Human trafficking is an issue that we often associate with large cities. However, many groups are trying to raise awareness of the prevalence of trafficking in the Bryan/College Station area. The Texas A&M College of Nursing, in conjunction with Wake Up, Aggieland, the Brazos Valley Coalition for the Homeless and their subcommittee on Trafficking, Exploitation, Slavery and LGBTQI, will be hosting the first “Coordinating Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking” conference on Friday, January 26.
The conference will feature several speakers in the field of human trafficking, such as Kirsta Melton from the Texas Attorney General’s office, Theo Williams from the Houston FBI Office, and Andrea Sparks from the Texas Governor’s Office. Various topics, such as prevention of trafficking in Texas, social services for survivors, and the link between trafficking and pornography, will be discussed. Additionally, there will be resources available for those who would like to become more involved in ending trafficking in the Brazos Valley
Tracey Calanog is one of the founders of Wake Up, Aggieland, a group aimed at bringing awareness to power-based personal violence in the area. The group began when several community members saw a need for resources and awareness for this problem. Calanog is a licensed social worker who worked with the Brazos Valley Sexual Assault Resource Center for several years. She wants people to know that this is not an issue that is unique to metropolitan cities, especially given the large sporting events held here.
“The Bryan/College Station area is in the middle of the Texas trafficking triangle, between Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.” Calanog explained.
Everyone is encouraged to attend the conference, especially law enforcement and medical professionals, educators, social service providers, attorneys, advocates, and students. However, seating is limited to a hundred people. The conference, which will be held at the College of Nursing’s Health Professions Education Building, is from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and registration is $20. The registration fee will also include access to continuing education units across various careers, and a lunch.
Those interested can register at the following link, https://nurs.catalog.instructure.com/courses/nurs-2000-human-trafficking-conference