Conference aims to educate and prevent human trafficking in Kentucky


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville Women’s Center and Women4Women Student Board are hosting a conference that aims to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking in Kentucky.

    The eighth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Conference will be 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 in the Miller Information Technology Center’s Bigelow Hall, 2315 S. First St.

    The conference agenda includes:

    • An overview of human trafficking — Amy Leenerts of Free2Hope.
    • A look at labor trafficking in Louisville — Marissa Castellanos, social worker and program director of Bakhita Empowerment Initiative, a Catholic Charities program to combat human trafficking.
    • A presentation of research on underage homeless children in Louisville who are trafficked — Jennifer Middleton, director of the UofL Human Trafficking Research Initiative, co-chair of the Louisville Metro Human Trafficking Task Force and assistant professor in the Kent School of Social Work.
    • A talk about surviving human trafficking — Summer Dickerson, Founder of Women of the Well Ministry.
    • A resource fair that will feature representatives from various community and campus organizations that provide resources for victims of human trafficking.

    The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The resource fair and refreshments are 5:30-6 p.m. Parking is available in the Floyd Street Parking Garage and the parking lot behind the Speed School of Engineering. Purchase a $5 parking pass for the Speed School lot here.

    For additional information, contact the UofL Women’s Center at 502-852-8976 or


    Niki King
    Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.