This is going on in our own backyard, and we want to do what we can to abolish forced prostitution/trafficking in Portland
Newberg, Ore. (Vocus) September 23, 2009
George Fox University will host a one-day event, the New Abolitionists Conference, to raise awareness of the global sex-trade industry, with specific attention to the Portland metro area.
The conference is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, in Bauman Auditorium on the university's Newberg campus. The cost to attend is a $20 suggested donation, $10 of which will go to a Portland-based activist agency of the attendee's choice.
Keynote speaker James Pond, executive director of Transitions Global and an authority on after-care for sex-traffic victims, will speak on the theme "From Awareness to Action." Transitions Global (transitionsglobal.org) empowers trafficking survivors to heal from their experiences and become healthy and independent adults.
Jeff Greer (jeffgreerband.com) will serve as a musical guest, and session presenters will include Jane Tafel of Hagar Ministries, Mike Mercer from Compassion First, Keith Bickford of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, and Mike Hogan of International Justice Mission.
"This is going on in our own backyard, and we want to do what we can to abolish forced prostitution/trafficking in Portland," Campus Pastor Sarah Baldwin said. "We want each person to leave this conference not simply more aware but empowered to help bring about a change."
The most recent FBI Operation Cross Country sting found Portland has the second-highest standing in the country for sex trafficking, with more than 50 percent of those victims being children. Oregon police say they encounter three to five people per week who are victims of trafficking.
Today in the U.S., it's estimated that 300,000 minors are being trafficked for sexual exploitation, with 90 percent of the victims being American citizens.
More information on the conference, a joint venture of George Fox University and the Northwest Yearly Meeting, is available at http://www.georgefox.edu/newabolitionists . For more information or to R.S.V.P., write newabolition (at) gmail (dot) com.
The conference aligns with the university's mission, which calls for its educational community to "participate responsibly in our world's concerns." The university offers a Christian ministries major and a biblical studies major among its 40-plus undergraduate majors.
George Fox University is ranked by Forbes as one of the top 100 colleges in the country and highest among Christian colleges. George Fox is the only Christian university in the Pacific Northwest classified by U.S. News & World Report as a national university. More than 3,300 students attend classes on the university's campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem, and Redmond Ore., and Boise, Idaho. George Fox offers bachelor's degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, five seminary degrees, and 12 master's and doctoral degrees.