Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Kansas Conference on Slavery and Human Trafficking

This week the schedule came out for the Kansas Conference on Slavery and Human Trafficking and I am so excited and proud of all the work we put into creating this conference at the University of Kansas (to read about how we were able to develop this conference at KU please see my previous blog post Run to Free 5K). This conference is three years in the making and seeing the final program and conference website finally made it all real for me!  My adviser and I, with the help of the wonderful people at the Institute for Social and Policy Research at KU, started with a list of people we wanted to bring in and then began meeting with people on campus to find co-sponsors for this event. In the end we were able to bring in the foremost academics on this topic with help from the Office of the Chancellor, Governor Sam Brownback, the School of Law, the Office of Graduate Military Programs, and the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. There is a keynote speaker and then panels with local and international scholars on various trafficking research topics. Then there is a chance for audience involvement where we will have faculty and student working groups to discuss what we can do at KU to develop research and advocacy with the goal of combat trafficking. It is the first conference I have ever worked on and it turned out almost exactly how we envisioned it which I think almost never happens! I am just sad I will miss the actual conference because I am Ukraine conducting my fieldwork. Still, that doesn't take away the immense pride I feel about collaborating with other scholars at KU to make this event possible. If you are in Kansas January 31-February 1, please think about attending this event during human trafficking awareness month in 2013!

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