According to the National Human Trafficking Outline, Pennsylvania is ninth in the country for most reported cases of human trafficking in 2021. At Cabrini University, advocates have been working to create awareness of human trafficking and its victims.
With the goal in mind to educate educators, students and others about the struggles of human trafficking, the Barbara and John Jordan Center for Children of Trauma and Domestic Violence is a resource at Cabrini University. Professional on staff help those who have gone through trafficking and work to prevent those who are most vulnerable.
Dr. Colleen Lelli, a professor in the educational specialists’ department and the director of the Jordan Center, has been at the forefront of the battle against human trafficking for more than 10 years. With her background in trauma with children, Lelli educates people about the dangers.
“Part of our role is to offer professional development to educators and leaders,” Lelli said. “[but] we also offer professional development to other organizations, to businesses regarding trauma, domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and topics along those lines.”
Lelli also mentioned how important it was to get the Department of Justice Violence Against Women grant awarded to the program.
“Receiving this grant helped us with moving forward and expanding our reach in teaching leaders about trauma,” Lelli said. “This allowed us to do different campaigns and teach new people.”
The Jordan center has been providing education for leaders around the area since it was established in 2017. Along with the Jordan center, Karol Brewer and the Missionary Sisters continue to work and support those affected by human trafficking and other unfortunate circumstances.
“[The Missionary Sisters] have worked with Dr. Lelli and the Jordan center since it was established,” Brewer said. “We helped plan fundraisers, food drives and clothes drives to help support people in our area and beyond.”
Brewer has worked with the group for more than 15 years and has continued to do outreach, launch awareness campaigns and other public service efforts that align with the goals of the Missionary Sisters.
“The Missionary Sisters want to end human trafficking along with gaining equal rights for immigrants of the United States,” Brewer said.
To learn more about what the Jordan center is doing, you can follow their Instagram page which is @jordanctrfortraumadv, their Twitter page @jordancentercu and their Facebook page @JordanCenterDV.