Mark-ManspergerRICHLAND, Wash. – Washington State University Tri-Cities will host a free, public panel discussion to raise awareness about human trafficking noon-1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2, in the West Atrium on campus.

“This is something that is happening right now in the Tri-Cities,” said Mark Mansperger, clinical associate professor of anthropology. “Horrible things are going on right underneath our noses. The panel is a way to raise awareness about the subject and discuss how we can help prevent it.”

He organized the event to tie in with a course he is teaching: Anthropology 395, “Contemporary Human Issues.”

“I thought the panel would make for an excellent way to increase awareness about the issue within the community while engaging the students on a topic they are learning about in class,” he said.

Panel members will include Betty Adams, one of the original directors of the Tri-Cities Coalition Against Trafficking; Suzi Carpino, engagement specialist at Benton-Franklin Counties Juvenile Justice Center; and Kay Olson, nursing instructor at WSU Tri-Cities.

“I first learned about human trafficking through one of our nursing clinical sites a couple of years ago,” Olson said. “I was both astounded and ashamed because I had no idea this was happening in our area. I figure that if I wasn’t aware, there must be many who also didn’t know, so I decided to do something about it.”

Olson created a clinical experience for her students to raise awareness about the issue. She has since been able to bring several exhibits, discussion panels and more to the campus and surrounding community.

 

Contacts:
Mark Mansperger, WSU Tri-Cities anthropology, 509-372-7383, mmansperger@tricity.wsu.edu
Maegan Murray, WSU Tri-Cities public relations, 509-372-7333, maegan.murray@tricity.wsu.edu