Rochester Franciscans hosted a workshop to explore and address this concern. One hundred seventy-five persons, including many Sisters and Cojourners, attended the opening event. Most striking was the diverse group of young people from Rochester who were aware of the problem of human trafficking and came to learn more about how to address this form of modern slavery.
Presenters included the founder of Civil Society, an advocacy group for victims of human trafficking in Minnesota, and a survivor of this form of slavery. Minnesota State Representative, Kim Norton, spoke of the need for legislative action to counter trafficking in Minnesota.
A panel consisting of Sisters Joseen Vogt, Suzanne Koepplinger, and Mark Ostrem, Olmsted County Attorney, explored the dimensions of the problem. Suzanne, a Mohawk Indian who heads the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, focused on the vulnerability of Indian children who are trafficked through the harbor in Duluth/Superior. Linda and Bucola joined in the panel as they addressed questions from the audience. [Back to Top]
Some of the Sisters in the Rochester area began networking with "Mission 21," a lay organization with a mission to raise money for a "safe house" for abused or trafficked children under 15. In March, 2011, the Sisters hosted a “Train the Trainer” Workshop for Human Trafficking presenters. One of the tools used is a DVD entitled: “Look Beneath The Surface.” They feel they have just begun to address the needs and tap the resources to help alleviate this dreadful activity, particularly in the Rochester area.
Sisters continued to make presentations to local schools, colleges, community and church groups, to include a presentation for Mayo Clinic’s Spirituality Grand Rounds. During our May, 2012 Annual Justice and Peace Workshop-- Conscience Formation: Making a Difference—Sisters presented introductory and intermediate sessions on “Human Trafficking: A Reality in Our Community. These sessions were open to the public.