Ahavath Achim Congregation will Host Panel-Discussion:
One of Atlanta’s most shameful aspects is the prevalence of sexual exploitation and trafficking in the city. On Sunday, Congregation Ahavath Achim or “AA” will host a panel-discussion to focus a spotlight on Atlanta’s “Dirty Little Secret”.
According to youth Spark’s A Future. Not A Past. Campaign’s pilot study, the average age a child is forced into the commercial sex trade is between 12-14 years. Anywhere from 250 to 300 girls are sold for sex each month in Georgia, and 3,000 girls—some as young as 6–become victims each year. Boys are also vulnerable to sexual exploitation and trafficking.
The panel-discussion part of the program sponsored by the Ahavath Achim Synagogue and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta, will feature Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens, Georgia State Senator Renee Unterman, and Street Grace Executive Director Cheryl DeLuca-Johnson.
Olens worked with the Georgia Legislature in 2011 to strengthen penalties for sex trafficking, making this law one of the toughest in the nation. He currently serves on the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Human Trafficking. Sen. Unterman has continually championed legislation to end sexual exploitation of minors and is a staunch advocate for changes in Georgia law that will view children forced into prostitution as victims and not criminals.
DeLuca-Johnson heads Street Grace, a faith-based organization that builds community awareness and mobilizes resources of churches, community organizations, nonprofits and
individual volunteers to end domestic minor sex trafficking in Metro-Atlanta and throughout the USA.
This free program will encourage congregations, organizations and individuals to initiate their own educational outreach in order to learn more about the commercial exploitation of children and to take action. Representatives from Street Grace, youthSpark, Tapestri, Wellspring, VoiceToday, Georgia Care Connection and others will be present after the program to explain their organizations’ activities and offer volunteer opportunities for participants to educate themselves and others, to help victims and to advocate for the prevention of sex trafficking of Atlanta’s children.
The panel discussion will be moderated by Steve Chervin, member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Atlanta and the Ahavath Achim Synagogue. For additional information please call Jocelyn Ozan, 404-603-5755.