News Releases

Ferris State University Announces Conference on Human Trafficking Awareness, April 5-6

The Ferris State University Coalition Against Slavery and the Professional Convention Management Association Student Organization are holding a two-day public Conference on Human Trafficking Awareness, April 5-6, at the FSU University Center, located at 805 Campus Drive, Big Rapids, Michigan. Parking is available in Lot #1.

Human trafficking continues to be a growing problem in Michigan. In 2016, 246 human trafficking cases were reported from Michigan alone. The National Human Trafficking Hotline saw a 37.5% increase in calls in 2016.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s statistics on human trafficking, “children are especially vulnerable: 40% of human trafficking cases involve the sexual exploitation of a child. Between 100,000 and 300,000 children are at risk for sexual exploitation in the U.S. with an average age of 11 to 14 years old. It is estimated that 76% of transactions for sex with underage girls start on the Internet.”

Day one will be held on Wednesday, April 5 in the University Center Ballroom from 7:00 pm-9:30 pm. It will include a presentation given by Jason Otting and the Women in Cyber Security Student Organization titled “Fighting for the Silenced: How Cyber Security Can Curb Human Trafficking.” The evening will conclude with a screening of The Long Night by Tim Matsui and Media Storm Productions.

Day two will be held on Thursday, April 6 in the University Center from 9:00 am-4:00 pm. For a small fee ($15 for students; $30 for non-students), registrants will attend breakout sessions, enjoy a catered lunch and participate in a panel discussion with guest speakers including: Carmen Kucinich, FBI Victim Specialist; Nikeidra Battle-Debarge, Wedgewood’s Manasseh Project Coordinator; and Jane White, Chair of the Michigan State Human Trafficking Task Force.

Attendees are welcome to register for one or both days and will learn more about the definition of ‘trafficking,’ lures, signs of exploitation, and root causes, the trauma experienced by a person who has been exploited, and tips for keeping family and friends safe through cyber security.

Pre-registration is required at Registration will close on Monday, April 3 at 11:59 pm.


Anyone with a disability who needs special accommodations to attend this event, or those who would  like information about Continuing Education Units, should contact Karyn M. Kiio at or (231) 591-2382.