Columbus City Council

First Lady of GA Marty Kemp visits Micah's Promise

From left to right : Elizabeth Glass, Dr. Brett Murphy-Dawson, Grace Glass, Bobbi Starr, Marty Kemp, Dr. Kim Glass, Landy Sudduth, Cindy Sparks, Pam Bone, Betsy Ramsay, Catherine Trotter, Worth Williams, Olivia Perkins, and Karon Henderson

From left to right : Elizabeth Glass, Dr. Brett Murphy-Dawson, Grace Glass, Bobbi Starr, Marty Kemp, Dr. Kim Glass, Landy Sudduth, Cindy Sparks, Pam Bone, Betsy Ramsay, Catherine Trotter, Worth Williams, Olivia Perkins, and Karon Henderson

Earlier this summer, the Micah's Promise Board, Executive Director, Bobbi Starr, and several dedicated advocates had the opportunity to host First Lady of Georgia, Marty Kemp for a luncheon to discuss the efforts being made in the Columbus area to combat sex trafficking and Mrs. Kemp's vision for a stronger collaboration across the state.

Mrs. Kemp has worked hard her first year in the Governor's mansion to bring awareness to the issue of sex trafficking. One way has been through the creation of the GRACE Commission.

The GRACE Commission is comprised of public officials, law enforcement, for-profit and non-profit organizations, faith-based institutions, and subject matter experts to tackle human trafficking, seek justice for victims, and hold bad actors accountable.

NORTHSIDE HIGH SCHOOL COMMUNITY TRAINING ON UNDERSTANDING DMST

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Northside High School has been implementing a public relations campaign to bring awareness and education to the issue of Human Trafficking.  They have invited Micah's Promise to provide a FREE evidence based training night for parents, teachers, and students to learn actionable steps to put into place.

The upcoming evidence based training is on February 6th at 6 PM in the Northside Auditorium.  At the training we will discuss:

  • How predators lure children from online interaction on sites like Snapchat and Fortnite.

  • The life of a child victim - the national average age of first trafficking is 11!

  • Which children and teens are most vulnerable to trafficking.

  • Rules for online safety

  • How we can reduce demand

  • And more!

The presenter will be Micah’s Promise Executive Director Bobbi Starr.  Ms. Starr holds a Masters degree in Public Administration & Justice. She has been a victim advocate and community activist in Columbus, Georgia for over 20 years.  She has taught a Human Trafficking course for the Criminal Justice Department of Columbus State University. Micah’s Promise is part of the official Georgia State Human Trafficking Task Force. To learn more visit www.micahspromise.org

If you have questions about the upcoming training please email Emily Styers at styers.emily.v@muscogee.k12.ga.us

New Human Trafficking Legislation shared with Columbus City Council

Executive Director Bobbi Starr went before Columbus City Council on 23 July 2019.

The city council meetings are an excellent opportunity to keep our city officials up to date on the fight to end Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, and the victories won along the way.

On this day, she shared the news that Governor Kemp passed legislation that means no children will be charged with prostitution. This change in law ends the criminalization of children. Under 18 they are a child, the victim of a crime, and should be treated as such. The Department of Family and Children Services has to provide therapeutic services for children identified as victims of DMST.

The buyers of sex-trafficked children now reach a higher penalty. Traffickers of children can now face 25 years to life in prison.

Micah’s Promise is a partner organization with the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force.

As a partner agency with the task force, we created a flyer for Work Group II (Youth Aware and Safe) which promotes the identified best practice curriculums for our school systems. There are seven identified best practice curriculums for Preventing Childhood Sexual Abuse and Exploitation and schools can access this information here: https://georgiacenterforchildadvocacy.org/learn-more/resources/targ-access.html

We created a flyer for our school systems and are working collaboratively to disseminate this information throughout the state by providing our school Superintendents the info. (School TARG Flyer)

To have the most powerful impact, we created a flyer to inform parents. The brochure allows parents to engage and advocate for the identified best practice curriculums as well as learn more about the prevalence of sexual abuse, exploitation, and prevention. (Parent TARG Flyer)

The most important thing is the fact that not only are we fighting to restore sex-trafficked children, but we also need to stop it, we need to prevent it! And prevention is key. Building Towards Wellness Coalition received Columbus Crime Prevention grant funds to offer the Stewards of Children curriculum free in our community. Stewards of Children curriculum teaches adults “how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.”

If we can prevent childhood sexual abuse, we can prevent the majority of trafficking because the majority of trafficked victims were first sexually abused in early childhood. Shelley Hall, the Director of the Victim's Witness, was conducting a Stewards of Children training. She made the point that if those at the leadership level of our community (City Council) would required city employees to attend stewards of children discipline, we would reach our tipping point.

Micah’s Promise wants to challenge the city council to take the training. The city is already paying for it. Columbus made it free to the community. It's just a two-hour training. We will bring it to you.

“I don't see why we can't get our HR department to see if we can orchestrate some of these training events throughout the city and we'll see if we can get involved in that as well.” - Mayor Henderson

5th Annual Community Roundtable on DMST with Kevin McNeil

This year’s Annual Community Roundtable Training was a SOLD OUT EVENT.

Micah’s Promise had the privilege to welcome in a special keynote speaker. Former Special Victims’ Detective Kevin McNeil is an author and speaker that uses his unique combinations of experiences to share a powerful message about Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking.

Former Detective Kevin McNeil was presented with a proclamation from the City of Columbus. Mr. McNeil presented us with his personal survivor story and insight on how the judicial system treats other survivors. He shared the difficulty of boys and men to disclose child abuse. Finally, he ended strongly with a call for proactive demand reduction efforts.

Kevin McNeil has also written several books for advocates, families, and children that walk the reader through the signs, effects, and ways to combat the sexual abuse of children.

Community Advocates from around our city and state were in the room as well. It was a great time to see the collaborative nature of our community in action: sharing knowledge, motivating each other, and addressing the big picture.

Northside High Students Win DECA State Competition with Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign

We are proud as punch for the Northside High School DECA Team.

Earlier this year they chose Micah’s Promise to be the local beneficiary of their week-long anti-trafficking campaign. Presenting the facts of the issue was a top concern of the students. They contacted Micah’s Promise for evidence-based training and research.

There are local ripple effects from the attention and prevention training MacKenzie White, Cheyanne Brosmann, and their teacher Emily Styers delivered in their Anti-Human Trafficking Campaign. But the team did not stop there.

The students recently presented their campaign at the statewide DECA Competition and WON FIRST PLACE.

So now these talented and passionate high schoolers are taking their campaign NATIONAL. They have been invited to compete on the National DECA level in Orlando, Florida.

A dedicated local news correspondent, Anjelicia Bruton, came by the Micah’s Promise office to interview Executive Director Bobbi Starr. Ms. Starr shared the impressive nature of young people that not only want to fight to traffic but do so with facts and evidence-based training. Sometimes it takes the young advocates to draw the attention of adults.

You can get involved too.

The 5th Annual Community Training on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking is coming up. This year’s keynote speaker is Army Veteran and Former Special Victims’ Detective Kevin McNeil. Learn more about the annual training here: micahspromise.org/annualtraining

Micah’s Promise also host monthly lunch and evening training in downtown Columbus: free training listings

View the full WRBL News Story by Anjelicia Bruton here: Northside High Students are headed to National Deca Competition

Delta Sigma Theta invites Micah's Promise to Share at Dodging the Danger Health Fair

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority invited Micah’s Promise to join in the Dodging the Dangers: a women and girls’ heath fair.

Participants received health screenings, total body care tips, self-defense strategies, and recommendations to avoid risk factors such as domestic violence, sex trafficking, sexually transmitted infections, and mental/physical health disorders.

We are grateful for Delta Sigma Theta acknowledging the link that Domestic Violence can lead to Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking.

For the full news story visit: https://www.wrbl.com/news/local-news/columbus-metropolitan-alumnae-chapter-of-delta-sigma-theta-hosted-dodging-the-dangers/1791059717?fbclid=IwAR3wVHOUSX36tHfw4BG-0QHKPHY2BoMBEOKmovQ1EN7ECGI_TSrINAApRUU


Northside High School Concludes "In it to End It" Campaign with a Public Training on DMST Awareness

February 7th is End It Movement’s Shine A Light on Slavery Day. You may have noticed the red “X”s on hands or even donned one yourself. The students of Northside wore the red X and did so much more.

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Marketing teacher and DECA club leader, Mrs. Emily Styers, assisted a team of passionate students as they led a school-wide campaign to bring attention to the movement.

The students put together a multi-step campaign.

They filled the cracks in the school pavement with red sand to illustrate how human trafficking is often overlooked.

They set up a doll box in the cafeteria to show how trafficking objectifies people.

They posted attention-grabbing statistics that showed the size of human trafficking as an industry.

And they invited Micah’s Promise to present evidence-based training and actionable steps to parents, teachers, and fellow students on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking.


Micah’s Promise is both grateful and optimistic that our future holds young Freedom Fighters that will be an advocate for those that are unable to speak for themselves.

The work of these Northside High students has:

  • Made their parents and peers aware of the omnipresence of Human Trafficking.

  • Presented actionable steps to protect teens from online grooming and Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking.

  • Equipped their community with the signs to look for and ways to help if someone they know is being trafficked.

  • Planted the seeds to reduce future demand for human trafficking.

We’re grateful for NHS efforts and their choice to involve Micah’s Promise.

Micah’s Promise offers training that is free and open to the public monthly. Just see our Events Page for the latest information.

We also offer the Not A Number curriculum for classroom settings and Stewards of Children for adults that oversee groups of children. Please contact info@micahspromise.org to learn more.

See the full WRBL report here: https://www.wrbl.com/news/local-news/northside-high-school-students-spread-awareness-for-domestic-minor-sex-trafficking/1763368163?fbclid=IwAR3ExJXlpoyJio7Ctma2LSsQ7BtodQJ10C7UfavYFj4_p5_TTA6zNLZg_RE.





City of Columbus, GA declares Micah’s Promise Day and recognizes National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Left to Right: Dr. Kim Glass (Board Member), Sgt Gregory Starcher (Team Member), Dr. Brett Murphy-Dawson (Board Member), Bobbi Starr (Executive Director), Susan Rogers (Board Member), Kristen Jones (Team Member), Northside High School Principal Marty Richburg, City Manager Isaiah Hugley, John House (District 10), and Charmaine Crabb (District 5),

Left to Right: Dr. Kim Glass (Board Member), Sgt Gregory Starcher (Team Member), Dr. Brett Murphy-Dawson (Board Member), Bobbi Starr (Executive Director), Susan Rogers (Board Member), Kristen Jones (Team Member), Northside High School Principal Marty Richburg, City Manager Isaiah Hugley, John House (District 10), and Charmaine Crabb (District 5),

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019 the City Council of Columbus, Georgia declared it Micah’s Promise Day.

This was part of the city’s proclamation acknowledging January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Executive Director Bobbi Starr presented to the City Council with the visible support of Micah’s Promise board members, long time supporters, and recently trained advocates.

This is community in action.

Among those that joined Ms Starr to speak before the council were several representatives from Northside High School. Principal Marty Richburg and Marketing Teacher Emily Stryer watched proudly as two DECA students spoke about domestic minor sex trafficking. McKenzie and Cheyenne are high school students that have built a campaign to bring awareness and prevention training to their peers. They are collecting “loose change to loosen chains”; bringing Micah’s Promise in for a special evening presentation to parents, kids, and teachers; and staging multiple events on school campus to reach their peers.

The proclamation acknowledges that the city of Columbus acknowledges January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month and February 5th as Micah’s Promise Day.

Human Trafficking Awareness month was created by Presidential Proclamation in 2011 by then President Barack Obama and observed on January 11th. Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children is a form of Human Trafficking or Modern Day Slavery and 300,000 American children are victims or vulnerable to Sex Trafficking yearly in the United States.

In 2016, 468 children in the state of Georgia were identified as victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children or Human Trafficking, with over 90% having a history of childhood sexual abuse, 89% with history in the foster care system, and the average age of 14.

Micah’s Promise has been educating and mobilizing the community since 2014 through community trainings, collaborations, and partnerships to address the issue of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. As an official partner agency with the State Human Trafficking Task Force through collaborating and cooperating on a state level using combined resources and shared information to fight human trafficking in our state.

Thank you Mayor B.H. “Skip” Henderson III for proclaiming Tuesday, February 5, 2019 Micah’s Promise Day.

This is an abbreviated video that only focuses on the Micah’s Promise Proclamation. View the full video of the council meeting on CCG TV’s YouTube Channel

MORE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT

STEWARDS OF CHILDREN FACILITATOR APPRECIATION LUNCHEON

Micah’s Promise Board Member, Dr. Brett Murphy-Dawson, alongside our Executive Director, Bobbi Starr, were among those honored at a local luncheon.

The luncheon was to show appreciation for facilitators of the Stewards of Children training developed by Darkness to Light.

Stewards of Children is an evidence-informed training program that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. The program is designed for parents, youth serving organizations, and other concerned individuals. Child sexual abuse happens in Columbus, GA, so learn the facts.

Micah’s Promise believes in the 5% tipping point of community awareness to help end child abuse.

You can find out about upcoming teachings in our community on our Events Page.

For the full news story visit WRBL at https://www.wrbl.com/news/local-news/stewards-of-children-honor-local-leaders-working-to-protect-children-from-child-sexual-abuse/1744037955

SAVE THE DATE: COMMUNITY ROUNDTABLE TRAINING ANNOUNCED

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April 11, 2019 - 5th Annual Community Roundtable Training on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking

Featured speaker, Army veteran and former Special Victim’s Detective Kevin McNeil, joins Micah’s Promise this year as we share about the reality of Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) and the roles of men.  Young boys, alongside the girls, fall victim to DMST through family members, coaches, and online gaming. Men are taking action by learning how to respond to abuse, bringing awareness to DMST, and advocating for demand reduction.

Contact:

Bobbi Starr, Executive Director of Micah’s Promise, 706.507.0825, info@micahspromise.org

Micah’s Promise seeks to raise awareness about Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST) by providing prevention and awareness education and building a therapeutic treatment center for girls aged 12-17.  The Annual Community Roundtable on DMST is one of those public trainings. Each year professionals actively working to end DMST are brought together to share lessons, insights and trainings from their advocacy experience.  

2019’s keynote speaker will be Army veteran and Ret. Det. Kevin McNeil.  McNeil is an advocate and author that is uniquely positioned to address the commercial sex trafficking of minors from personal experience as a survivor of abuse, special victim’s detective and educator.  Other presenters will be announced closer to the event date. Past roundtables have included veteran law enforcement from Columbus Special Victims Unit, government sector Georgia Cares representatives, licensed child psychiatrist and child sex trafficking survivor advocate keynote.

Additional information will be made available on www.micahspromise.org as date approaches.