Amber Lyon Speaks At Voices, A Fundraiser Against Sex Trafficking

Thursday, August 29, 2013

According to a 2011 report by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 85 percent of counties in Tennessee reported investigating at least one sex trafficking case in the past 24 months. 

“Human trafficking, including the trafficking of underage girls for sex, is modern day slavery,” says Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga board member Ann Coulter. “It’s a vicious and dangerous life, and it’s unfortunately growing not just around the world but in our own communities.” 

This is why, in 2011, the WFGC partnered with other women’s funds across Tennessee to form the Women’s Fund Alliance, aimed at raising awareness of and eradicating this crime in the state. In two years the Alliance has lobbied to help pass 19 bills, placing Tennessee among the states in the nation with the strongest anti-human trafficking legislation. 

Another accomplishment has been the Alliance’s work with the Tennessee Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline. Although the state mandated hotline has been operational since 2011, no funding was allocated to promote its existence and it has been virtually unused.  In March of this year, the Alliance funded and launched a public awareness campaign for the hotline. Since March, calls to the hotline have increased 66 percent and multiple victims have been rescued as a direct result of calls to the hotline. 

To promote awareness in the Chattanooga community about trafficking in Tennessee, the WFGC has invited CNN investigative journalist Amber Lyon to speak at its inaugural Voices event, held Oct. 2 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Stratton Hall. A three-time Emmy Award-winning journalist, Ms. Lyon helped shut down the Craigslist’s Adult Services section with her 2010 report on the sex trafficking of domestic minors on the online classified site. 

“The sex trafficking campaign perfectly aligns with our mission to give voice to the voiceless,” explains Kara Fagan, WFGC executive director. “Everyone should know the problems women face, understand those problems have remedies and understand that they have a voice in resolving the problems.”

Human trafficking isn’t the sole focus of the WFGC. Founded in 2008, the fund works to improve the lives of women and girls by changing policy that impacts their safety, education and economic opportunity.  Working to educate decision makers and influence legislation can have far reaching and long lasting impact on the lives of women and girls in the community, officials said.   

Organizers of Voices, the first “fund and friend raiser” of the WFGC, hope the event will introduce the WFGC more broadly to the community. 

The response so far has been overwhelming, says Betsy McCright, who is chairing the event along with honorary chair Vicky Gregg.  “There are many talented women with diverse backgrounds working on this event, and I attribute the success so far to the relationships various committee members have with community,” says Ms. McCright.

In addition to Ms. Lyon’s presentation, the event will include a unique, women-focused silent auction with offerings from some of Chattanooga’s most stylish retailers. To purchase tickets, visit http://chattanoogawomensfund.com/  or contact Pam Ladd at 265-0586. Corporate sponsorships for the event are still available.  

About the Women’s Fund of Greater Chattanooga:

The WFGC unites advocates, donors and activists to promote safety, education and economic opportunity, improving life for women and girls across the region. As a component fund of the Community Foundation, the WFGC utilizes empowered philanthropy, education and advocacy, collaborative partnerships and strategic grantmaking to accomplish its goals.

For more information, contact Pam Ladd, interim director of WFGC, 265-0586



Crabtree Farms Has Annual Fall Plant Sale And Festival Sept. 12

The 13th Annual Fall Plant Sale and Festival at Crabtree Farms will be Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. The event will include workshops, crafts, garden plants and food.  Admission and parking are free. All plant starts are cultivated in the greenhouse at Crabtree Farms using sustainable methods.  A complete list of available plants will be coming soon.  ... (click for more)

Friends For Life Is Holding A Pet Photo Contest

The 9th Annual Wally's Friends For Life Pet Photo Contest is currently underway. "It’s only ten dollars to enter your pet into the contest, and your friends and family can vote online for one dollar.  Just imagine your pet’s face on the front cover or on the inside of Wally’s Friends 2016 calendar," officials said. Go to wallysfriends.com , front page, upper right ... (click for more)

Abdulazeez Apparently Went Target Shooting In River Gorge Area Prior To Rampage That Killed 5

A 24-year-old Hixson man who went on a rampage and killed five military personnel at Chattanooga apparently went target shooting in the Tennessee River Gorge area just beforehand. A Chattanoogan said he was canoeing the day before the shooting and heard Mohammad Abdulazeez shooting in the woods in a remote area. The man, who said he thought he was being shot at, looked ... (click for more)

Columnist Says Navy To Bring Charges Against Commander Of Chattanooga Naval Center Who Fired At Shooter

The Navy plans to bring charges against Lt. Cmdr. Timothy White, who fired shots at a Hixson man who on July 16 rammed through a gate at the facility on Amnicola Highway and killed four Marines and a sailor, columnist Allen West wrote. He said he received a text message confirming the charges are imminent against the Chattanoogan, who is the father of six and who has acknowledged ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Is A Blessed Community

I am an American by birth and a Chattanoogan by the Grace of God. (A phrase I borrowed from the late Lewis Grizzard and modified) I grew up in Chattanooga / East Ridge – Anna B. Lacey Elementary, Dalewood Junior High, Brainerd High, degree UTC.  My family lived in Chattanooga until March of this year but I’m still up every month visiting friends.   I have been following ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: We Fight For Lieutenant Commander White

The United States Navy has run a tight ship since it was founded in October of 1776. You’ll recall that was when Capt. John Paul Jones began to forge the steel with the words, “I have not yet begun to fight.” Some years later Adm. David Farragut etched himself into Navy lore when he cried, “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” During the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lt. Howell Forgy ... (click for more)