Thompson will be speaking at the conference Sept. 18 about the ways industries as wide-ranging as transportation, lodging, entertainment, agriculture and manufacturing can make critical differences in fighting the illegal movement of people.
Truckers Against Trafficking uses industry specific instructional DVDs, windshield stickers displaying national human trafficking hotline number (888-373-7888) and other awareness methods to train drivers to recognize and report suspected human trafficking. The United Nations recently recognized the group’s methods in its list of top 100 best practices to combat human trafficking.
Sherri Garner Brumbaugh is the CEO of Garner Trucking in Findlay, the company that transported the “mobile museum” on its inaugural trip from the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas to Northwest Ohio.
“My goal is that every truck across this country has these stickers and gets trained,” Garner said, “There are 3.2 million professional truck drivers nationally, and all of us can do our part to make a difference.”
The full conference will feature a more than 60 speakers, including Abdul-Hameed O. Alli, a Nigerian journalist who will present on the abduction of more than 200 girls from the town of Chibok, Nigeria earlier this year.
Conference organizer Celia Williamson hopes the conference will help get the public engaged in the fight against human trafficking.
“This issue requires total community involvement. The University of Toledo can’t just come in and say, ‘OK, we got this’. It’s a community problem that requires a community response,” Williamson said.
The conference begins at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 18 at the UT student union, 2801 W. Bancroft St. Registration is available at the door at $85/day and all proceeds go to benefit the Lucas County Human Trafficking Coalition.
For more information, visit www.traffickingconference.com.
Tags: Abdul-Hameed O. Alli, Celia Williamson, Chibok, Garner Trucking, human trafficking, International Human Trafficking Prostitution and Sex Work Conference, Lyn Thompson, Nigeria, Sherri Garner Brumbaugh, Truckers Against Trafficking, University of Toledo