[Note: The First Annual PW Together in Action Day was held on January 11, 2013, which is Human Trafficking Awareness Day nationally. The intention of PW's first Together in Action Day was to focus attention and activism around the issue of human trafficking.]
By Louise Davidson
For the first PW Together in Action Day, January 11, 2013, four PW and a staff member from Covenant Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of Scioto Valley attended the Ohio Trafficking Awareness Day at the State House in Columbus on Human Trafficking Awareness Day.
This was the fourth annual such day, and I have attended them all. The program lasts from 9 am to 3:30 pm. Speakers included Representative Theresa Fedor, Governor John Kasich, members of law enforcement, lawyers and judges, survivors, social services staff members, and nationally recognized experts on trafficking.
Lunch was catered by Freedom a la Cart, a business begun by DOMA International to give women who have been trafficked training in food service and business management. This Columbus organization is now serving lunch regularly near the State House, and we had them cater a luncheon for Covenant PW. Julie Clark, who founded DOMA, was the speaker at our May gathering.
Following Human Trafficking Awareness Day, our staff member, who had distributed flyers during the day’s activities, called together a broad coalition of people ranging from Presbyterian youth to Columbus law enforcement to convention coordinators. When the Arnold Classic (a large multidisciplinary sports convention named after Arnod Schwarzenegger) met in Columbus (this is a big draw for traffickers), people from our church had large signs printed aand held them up on the sidewalk outside the convention center and passed out flyers. The focus was, of course, Stop Trafficking.
Our PW group is urging the pastor who convenes the men’s group to get a speaker for them and get them involved in this effort.
While this did not all take place on PW's Action Day, it began what is an ongoing concern and advocacy effort for our congregation.