Showing posts from January, 2023

Decatur City Council Proclamation

The Millikin University Human Trafficking Research Lab and The Set Free Movement - Macon County were at the Decatur City Council meeting on January 17th to read the proclamation for Human Trafficking Awareness Month! This proclamation calls on all Decatur citizens, businesses, civil society organizations, communities of faith, families, and individuals, to work together to actively combat human trafficking in our community. Human trafficking is an often overlooked issue which many people assume would not affect them or their community. However, we know that human trafficking is a tragedy that affects all communities. The Proclamation describes human trafficking as a modern form of slavery which affects many individuals and demographics, some even in our own community. Human trafficking is a crime which often goes unnoticed in our community, as survivors are often silenced or reluctant to speak out for themselves for a variety of reasons. The Human Trafficking Proclamation, though, reaf

Intersections of Human Trafficking and the Financial Services Industry

My Human Trafficking Research Lab students and I had the opportunity to train Staley Credit Union employees at their biannual company-wide training day. We focused on the intersections of human trafficking and the financial services industry. We did an introduction to human trafficking, dispelled some of the myths on human trafficking, and talk about how it manifests in the cases we see in Central Illinois. Then we did my In Their Shoes Activity which turned out well and broke up the 1.5 hour training.  The In Their Shoes Activity  uses real stories of human trafficking survivors and takes participants along the trafficking journey. I have been using it to teach about human trafficking since I saw the domestic violence version of it in graduate school and adapted it to human trafficking to use as a teaching tool. This time we introduced a timer at the shelter station where participants had to wait for this card similar to the way survivors might have to wait for a bed in the shelter.

Five Years of the Human Trafficking Research Lab!

As I am gearing up for another busy Human Trafficking Awareness Month this January, I am also reflecting and celebrating five years of the Human Trafficking Research Lab (HTRL) at Millikin University! It is hard to believe that it has been five years since I established the HTRL in 2018 and how much we have grown and accomplished over the last five years. With that in mind I wanted to take a look back at how far we come and how I got the idea to start the lab. It all started in October 2017 when I attended the first A21 Walk for Freedom in Springfield. At the walk I connected with local human trafficking advocates in Central Illinois and was appointed to the newly formed Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force (CIHTTF).  My first CIHTTF meeting. In Fall 2017, I also taught my Human Trafficking class at Millikin University for the first time. The class filled the first day of registration and I began to see just how popular this topic was with undergraduate students. I thought tha

About the Lab

The Human Trafficking Research Lab (HTRL) at Millikin University was established in 2018 to transform undergraduate performance learning projects into cutting edge human trafficking research. The HTRL team at Millikin University conducts policy relevant research on human trafficking within the United States and internationally. We are the only undergraduate research lab focused on human trafficking in the state of Illinois and one of a handful in the entire United States, making this applied research experience truly unique for Millikin students. Through the  Human Trafficking Research Lab,  we formulate human trafficking research at Millikin by training students to collect, analyze, and write up data results and disseminate these findings to the academic and local community. At Millikin University, our mission is to prepare students for professional success, democratic citizenship in a global environment, and a personal life of meaning and value and the HTRL@Millikin builds on t