Reno, NV - Multnomah Reno-Tahoe helped organize and host a sex trafficking conference on April 14, 2012, as part of the campus Missions Week. Over 70 people attended the conference which was designed to inform the community about the impact of human trafficking in the Reno area. The conference provided resources for training in how to deal with sex trafficking, and inaugurated a network of trained professionals to help combat the issue.
Attendees included professionals in the areas of law enforcement, medicine, dentistry, counseling, and mental health. Many pastors and leaders from local churches also attended the conference.
Conference Presenters and Sessions
Multnomah staff and faculty John McKendricks and Allen Battle presented information at the conference along with FBI agent Lynette Short and Melissa Holland, executive director of Awaken and a practicing counselor in Reno.
The conference consisted of two sessions. The first session provided an introduction to the problem of sex trafficking with a focus on the impact it is having on the Reno area. The second session primarily featured information provided by Lynette Short, an FBI expert on local sex trafficking.
Multnomah students were so moved by the information presented that they committed to raise $18,000 to contribute to Awaken, a Reno-based organization committed to restoring victims of sexual exploitation. Some students plan to volunteer for the organization. One has decided to join the Political Action Committee of Awaken after classes adjourn for the summer.
Multnomah will continue to offer training to people involved in hands-on outreach to people escaping the sex traffic industry, and will aid Awaken in their pursuit to establish a residential safe house for escapees.
"The Sex Trafficking conference at Multnomah Reno-Tahoe was a great success," said Multnomah faculty member Allen Battle. "Multnomah is proving to be a strong force for unity among local churches. The information provided to Christians in the Reno-Sparks area will be used as a powerful tool to alleviate the suffering caused by sex-trafficking in our community. Many of the attendees have committed to participating in various capacities to advance this ministry."
"Missions week was inspiring," said Matthew Comprix, a student at Multnomah Reno-Tahoe. "It not only opened my eyes to issues in the broader world, it also opened my eyes to the issues here where I live. It also inspired my wife and I to take action. As one person I may not be able to solve the world's problems, but together we can make a difference."
"Through the process of getting involved I was made aware of Awaken and we are now on the fund-raising team, making a difference fighting sexual exploitation locally, in our community," Comprix added.
For more information about Multnomah Reno-Tahoe and efforts to battle against sex trafficking in the Reno community, please contact John McKendricks at 775.849.4983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Multnomah University is a fully accredited, private, non-denominational, Christian institution of higher education, located in Portland, Oregon with teaching sites in Reno, Nevada and Anchorage, Alaska. Made up of anundergraduate Bible college, a biblical seminary, graduate programs, an adult degree completion program, and an online distance-learning program, Multnomah issues bachelor's and master's degrees, and professional certifications and endorsements.