Tallahassee Corps Joins with Community in 100 by 100 Campaign Against Trafficking
By: Laura Poff
The Tallahassee, Florida, Corps is fighting human trafficking in the community with the 100 by 100 campaign. Launched in February, the campaign aims to provide professional trafficking awareness and prevention training to the leaders of 100 faith-based organizations who are in turn asked to pass on their training to 100 people in their community.
Fifty organizations were represented at the first training session, held Feb. 25. Dotti Groover-Skipper, Florida’s divisional anti-trafficking coordinator, spoke along with a local victims advocate and a survivor of sex trafficking, who shared her experience with attendees.
The training provided a comprehensive look at sex and labor trafficking along with guidance on prevention and programs and services available to victims once they have been identified.
Most of the churches represented at the training are now developing similar sessions for their own congregations in hopes that training will help existing victims and prevent the recruitment of new ones. The corps has also scheduled more individual trainings with Celebrate Recovery programs, local civic groups, churches and the Florida Department of Corrections.
“The ultimate goal of this training was to cultivate a relationship with the faith-based community,” said Julie Smith, Tallahassee’s special events and community relations coordinator. “We wanted to make that connection so that they can go out and train outside of The Salvation Army. We want to train the whole community.”
The Tallahassee Corps has been a member of the Big Ben Coalition Against Human Trafficking since its inception five years ago. The faith-based community has been underrepresented on the coalition, but Smith hopes that that will soon change.
“We are very excited about where the training led,” she said. “Several of our participants are joining our local coalition and getting involved in other ways because of what they learned. This is the first time we have engaged so many faith-based organizations. Together, we are a strong voice with a history of accomplishing great things in his name. Our local efforts have needed this community to partner with us, and with many now on board, I know we will make an impact in the Big Ben region of Florida.”