“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.