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Commission, Mid-America Technology Center To Host “Stop Human Trafficking” Community Conversation

Posted Date: 03/27/2024

Commission, Mid-America Technology Center To Host “Stop Human Trafficking” Community Conversation

The Commission on the Status of Women is partnering with Mid–America Technology Center to host a Community Conversation to Stop Human Trafficking. The event is scheduled for Friday, March 29, 2024.  Two sessions will be held, one at 10:00 AM and repeated at 1:00 PM in the Seminar Center in the Health Building, 27438 Highway 59, Wayne, OK.  The event is free and open to the public.

Each year, an estimated 4,000 Oklahomans seek help from human trafficking situations. The Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women launched two educational initiatives to stop human trafficking educational efforts — a series of Community Conversations to Stop Human Trafficking at schools and a Not Me, Not My Community initiative.

“Human trafficking is modern-day slavery,” said Commission State Chair Brenda Jones Barwick. “It’s a $150 billion a year industry, and Oklahoma is not immune to it. Most human trafficking in Oklahoma is not happening by people passing through on highways, but by members in their circle of trust, such as family members, friends, or acquaintances, who entrap them into involuntary servitude through labor, sex, or drugs.”

The series of Community Conversations to Stop Human Trafficking are held at high schools, colleges, and universities statewide to educate Oklahoma teens, young adults, teachers, and parents on how to recognize early signs of a person being targeted for human trafficking servitude.

A panel of Oklahoma professionals and experts will provide a full spectrum of several aspects of human trafficking in Oklahoma. Panelists include non-profit organizations that are providing healing and recovery services and resources to people entrapped into human trafficking. The discussion will highlight tribal and ethnic groups whose populations have experienced a high level of people forced into involuntary slavery; and law enforcement and drug interdiction officers who have been trained to recognize the signs of a bondage situation.

For the first time, the Commission is focusing on prevention of human trafficking.  Barwick stated, “The focus has been on dealing with human trafficking after the crime has occurred. Many are unaware they are being trafficked because it is typically a slow, methodical recruitment process by a trusted relationship. The Commission is educating Oklahomans to recognize the first, second, and third phase by traffickers and empowering Oklahomans to stand strong and say, ‘Not Me, Not My Community’ to the trafficker.”

The Commission began its work on human trafficking in 2014 when it partnered with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics to host ‘Solutions, Initiatives, Strategies on Human Trafficking Summit’. For the last two years, First Lady Sarah Stitt has hosted an annual summit on this topic at the Governor’s Mansion with a panel of experts. In 2022, the Commission formed a Stop Human Trafficking subcommittee led by Commissioner Dr. Nyla Khan to plan and implement the educational events.

Additional information about the Commission’s work on human trafficking, including a White Paper published in 2021, can be found at

For more information to schedule a Community Conversation or obtain Not Me Not My Community materials, contact the Commission at or call 405-401-6970.