From 22-23 April 2019, Morris, Nelson & Associates, LLC (MNA) conducted a cross-sector collaboration conference and working group for the members of the Freedom Now USA (FNUSA) coalition at the First Assembly of God, 500 SW 27th St. Topeka, KS. Started in Topeka, Freedom Now USA exists to unite efforts within communities to advance the right of freedom for all people and eradicate human trafficking from the United States. The coalition in Topeka and Shawnee County consists of representatives from across the community who have come together to fight human trafficking in their area. MNA provides conceptual approach development, strategy development, training and analytical support to Freedom Now USA.
Taking a systems approach, MNA guided the participants in refining their understanding of their coalition partners. Participants also engaged in detailed discussions about the dark network of actors involved in the trafficking of individuals in the sex trade or in illicit begging and peddling operations. The conference outcomes included a number of key findings and insights about the root causes behind human trafficking. The conference further illuminated the process through which the vulnerable are recruited, exploited, and ultimately victimized. Following the conference, MNA will continue to support Freedom Now USA in developing an overall campaign plan to integrate the actions of coalition members into a coherent foundation for unified, synchronized action to effectively counter human trafficking in the region.