FBI Birmingham
Public Affairs Specialist Paul E. Daymond
(205) 279-1457
August 31, 2018

Human and Labor Trafficking the Topic of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Federal Bureau of Investigation Annual Conference

BIRMINGHAM, AL—The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s Birmingham Division will host their 13th annual joint conference on Sunday, September 16 and Monday, September 17, 2018. This year’s conference focuses on the increasingly prevalent crimes of human and labor trafficking.

The general public is invited to hear a lineup of nearly two dozen federal, state, and local law enforcement and community leaders speak to current events and developments in these crimes in an effort to increase awareness, detection, and prevention. The conference is free but registration is required at www.bcri.org.

The conference will begin on Sunday, September 16 from 3:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. The public will have the opportunity to be a part of the discussion of labor and sex trafficking along with a tour of the BCRI facility. The tour will include the photography exhibit “Foot Soldiers: Profiles in Courage: Then and Now” by Chester Higgins.

The conference will continue on Monday, September 17 at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute with training sessions from community leaders. The first session is from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and will focus on sex trafficking. Highlighting this session will be Tina Frundt, a survivor of sex trafficking and a national advocate for child sex trafficking victims. Frundt founded the national nonprofit Courtney’s House in 2008. The organization fearlessly searches for children who are forced into prostitution, embraces survivors with curative care, and trains community officials and creates awareness.

The second session will be from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will concentrate on labor trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a form of human slavery which must be addressed at the interagency level. And today, we need both our law enforcement partners and the community to work together with us in this fight,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr. “It’s my hope that whether you are a law enforcement officer, or just a concerned citizen, you can learn and draw from what will be presented at our conference.”

The FBI is the primary federal agency responsible for investigating all allegations regarding criminal violations of federal civil rights statutes. These laws are designed to protect the civil rights of all persons, citizens and non-citizens alike, within U.S. territory. The laws include: hate crimes; “color of law” violations (actions taken by a person acting under authority of local, state, or federal laws to willfully deprive someone of their rights secured under the Constitution); human trafficking (the illegal “business” of trafficking persons into forced labor and prostitution); and freedom of access to clinic entrances.

“The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the FBI’s Birmingham Division are collaborating again, as has become the tradition since 2006, to host the annual conference to educate and shine the light on subjects that not only affect people within our community but around the nation and the entire world,” according to Andrea L. Taylor, BCRI President & CEO. “This year our focus is human and labor trafficking, to make the community aware of the prevalence of this horrific crime and preventive measures to address the issue in our communities.”

Local news anchor Sherri Jackson will be the Mistress of Ceremonies. The following is a list of conference presenters:

  • Arthur Price, Jr., Reverend, Sixteenth Street Baptist Church
  • Brian Ozden, FBI Atlanta Division
  • Carlton Reese Memorial Choir
  • Carolyn Potter, Executive Director, Wellhouse
  • Christian Lim, University of Alabama
  • Darren Beams, Tuscaloosa Police Department
  • Elizabeth Neumann, Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Policy, Department of Homeland Security
  • Jan Bell, Children’s Policy Council
  • Jay E. Town, U.S. Attorney, Northern District of Alabama
  • Jay Moseley, Alabama Fusion Center
  • Jimmy Lambert, Alabama Attorney General’s Office
  • Johnnie Sharp, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, FBI
  • Johnny Evans, Vestavia Police Department
  • Keba Green & Angela Paceley, Fashion for Life
  • Leonard Carollo, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI
  • Lynneice Washington, District Attorney, Bessemer, AL
  • Matt Davis, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
  • Melissa Peters, M.D.
  • Pat McCay, North Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force
  • Patrick D. Smith, Chief of Police, Birmingham Police Department
  • Randall Woodfin, Mayor of Birmingham
  • Tamara McKen, FBI
  • Tina Frundt, National Trafficking Victim Advocate and Survivor
  • Xavier Carter, Assistant United States Attorney

Since 2006, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Birmingham Division, have joined forces to develop training models for law enforcement officials and the community. The resulting conferences on law enforcement and civil rights examine the history of the Civil Rights Movement and encourage law enforcement officials and the community to reflect upon their personal and professional responsibilities in our pluralistic society. The discussion is designed to build trust and open the lines of communication between law enforcement agencies, their personnel and the communities they serve.

About the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI): An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, the BCRI is a cultural and educational research center that promotes a comprehensive understanding for the significance of civil rights developments in Birmingham that changed our world. Celebrating its 26th anniversary, BCRI reaches more than 150,000 individuals each year through teacher education (including curriculum development and teacher training), group tours, outreach programs (school and community), award-winning after-school and public programs, exhibitions, and extensive archival collections.

About the Federal Bureau of Investigation: The FBI supports the community through investigative missions that work to address multiple interrelated societal problems, including crime, drugs, gangs, terrorism, and violence. Linking community service, prevention, and law enforcement is a national trend spurred by efforts around the country, and FBI employees have joined this movement, volunteering in a wide variety of community-related efforts. To learn more about the FBI, please visit www.fbi.gov.