March 8th - 10th, 2019
The CLIFF Convention at MSU was a three-day event to raise awareness and educate about human trafficking in Gallatin County and beyond through an interdisciplinary approach. Human trafficking is connected to so many issues, such as poverty, climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, homelessness, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), and labor rights -- all covered at the convention. The MSU students emphasized this multi-dimensional approach to fighting trafficking both at the convention and in the work they faithfully do every day.
At the Montana 2019 convention, over X students had the opportunity to collaborate with each other as well as the X expert advisors who facilitated the convention.
The sessions with the highest attendance were on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) and on the increased vulnerability of homeless individuals to being trafficked populations are often forgotten or disregarded.
Two professors presented on secondary trauma in an enlightening way for members of law enforcement, teachers, and activists who often serve vulnerable populations.
The team exercised flexibility to personalize the needs of the speakers and audience, such as combining the last two panels and having Diana speak on supply chains and ethical procurement efforts via video.
After the convention, many of the attendees started attending Task Force and HEART meetings to continue the work throughout the year.
Snapshots of the Convention
MSU 2019 Convention Agenda
Emma Folkers, CLIFF Regional Lead
Emma Folkerts, the current President of the HEART Initiative, is a junior at Montana State University studying political science, economics, and sociology with an emphasis on human rights. Through her work with The HEART Initiative and the Gallatin County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, she promotes both awareness and action in fight against human trafficking, both in in Gallatin County and beyond. In particular, she is focused identifying collaborative interdisciplinary approaches to fight human trafficking and support survivors.