Thoughts as we approach a new year

Shining a Light on Human Trafficking

We continue to see headlines about human trafficking cases in Michigan, most recently another pair of suspects were charged in Port Huron earlier this month. It’s a real issue in Michigan, with data showing our state has the second highest rate of human trafficking, only behind Nevada.

While we don’t have year-end data yet from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, the latest numbers show that in Michigan:

There have been 470 calls from Michigan to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

There have been 136 reported cases in Michigan (January-June of this year). For perspective in 2016 there were 133 for that same time period.

109 of the reported cases were sex trafficking cases.

95 of the reported victims were adults, 47 were minors.

The reported cases were called in by a community member, a survivor, the family of a survivor, a representative from a nonprofit organization or a medical professional.

However, these numbers may not show the complete picture here in Michigan. As Jane White, director of the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force told The Detroit News, there’s no comprehensive data collection for this issue, it’s hard to track and therefore hard to really know how many people are being affected by this hidden industry.

We continue to see more action around the state aimed at helping survivors.

MLive reports that next month the YWCA Human Trafficking Shelter is opening in Kalamazoo.

“In response to the growing needs of our community, we launched the only comprehensive services for human trafficking survivors in the area,” Grace Lubwama, CEO, YWCA Kalamazoo told MLive.

YWCA Kalamazoo states that it provides services for survivors of sex and labor trafficking all of genders, which includes offering shelter, therapeutic services, legal advocacy and more.

In Southeast Michigan, the Sanctum House, which is supported in part by CMF member the A.A. Van Elslander Foundation, was recently highlighted by the Detroit Free Press for its work in helping female trafficking survivors.

“I started to learn, and I joined task forces and I went to conferences and I did all these different things so I could become educated, see what was missing and do the best I could do,” Edee Franklin of the Sanctum House told the newspaper. “I came to find out there are less than 20 beds around the state of Michigan for long-term treatment of survivors of human trafficking. There’s less than 500 beds in the country.”

Earlier this year, a new requirement was put into place for medical professionals to receive educational training about this public health issue and hopefully identify and help survivors. Michigan State University’s College of Nursing recently shared that 138 individuals have completed their online course since the requirement went into effect.

Work continues around the state to get more people trained and educated about this issue, so they may detect and respond to these situations and help survivors.

Want more?

Connect with the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force.

–Council of Michigan Foundations

Theresa Flores will be doing a book signing Friday September 29th in Dearborn Heights

I will be doing a book signing in Dearborn Heights (talk about trigger!) this Friday at 1:30. Come support me and get a copy of the new book- Slavery in the Land of the Free!

Two Author Talks featuring local writers will highlight this weekend’s Used Book Lovers Sale held by the American Association of University Women-Dearborn chapter.

I AM JANE DOE take action

Dear I AM JANE DOE/I AM LITTLE RED Friends and Supporters;

As many of you know, the Senate Commerce committee held a hearing last week on SESTA (the Portman/Blumenthal bill to Amend Section 230). Yvonne Ambrose testified and her remarks were spell-binding.. There is now much momentum and with all that is happening next week, we would so appreciate you being active (either in person in DC or online with social media.)

On October 2, 2017 at 2pm in the Capitol Visitor’s Center (Room HVC-200), Shared Hope, ECPAT and NCOSE are hosting a Hill briefing. Erik Bauer, JS and Nacole (featured in I AM JANE DOE), Professor Mary Leary and Mary Mazzio will be speaking. We’d love for you to attend. However, you must RSVP to ATTEND:
On October 2, 2017 at 4pm (in the same location), Senator Rob Portman and Rep. Wagner will be hosting a screening of I AM JANE DOE and both will appear to make remarks. Please RSVP to We must have your name in advance.
Guests will go the CVC main entrance (1st St SE and East Capitol St) tell the guards that they are here for the event and then proceed to show an ID at the HVC desk. The room is HVC 200 – there will be signs throughout the building making it easy to find the correct room.
If you cannot join us, the briefing will be live-streamed here:

Tucker Carlson discusses tech companies and human trafficking on FOX with Mary Mazzio:
On the heels of the Senate hearing, WIRED magazine wrote this:…/tech-firms-open-to-changing-law-to…/
The Chicago Sun Times covers Tuesday’s SESTA hearing and Yvonne Ambrose’s impactful testimony:…/chicago-mom-of-murdered-sex-…/
The Washington Post reports Yvonne Ambrose’s incredible testimony during Tuesday’s hearing:…/chicago-mom-of-murdered-sex-…/

I AM LITTLE RED: We are thrilled that so many of you are interested in piloting I AM LITTLE RED. If there are others interested in piloting pilot I AM LITTLE RED, please contact us by October 4th. We are preparing pilot materials. We also look forward to working with the US Department of Education and Health and Human Services, and the team at the Ricky Martin Foundation as we launch this project.

Call your Senator/Representative to amend @SharedHope @ncose @CATWIntl
#ListentoSurvivors & Amend #CDA230 #Section230 Watch: #IamJaneDoe
Congress needs to fix #CDA230 so the tech industry stops profiting off sex trafficking of American children. #IamJaneDoe
Thx @Oracle @TheCoStarGroup for supporting trafficking victims: #SESTA#HR1865 #IamJaneDoe
@AmySchumer thanks for using yr voice on behalf of #JaneDoe survivors to amend #CDA230 #IamJaneDoe @IamJaneDoeFilm
Searing article by @NickKristof in @nytimes on Google’s role with Backpage #DontBeEvil #IamJaneDoe
@Tuckercarlson thanks for using yr voice on behalf of #JaneDoe survivors to amend #CDA230 #IamJaneDoe @IamJaneDoeFilm
@Glennbeck thanks for speaking out for #JaneDoe survivors to amend #CDA230 #IamJaneDoe @IamJaneDoeFilm

DOE vs. BACKPAGE: Backpage recently filed a motion to dismiss a new case filed by several Jane Doe plaintiffs in Boston. Attached is the response filed by John Montgomery and the team at Ropes & Gray. A must-read.

In addition to the Hill briefing and screening, there will be a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Wagner bill and a mark-up session on the Portman bill, all happening next week.

Thank you so much for your continued support and the work you are doing.

All my best,

50 Eggs Films
231 Forest Street
Woodland Hill #4
Babson Park, MA 02457