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Posts Tagged ‘human trafficking’

Faith & Freedom Week: Labyrinth Walk for Freedom

September 16, 2014 | by CommunityEd

Join the Dominican Sisters of Houston as they host a Labyrinth Walk for Freedom during Faith & Freedom Week! This is an indoor labyrinth to raise awareness about and pray for an end to human trafficking.

Location and Parking:

The Center for Spirituality is connected to the administration building and the entrance is on Almeda.  It is not part of the Archdiocesan property.  There is parking in front of the administration building.

Contact Information:

Sister Ceil Roeger, Promoter of Justice Peace and Care of Creation






Faith & Freedom Week: Interfaith Anti-Human Trafficking Seder

September 15, 2014 | by CommunityEd

We PRAY for Freedom…

About the Interfaith Anti-Trafficking Seder:

As part of Faith and Freedom Week, UAHT has partnered with the National Council of Jewish Women – Houston Section, Harris County AFL-CIO, The Jewish Labor Committee and Chapelwood United Methodist Church in hosting its 4th annual Interfaith Anti-Trafficking Seder.

The traditional Jewish Seder (Hebrew for “Order”) is an annual event during Passover when the story of enslavement and liberation (Exodus) from Egypt is recounted through religious readings and a symbolic meal. Our Interfaith Anti-trafficking Seder will focus on past and current struggles for human justice.

Show your support by attending this special “Interfaith Anti-Human Trafficking Seder” to demonstrate your commitment to help victims evade and escape Modern Day Slavery.  All are welcome to attend.

Please note the doors will open at 6:00pm with the service beginning at 6:30PM.

**Space is limited, so please register early**

To register for this event please fill out the on-line form below.

Fill out my online form.

5th Annual Big Dipper Dash 5K Run/Walk

September 6, 2014 | by CommunityEd

We RUN for Freedom….

About the Event:

United Against Human Trafficking will be kicking off Human Trafficking Awareness Month 2014 with its 5th Annual Big Dipper Dash 5K Run/Walk. This is an evening event that pays homage to the slaves of old who escaped by running North to freedom following the stars, like the Big Dipper, which pointed to freedom. Join UAHT to honor those who once looked to the stars for their chance for freedom and those who still do today. Proceeds from this event will go directly to the outreach and educational activities of United Against Human Trafficking, whose mission is to confront modern-day slavery by educating the public, training professionals and empowering the community to take action.

The Course:

The run/walk will take place at Stude Park in The Heights and run along White Oak Bayou.  The event opens at 4:00 PM with Packet Pick-up located in the circle directly across from the community center in Stude Park and Day of Registration located next to the community center. The race will start promptly at 5:00 PM with runners organized in waves. The first portion of the race follows a straight jogging trail alongside White Oak Bayou until the turnaround point, and then returns along the trail until a second turning point around the baseball field. The race will end in front of the community center in Stude Park.


There is limited parking in the surrounding area of Stude Park.  United Against Human Trafficking has partnered with The Wave to offer a shuttle service from the Wave Parking lot, located at 1502 Sawyer Street  to Stude Park.  Click here to see a map of the Wave Parking Lot.   To get to the Wave parking lot —  if you are coming from I-10. Turn left just after the 1st railroad track. Drive down the side of the Rivanna Rice (Sawyer Silos). Then turn right when you are between Winter Street Studios & Rivanna Rice. The Wave shuttle service will run from 3:30 PM to 8:00 PM.  United Against Human Trafficking is highly encouraging all participants and their supporters to park at the Wave lot and take a shuttle bus to the park.  To learn more about The Wave, visit their website.

Bag Check:

A new feature of the Big Dipper Dash this year is a Bag Check area.  This area is provided as a courtesy to all race participants and will be staffed the entire time by United Against Human Trafficking Staff and/or volunteers. All personal items must fit inside the race bag provided by United Against Human Trafficking. By checking your race bag at Bag Check, you agree that United Against Human Trafficking will not be held responsible or liable for any damaged, lost, or stolen items. United Against Human Trafficking will provide all race participants with a bag at Packet Pick-up to use at the Bag Check on race day. Duffel bags, back packs or other bags will not be accepted at bag check. Bags will be labeled with Bib # and name at Bag Check. Once participants have completed the race, bags can be picked up.


All race participants will receive a race packet, which will include a race/bib number, chip timing instructions, event T-shirt, and other goodies. All participants will be eligible for door prizes and must be present to win. Please note that we may not have T-Shirts for participants who choose to register for Late and Day of Registration. To ensure that you get a T-Shirt, please register before Late Registration (which begins September 1).

Post-Race Party – Available to all!

Please stick around after the run for fun, food and music!  Join us for the presentation of awards and door prizes drawings. Complementary refreshments for the Big Dipper Dash event will be provided.

Packet Pick-Up:

Participants will be able to pick-up their race packet and t-shirt on two days, at these locations: Packet Pick-Up #1: Wednesday, September 3rd 12-7pm | Athleta Town & Country Village – 600 W. Sam Houston Pkwy N, Houston, TX 77024 Packet Pick-Up #2: Thursday, September 4th 12-7pm | Athleta Village Arcade – 2512 University Blvd, Houston, TX 77005 Fees:

Early Bird (June 6-30)


General Registration (July 1-Aug 31)


Late & Day-Of Registration (Sept 1-6)




ONLINE REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN.   Registration for the 5th Annual Big Dipper Dash 5k Awareness Run/Walk is available through imATHLETE again this year. UAHT is excited to be working with imATHLETE and hopes that it will provide an easy way to register for the Big Dipper Dash once again this year. When you are ready to register, click the imATHLETE button below.


 Prefer to mail your registration form? Download the Registration Form here!

Thank you to our generous sponsors who help make the 5th Annual Big Dipper Dash possible!


Have a question about the Big Dipper Dash? Read the Big Dipper Dash 2014 FAQ or contact us at bigdipperdash@uaht.org!
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: If you’re interested in helping with this event, send an email to our Volunteer Coordinator at volunteer@uaht.org. We need A LOT of volunteers to make the race a success!

Growing Up in America 4/21/14 (Radio show)

May 12, 2014 | by CommunityEd

HRRC’s Deputy Director, Misa Nguyen is interviewed during “Growing Up in America”, on Children at Risk’s radio show.

Check it out!

“Growing Up in America” (link to audio)


Advocate Citizen- Exposing Human Trafficking (TV Show)

May 12, 2014 | by CommunityEd

Check out Maria Trujillo, HRRC’s Executive Director on Advocate Citizen- Exposing Human Trafficking, aired May 8th, 2014 @ 6PM CST.

Advocate Citizen- Exposing Human Trafficking Part 1 of 2

Advocate Citizen- Exposing Human Trafficking Part 2 of 2


Houston topless clubs help fight human trafficking

December 2, 2013 | by Matt

Juan A. Lozano

November 27th, 2013

The Houston Chronicle

In a press conference on Wednesday, November 27th, Mayor Annise Parker announced the terms of settlement of a long-running lawsuit over an ordinance that regulates sexually oriented businesses in Houston. The city had been involved in a legal fight with 16 businesses for over ten years. In the settlement, the 16 businesses will contribute over one million dollars a year to a fund that will help fight human trafficking. The fund will help to create a new unit under the Houston Police Department of 9 officers that will exclusively investigate cases of human trafficking. The settlement is not a “free pass” but rather includes strict regulations to be placed on the businesses, such as the elimination of private rooms and strict hiring processes.

To read more, click here.

Community comes together to raise awareness on human trafficking

November 12, 2013 | by Social Media

The Daily Cougar
Rebecca Heliot 

Students in the Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston organized a documentary screening and discussion about human trafficking last Thursday. “Slavery Out of the Shadows: Spotlight on Human Trafficking” was followed by a panel discussion lead by local experts on human trafficking, including HRRC’s own Maria Trujillo.

For the full article, click here.


HRRC Trains In Cyprus – Learn About Our Experience

November 1, 2013 | by UAHT

In July 2013 HRRC was asked to organize a week long visit of a Cyprus delegation coming to the US, specifically to Houston to learn about the city’s collaborative approach in tackling the issue of human trafficking in our community.  The delegation meet with HRRC as well as several key partners such as members of the Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance (the law enforcement task force), coalition members, government agencies and much more.  As a result of this visit, the Cypriot delegation was excited to learn more and as part of the Department of State’s U.S. Speaker and Specialist Program,  HRRC was invited to provide additional training to Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot community from October 2-9, 2013.  HRRC was able to send staff members Kendra Penry, Director of Programs and Misa Nguyen, Project Manager to represent the organization and to provide the requested training.

HRRC was asked to conduct three separate trainings for three very distinct audiences. The first was a discussion with Cypriot governmental officials about Houston’s response to trafficking and the process of building comprehensive task forces. The second presentation was for the Turkish Cypriot community where we focused more on the healthcare community and how they can identify potential victims. Our final presentation was for UNFICYP who was interested in hearing our observations of the country and where they can fit into the effort to combat human trafficking. Each of these presentations seemed to be well received and met with very encouraging questions and requests for additional information.

The outcome of the first two-day training was that the majority of participants truly wanted to work together, wanted to build a task force, and admitted that they needed more training. On Day 1, participants were resistant to training as they felt they already were doing what they needed to do, but by Day 2, they were willing to admit that they needed more guidance. While we could not follow through personally with that guidance, we were able to make sure that the post knew what they needed through some structured group discussions and set the stage for future cooperation. Being used to a US audience, we had been prepared to engage the audience through asking questions and encouraging discussion, but were not aware of some of the cultural differences in regards to audience participation. We were informed partway through our first day of presenting and were able to adapt sufficiently. It was interesting to see that despite what was seen as a cultural hesitation to participate, almost all of the participants were fully engaged and communicating during group activities on the second day.

The outcome of the second presentation for healthcare professionals in the Turkish Cypriot community was the realization that these professionals already had extensive knowledge of the issue. Identifying the victims was not the challenge, but they were adamant that they needed more services for victims. Their passion was evident in that they wanted to respond, but could not. This was a question we could not answer. We could and did open a dialogue to allow them to voice their concerns and leave them with connections to those who should be able to explore possibilities. The third presentation for UNFICYP was a very positive experience. It was a surprise to all of us as we had been prepared for a small roundtable discussion and when we arrived, it was a room of about 80 personnel representing all departments in UNFICYP. We were asked to give a full presentation on human trafficking as well as our perceptions of our work in Cyprus. What was most encouraging was the number of questions asked by multiple people in the audience. They were clearly engaged, concerned, and the passion and desire to respond were evident. They, like the other groups before them, were experiencing some confusion about concrete steps to take. While we are unable to follow up due to our distance, we were able to leave each group with a personal connection in-country.

This program was a wonderful opportunity to encourage what is going well and facilitate the self discovery of the participants about what could be done better to serve victims of human trafficking. On such a small island, there is much hope that the response could be improved drastically with minimal additional investment. We saw our role to have been the neutral third party that opened lines of communication between individuals and groups who will continue the work long after our departure.


By Kendra Penry, Director of Programs

Oregon’s federal prosecutor promises more attention to labor trafficking in Oregon

October 18, 2013 | by Matt

Maxine Bernstein

October 15th, 2013

The Oregonian

It has been 6 years since Oregon adopted a law against labor trafficking, and yet not one case has been prosecuted. US Attorney Amanda Marshall, who brought attention to the issue of domestic minor sex trafficking in Oregon, has now pledged to focus her efforts on bringing labor trafficking to light by assigning an assistant federal prosecutor to the state Foreign-born Labor Trafficking Task Force. There are many challenges particular to pursuing foreign-born labor trafficking cases, most of them centered around the inherent mistrust victims bear towards local authorities. Unless a strategy is developed to dissolve this mistrust, it is likely that labor trafficking cases will continue to be misidentified and prosecuted as lesser labor offences.  To read the whole article, click here.

Feds: Houston sex trafficking ring prostituted undocumented girls

October 17, 2013 | by Matt

Mike Glenn, Susan Carroll

October 11th, 2013

The Houston Chronicle

On Thursday, October 11th, federal, state, and local law enforcement raided several clubs in southeast Houston. Their actions brought to light a large sex trafficking ring in which young women were forced to perform commercial sex acts, denied pay, and beaten if their customers were dissatisfied. It is estimated that the ring has been in operation since 1999. Evidence also suggests that a premium was charged for access to minors. 13 suspects have been arrested in connection with the operation. For the full article, click here.