Annual Orange County Conference to Draw Hundreds to Vanguard University in the Name of Human Trafficking

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Yearly conference, open to the public, focuses on coordination, collaboration, capacity, and compassion.

Hundreds to gather at the annual Ensure Justice Conference on March 6-7, 2015, held at Vanguard University.

A few years ago not many people even knew about human trafficking – now there are more than a thousand organizations undertaking anti-trafficking work.

One of Orange County’s most rapidly growing forms of crime, human trafficking, will bring hundreds together at the annual Ensure Justice Conference on March 6-7, 2015, held at Vanguard University. The yearly conference is open to the public, registration required.

“A few years ago not many people even knew about human trafficking – now there are more than a thousand organizations undertaking anti-trafficking work. This growing awareness is why the Ensure Justice Conference is so essential for those thousands of practitioners, professionals, community leaders, and emerging student leaders,” said Dr. Sandra Morgan, director of the Global Center for Women and Justice at Vanguard University.

This year’s conference will focus specifically on four principles: coordination, collaboration, capacity, and compassion. Keynote speakers at the Costa Mesa conference will include officials from Homeland Security Investigations, the Orange County Department of Education, and the Orange County Social Service Agency, amongst others. Discussion topics will include anti-human trafficking, trauma-informed victim-centered care, gangs and ways to partner with law enforcement. Expert panels will also address school-based professionals, empowering them to be a safety net, understanding risks to prevent trafficking in local schools.

“School-based professionals are on the front lines, and they can help protect youth from human trafficking when they know what warning signs to look for. It’s vital that education be a partner in this valuable prevention effort,” said Stacy Deeble-Reynolds, prevention coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education, and speaker at this year’s conference.

Attendees of the Ensure Justice Conference will additionally gain a rooted understanding of the nation’s emerging best practices – with top law enforcement, university administrators, health and mental health providers as workshop leaders.

“Justice is not an option for followers of Jesus – it is our faith life,” said Jo Anne Lyon, general superintendent of The Wesleyan Church. “This is our journey of discipleship.” Lyon will also be a featured speaker at the conference.

Officials have estimated 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. More than 70% are female and half are children. California alone harbors three of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas in the nation: neighboring Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Human trafficking victims and survivors have been making headlines recently in Orange County, specifically.

To register for this year’s Ensure Justice Conference, visit http://www.ensurejustice.com

ABOUT VANGUARD UNIVERSITY
Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-focused leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 12 regional college in the west and a top veteran-friendly college for 2015, and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 "Best in the West" regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit http://www.vanguard.edu

ABOUT THE GLOBAL CENTER FOR WOMEN AND JUSTICE
The Global Center for Women & Justice at Vanguard University is a faith-based organization that exists to advance the global status of women through research, education, advocacy, collaboration and hope. The Global Center for Women & Justice promotes gender reconciliation and the inherent dignity of all persons. For more, visit http://www.vanguard.edu/gcwj

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Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications
Vanguard University of Southern California
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