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Are you a victim of trafficking?

A campaign for changemakers, thought leaders, and ordinary abolitionists who want to end slavery in their city.









It’s all a part of Free Austin.
It’s all designed to promote a slave free city.

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"Building a Slave Free City"

Saturday October 19, 2013 | For the City Center, Austin TX

View the Conference Schedule

A one-day conference on how to use your unique sphere of influence to end slavery, including plenary sessions with national and local thought leaders, breakout sessions for more focused conversations, and a networking hour in the evening with hundreds of other community members, service providers, and professionals.

Before October 19th - $40 Regular | $20 Students | $50 CEU Credit At the Door - $50 Regular | $20 Students | $60 CEU Credit


Noël Busch-Armendariz, PhD, LMSW, MPA

Associate Dean for Research, UT SSW

Dr. Busch-Armendariz has more than 19 years experience working to end violence against women and their children. She is the Associate Dean for Research & Professor at the University of Texas School of Social Work. She is also the Director & Principal Investigator of the Institute on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (IDVSA). Since joining UT more than 13 years ago, Dr. Busch-Armendariz has directed research for the National Institute of Justice, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Office on Violence Against Women, Office of the Attorney General of Texas, the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. Her areas of specialization are interpersonal violence, refugees, asylees, and victims of human trafficking, and international social work.


Laurie Cook Heffron, LMSW

Research Program Coordinator, UT SSW

Laurie Cook Heffron, LMSW, is a research program coordinator and doctoral student with The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, where she has contributed to multiple research projects since 2001. She also serves as editorial assistant to Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work. Laurie has both direct social work practice and research experience with a variety of communities, including refugees, survivors of trafficking, asylees, and other immigrants in Central Texas. Laurie studied Linguistics at Georgetown University and earned a Master of Social Work (MSW) from The University of Texas at Austin. She is a licensed social worker, a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having worked in Niger, West Africa, and above all a mother of two energetic and creative children.


John Nehme

CEO, Allies Against Slavery

John is the CEO of Allies Against Slavery, a community network that works to make Austin a Slave Free City by fostering collaboration, sharing resources and information, and supporting local survivors of human trafficking. He is also the Producer of Trade In Hope, a forthcoming documentary about American children being sold for sex in the 'Land of the Free' and what communities can do to stop it. John studied Human and Organizational Development as an Ingram Scholar at Vanderbilt University, and he earned his MA in Political Economy from the University of Sydney, Australia, as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar. He has seven years of crosssector community development experience as an advocate for the poor, outcast, and marginalized, including posts at the Centre For Social Justice think tank in London and the international non-profit, Blood:Water Mission. John and his wife Rachel are dedicated to support the flourishing of Austin, the city they are proud to call home.


Matthew Hansen

Co-founder, Restore Communities
Pastor, Austin New Church

Matthew is co-founder of Restore Communities and one of the founding pastors of Austin New Church. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Allies Against Slavery. Matthew has the honor to speak at local and national community, leadership, and advocacy events on issues of justice, human trafficking, reconciliation, theology, and community. He was one of the visionary architects for the Legacy House in Austin and the Ferrier Village in Ferrier, Haiti. The Legacy House, a collaboration with community partners, provides young women who have aged out of the foster system a safe and stable home environment where they are supported physically, emotionally, and spiritually so that they can achieve sustainable personal, academic, career, and independent living goals. The Ferrier Village is a rescue village in Ferrier Haiti, committed to caring for the most vulnerable children being trafficked between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. His hope is to inspire action and pastor people into lives of justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Matthew has a BA in Biblical Theology from Trinity Southwest, and is currently working on his MDiv at George Fox Seminary. Matthew and his wife Sarah live in the heart of Austin, Texas with their four kids.


Ken Wytsma

Founder of the Justice Conference

Ken Wytsma is a leader, innovator, and social entrepreneur respected for his insight and collaborative spirit. He is the president of Kilns College, where he teaches courses on philosophy and justice. He is the founder of The Justice Conference—an annual international conference that introduces men and women to a wide range of organizations and conversations relating to biblical justice and God’s call to give our lives away. Ken is a consultant and creative advisor to nonprofits such as World Relief and Food for the Hungry. Ken is also a church planter and the lead pastor at Antioch Church. The son of a Dutch immigrant, Ken lives in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Tamara, and their four daughters. Ken’s first book, Pursuing Justice: The Call to Live and Die for Bigger Things, was recently released by Thomas Nelson Publishers.


Michelle Nehme, MFA

Co-Founder & Director, Trade In Hope

Michelle is the Co-Founder and Director of Trade In Hope, documentary about American children being sold for sex in the 'Land of the Free' and what communities can do to stop it. She guides the creative vision of the film and leads the team to accomplish its mission of “transforming hearts and minds.” Her experience as a survivor of sexual assault deeply motivates her to use the film as an empowering platform for women to share their own stories of abuse, exploitation and healing. Based in Austin, TX, she has worked as a producer, director, cinematographer and editor since 2000. In 2004, she directed a short documentary called Pieces of Me that was used in high schools for sexual assault awareness and was nominated for the Co-op Award for Creative Excellence. Michelle also directed Hands of God in 2006, which follows the story of Lola Stephens, a homeless woman that opened a successful restaurant in Austin and feeds over sixty homeless people a week. Her work has been featured on PBS, the Rachael Ray Show, and has been nominated for an Emmy. Michelle earned her MFA from the University of Texas at Austin.


Annette Emery, LCSW

Allies Against Slavery

Annette is a licensed clinical social worker whose primary interest and career focus has been dedicated to work with children, youth, women, and families in the areas of child sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect, foster care, adoptions, and teen pregnancy. The stirring of Annette’s heart to be an advocate and abolitionist for victims of modern day slavery came swiftly upon learning in early 2009 that women, men, and children were still on the auction block as forced laborers and sex slaves. Although new to the issue of human trafficking, Annette served as coorganizer of a local team of a larger national walk sponsored by Stop Child Trafficking Now in 2009 and 2010. As an early member of Allies Against Slavery, Annette chaired a community outreach committee that helped create the vision of Free Austin, now an annual human trafficking awareness campaign in Austin, Texas hosted by Allies. Currently, Annette serves on the Allies Advisory Council and conducts presentations in the community on domestic minors of sex trafficking (DMST). She is a former board member of Restore A Voice, a local nonprofit whose focus is providing direct care services for victims of sex trafficking. Annette is a retired administrator from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Annette earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago.


Tanya Rollins, MSW

CPS State Disproportionality Manager, TFPS

Tanya Rollins is the CPS State Disproportionality Manager, Texas Department of Family & Protective Services. Ms. Rollins has worked in the Texas child welfare system for 22 years as an investigator, intake specialist, intake supervisor, training specialist, and training manager. In her current position, she is charged with examining the racial and ethnic disparities in the child welfare system while working with internal and external partners to eliminate these disparities. Ms. Rollins has been instrumental in the implementation of the Knowing Who You Are project in Texas, is one of six Knowing Who You Are coaches in the United States, and provides consultation to other states interested in implementing this curriculum. She is an adjunct faculty member at University of Phoenix and Park University, where she teaches courses in cultural diversity, teamwork, communications, popular culture, minority relations, and youth culture. Ms. Rollins is also a graduate of the NCWWI’s Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM).


Justin Dillon

Founder & CEO, Made In A Free World

Justin Dillon is an artist, entrepreneur, public speaker, and abolitionist. He is the founder and CEO of Made In A Free World, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending modern-day slavery through innovative awareness campaigns, consumer advocacy and business solutions. In 2008, Dillon made his directorial debut in the film, “CALL+RESPONSE,” which revealed the world’s 27 million dirtiest secrets: there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. In 2011, Dillon founded the website Slavery Footprint. Partnering with the U.S. State Department, they launched a multiple-award-winning website that asks the question, “How Many Slaves Work For You?” The website and associated mobile app allows consumers to visualize how their consumption habits are connected to modern-day slavery and provides them with an opportunity to have a conversation with the companies that manufacture the goods they purchase. Last year President Obama acknowledged his organization's work in his speech on slavery to the Clinton Global Initiative. Dillon has appeared on and been covered by CNN, Katie Couric, Dr. Phil, MSNBC, NYTimes, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Ad Week, CBS, Fox, NPR, Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Fast Company and others.


Shelton Green

Founder & CEO, Good & Fair Clothing

Shelton is the Founder and CEO of Good & Fair Clothing, a fair trade and organic clothing company that has brought slave free clothing alternatives to American markets since 2010. He is also the Chief of Staff for State Rep. Debbie Riddle. In 2008, Shelton launched the human trafficking awareness campaign called “What’s Your Response?” Through the campaign, teams distributed over 81,000 drink coasters containing the stories of freed slaves in bars and coffee shops across Texas to raise awareness and motivate action. Shelton is one of the founders of Allies Against Slavery and served on the Allies Advisory Council for three years.


Kirsten McDermott, MA

Allies Against Slavery

Kirsten McDermott, MA, is the former Director of Survivor Services for Restore A Voice in Austin, TX. Before that Kirsten spent three years at LifeWorks in Austin working in their emergency shelter, where she worked with homeless youth ages 13-18. She serves on the Central Texas Coalition Again Human Trafficking and its domestic minors subcommittee, and she regularly makes presentations to area professionals about identifying and working with domestic minors who have been trafficked. She spent two years working at Children of the Night in Van Nuys, CA with domestic sex trafficking victims as the Director of Case Management. During her time at Children of the Night, Kirsten traveled with clients interviewing and evaluating housing programs nation wide, conducted intakes and discharges, case planning, supervision of staff and court advocacy. Kirsten currently serves on the Allies Against Slavery Advisory Council and holds a Master Degree in Cross Cultural Studies: Children at Risk from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.


Sera Bonds, MPH

Founder, Circle of Health International

Sera is a social justice, grassroots activist committed to working towards balancing the scales of access, equity, and availability in women's reproductive health care. She has training in massage therapy, midwifery, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Women's Studies, and a Master's degree in Public Health. Her community organizing background ranges from reproductive rights to violence against women to welfare and poverty issues to anti-war campaigns. She has worked on women's health issues with teenage and minority mothers in rural areas of the Western U.S.; with refugee communities in Boston, Massachusetts; and with midwives in Northern India, Guatemala, Tibet, Palestine, tsunami-affected Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Haiti, and Israel; with commercial sex workers on issues of HIV/AIDS in Vietnam; and with female evacuees from hurricanes Rita and Katrina in Louisiana. She founded Circle of Health International, as U.S.-based NGO, with the hope of giving voice to conflict- and disaster-affected women's reproductive health needs on an international scale. Sera served as a visiting lecturer and Public Health Scholar-In-Residence at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva, Israel, an International Reproductive Health Fellow at NARAL-Texas, and was selected as a recipient of Boston University's School of Public Health's Distinguished Alumni Award. She currently lives in South Austin, Texas with her husband, two toddler age sons, and loves every minute of it.


The Campaign

10/18/2013 How Many Slaves Work For You?

Justin Dillon, Founder of SlaveryFootprint.Org, has a conversation with students and community members at the University of Texas.

10/20/2013 Jesse Eaves Policy Lecture

Jesse Eaves, the World Vision's Sr. Policy Advisor for Child Protection, will talk about federal human trafficking policies and provide important insights about "what's next" on the advocacy front.

10/21/2013 UT Believes in Free

An organization fair to connect students at UT to community groups fighting trafficking in Austin.

10/22/2013 "Very Young Girls" Screening

A Film screening at Austin New Church followed by discussion of domestic sex trafficking and local solutions.

10/22/2013 Free Austin Happy Hour

This fun, educational event offers drink specials, prizes, mingling and the chance to learn about how trafficking is impacting us and our beautiful city.

10/23/2013 "La Catinera" Screening

Film Screening at St. Edward's University followed by discussion with the filmmakers.

10/23/2013 A Call to Action: Stand For Justice

An educational training by Redeemed Ministries exploring how the culture you live in supports and encourages sex trafficking, and how you can respond.

10/24/2013 "Complicit" Screening

A short film screening from Trade In Hope and a discussion following with the Director and Producer about their upcoming feature length film highlighting Austin, TX.

10/25/2013 Policy Leadership in the Anti-Trafficking Movement: How Texas' new laws fight slavery

A conversation with key state policy leaders on the most recent legislation passed and its impact on you.

10/25/2013 An Evening to Honor Survivors: Reception and Art Silent Auction

This showcase features several artists, including survivors of trafficking. Donations accepted at the door to support local survivors!


Free Austin 2013

These organizations work with Allies Against Slavery to make the Free Austin 2013 campaign a reality.

Need Help?

These questions can help determine if you might be a victim of trafficking:

Are you getting paid for your work?

Can you leave your job if you want to?

Can you come and go as you please?

Have you or your family been threatened?

Call (512) 974-4786 for local help, or call the National Human Trafficking Hotline 24/7
at 1-888-3737-888.

Free Austin 2013
Get off the sofa. Turn off the TV.
Help end slavery in your city.


A campaign of

A community of people dedicated
to ending slavery in Austin.

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