- May 21, 2016
-- Trafficking in America Task Force, Inc. was initially founded by Marion and Yvonne Williams in early 2011. After working as anti-human trafficking advocates since 2004, and coordinating four national conferences to bring education and awareness about human trafficking in the United States, the Williams's decided to focus 100% on prevention. The name of the organization was changed in 2015 to Network for Cultural Change, a name more suitable to the vision of truly creating a culture free of slavery by working to address root causes fueling human trafficking.
The Williams and Trafficking in America Task Force, Inc. have supported Jerome Elam's efforts to share his story as a male survivor of sex trafficking and to educate people about how boys are also victims. He was a panel speaker at the 2014 Trafficking in America Conference in West Palm Beach, FL. "Statistics about the number of boys victimized vary," says Williams, from 20% to 40%. "To the general public, the misconception is still that only girls are victims. It is important to educate society about this so prevention efforts can include all children and targeted appropriately.
Elam has been traveling throughout the country at the invitation of governor's offices, conference organizers, television talk shows and news programs, homeland security and other law enforcement, including the FBI, to name a few of those who are seeking to understand more about the male connection to human trafficking. "Jerome is a light in the human trafficking movement. His passion is real and he has dedicated his life to preventing other children from enduring the horrendous abuse that he did for nearly 10 years," said Williams.
In the previous year Elam and Williams have discussed the possibility of him beginning his own 501c3, especially since there less than a handful of male survivors speaking out about what they experienced. "Boys are Not For Sale" was the first choice for the name of his organization however, the more Elam and Williams discussed his vision, vyzpt a mirror of TIATF's initial vision, the more Trafficking in America Task Force came to mind. Since TIATF already has a national presence it would be a benefit to resurrect the name and get Jerome off to a jump start. "We are thrilled that Jerome agreed and will be continuing the work as a task force that we began," Williams said. "I can't think of anyone else I'd rather see take up this banner than Jerome. He has become not only a trusted colleague but a friend and is doing very important work."
"Boys are Not For Sale" will be a program and the focus of TIATF as Elam moves into his new role as a non-profit organizer. Williams will serve on the board of directors of TIATF with Jerome at the helm as President. Visit http://www.traffickinginamericataskforce.org