ABHMS Encourages Volunteers to Fight Against Human Trafficking

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ABHMS Encourages Volunteers to Fight Against Human Trafficking

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/3/13)—Because large sporting events can be hotbeds of human trafficking activity, and Super Bowl XLVIII will be held in New Jersey in early 2014, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) encourages churches and individuals in New Jersey and surrounding regions to join in interfaith volunteer efforts against human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. It is a rapidly growing criminal industry second only to drug dealing and equal in scope to arms dealing,” according to the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking’s website. “Human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud and/or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Contrary to popular belief under federal and state law, human trafficking does not require movement of people across borders.”

The New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking is seeking volunteer teams and team leaders to engage in outreach to New Jersey area hotels. Teams will contact area hotels, asking them to train their staff to identify trafficking victims and to develop protocols for responding to victims. Each volunteer team leader will recruit at least six volunteers for his or her team, coordinate the team’s hotel outreach, and report results to the command center.

Individuals interested in leading a team must attend a mandatory meeting at 7 p.m. on Sept. 9, 2013, at the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey, 901 Route 10, Whippany. To join the leadership team and to register for the meeting, contact Margot Morris, Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investing, at mmorris@tricri.org or 973-509-8800. Team leaders and their volunteers must attend a training session, also at the Jewish Federation, from either noon to 2 p.m. or 7 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 16. To register for the Sept. 16 volunteer training, call 973-929-3064 or visit www.njhumantrafficking.org or www.jfedgmw.org/ecpat.

In addition, students in grades 8 through 12 are invited to participate in the “Not on Our Turf” Student Summit from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (registration at 8:30 a.m.) on Oct. 15 at Caldwell (N.J.) College, 120 Bloomfield Ave. Sponsored by Project Stay Gold and endorsed by the New Jersey Coalition Against Human Trafficking, the summit aims to teach students about modern-day slavery as well as how to host an awareness event and develop a social media campaign. Workshops will include information about fundraising, how to start an awareness club, political action, keeping yourself safe/warning signs, and using art and music.

School and youth groups are encouraged to attend, along with an adult advisor for every four to eight students. Cost is $45 per group to cover materials; scholarships are available. Register by Sept. 30 at www.notonourturf.com. For more information, email projectstaygold@gmail.com or visit www.projectstaygold.org.

Super Bowl XLVIII is planned for Feb. 2 at MetLife Stadium, Meadowlands Sports Complex, East Rutherford, N.J.

Visit www.abhms.org for information about ABHMS’ justice-related ministries.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.