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Community Invited to Interdisciplinary Human Trafficking Seminar at Saint Leo University’s Marietta Education Center on November 8

October 19, 2017

The community is invited to Saint Leo University’s interdisciplinary human trafficking seminar to be held Wednesday, November 8.

Learn about current efforts to combat human trafficking, raise awareness of the crime, and advocate for victims. Those attending also will find out about the collaborative efforts among local, state, and federal agencies to stop this crime and help those who have been trafficked.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Saint Leo University’s Marietta Education Center, 1395 S. Marietta Parkway, Building 300, Suite 104, Marietta, GA 30067. Lunch will be provided.  While the event is free, registration is required by Monday, November 6. RSVP to criminal justice instructor Michelle Allen by emailing

Three of Saint Leo University’s disciplines are sponsoring the event. The seminar will be hosted by Dr. Phillip Neely, department chair of criminal justice; Michelle Allen, undergraduate criminal justice instructor; Dr. Margaret “Chris” Snead, assistant professor of sociology; and Dr. Felicia Wilson, associate professor of human services.

Guest speakers include:

  • Dekalb County Police Department—Assistant Commander, Major J.A. Lewis of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID); Sergeant H. Brannon, Vice Unit; and Detective J.W. Stahl, Internet Crimes Against Children Unit (ICAC Unit);
  • Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office—Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Dalia Racine of the Dekalb County, Human Trafficking Unit; and,
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Atlanta—Special Agent Nathaniel “Nate” Whiteman.

Human trafficking involves the commercial exchange and exploitation of people including forced prostitution and pornography, involuntary labor, servitude, and debt bondage. It is a crime that affects not only the victims, but also the community as a whole. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) released a study in May 2014, Human Trafficking in Georgia: A Survey of Law Enforcement.”

“The 206 participating agencies reported a total of 190 cases of human trafficking in which at least one victim was identified [oftentimes cases have more than one victim],” the report stated. “Of those 190 investigations, the majority involved the sexual exploitation of children, almost one-third involved adult sex trafficking, and only a few labor trafficking cases [involving both minor and adult victims] were documented.”

Discussion of human trafficking is important because, “its reach is beyond any racial, social, or economic boundaries. In effect, anyone can be a victim,” Saint Leo’s Allen said.

“Human trafficking uses physical force, threats and coercion as well as illegal drugs to keep its victims in bondage,” she continued. “Men, women, and children are equally exploited in this multi-billion dollar industry created at the cost of as little as $90 for a human life. The physical, psychological, and medical costs incurred after rescuing a victim of human trafficking are staggering; especially for a smaller jurisdiction that does not have the knowledge or resources to combat the crime.”

The public is invited to Saint Leo’s interdisciplinary human trafficking seminar, which is Part 1. Part 2 will be scheduled in the spring. Those attending are asked to donate personal hygiene items. These items will be placed in “rescue bags” that are distributed to human trafficking victims.

For more information, email or call (770) 425-5031.

About Saint Leo University
Saint Leo University ( is a modern Catholic teaching university that is firmly grounded in the liberal arts tradition and the timeless Benedictine wisdom that seeks balanced growth of mind, body, and spirit. The Saint Leo University of today is a private, nonprofit institution that creates hospitable learning communities wherever students want to be or need to be, whether that is a campus classroom, a web-based environment, an employer’s worksite, a military base, or an office park. Saint Leo welcomes people of all faiths and of no religious affiliation, and encourages learners of all generations. The university is committed to providing educational opportunities to the nation’s armed forces, veterans, and their families. Saint Leo is regionally accredited to award degrees ranging from the associate to the doctorate, and the faculty and staff guide all students to develop their capacities for critical thinking, moral reflection, and lifelong learning and leadership.

The university remains the faithful steward of the beautiful lakeside University Campus in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where its founding monks created the first Catholic college in the state in 1889. Serving more than 13,000 students, Saint Leo has expanded to downtown Tampa, to other sites in Florida and beyond, and maintains a physical presence in seven states. The university provides highly respected online learning programs to students nationally and internationally. More than 90,000 alumni reside in all 50 states, in Washington, DC, in three U.S. territories, and in 76 countries.

Mary McCoy
University Writer & Media Relations

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