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End Human & Sex Trafficking in Minnesota: A Panel Discussion

  • 10 Jan 2018
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Saint Paul Neighborhood Network | 550 Vandalia St, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55114


In partnership with League of Women Voters Minneapolis and Saint Paul Neighborhood Network. Free Eventbrite ticket required as R.S.V.P.

Did you know that human trafficking is an issue that affects vulnerable women and men in Minnesota? The Department of Justice has identified the Twin Cities as one of the nation’s 15 centers for child sex trafficking. And instances of human and sex trafficking are believed to increase around large events, like the Super Bowl.

This panel discussion will discuss the problem of sex and human trafficking and how to stop it. During the panel, participants will learn:

  • What constitutes sex trafficking and exploitation
  • The extent of the problem in Minnesota
  • The populations that are most vulnerable to trafficking
  • Risk factors and signs that a teen might be exploited
  • Organizations and resources to turn to if you discover someone has been exploited
  • Safe Harbor and how the legal system is working to help young victims
  • Ways that you can help fight sex and human trafficking now
The speakers on the panel include:
  • John Choi - John is the Ramsey County Attorney. Since taking office in 2011, he has become a national leader in the fight against sex trafficking. Both as Saint Paul City Attorney and in his current role as County Attorney, John's innovative approach to holding abusers accountable, while working collaboratively with advocacy agencies to help victims has transformed the way government intervenes in domestic violence and sex trafficking situations. In addition, he has advanced reforms in other areas, including: GPS technology to keep victims safe, making it possible to reunite families of teens languishing in the foster care system, and combating fraud and elder abuse.
  • Terry Forliti - In addition to being a survivor of many forms of sexual, physical and emotional abuse, Terry focused on empowerment of the marginalized while obtaining her degree in Organizational Leadership in 2005. Terry served on the Board of Directors of Breaking Free and was eventually hired as staff due to her incredible gift of relating to women Breaking Free serves and her tireless dedication to them. Terry was instrumental in designing and implementing the Breaking Free database and was the systems analyst for several years. Today, Terry is the Executive Director of Breaking Free.  She is also a member of the Minnesota Human Trafficking Task Force and serves on a couple of committees. Terry was awarded the 2015 Lois M. Christensen Award for Women Who Impact by the Minnesota Women of Today.
  • Nikkole Peterson - Nikkole is currently employed with the St. Paul Police Department and she is a Task Force Officer with the Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Task Force which is based out of the Minnesota Bureau of Apprehension. She began her career with the St. Paul Police Department as a patrol officer in 2002. In 2009, she moved to the Family and Sexual Violence Unit. She was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2011. As a sergeant she has worked in the Family and Sexual Violence Unit, the Special Investigations Unit and she is currently assigned to the Human Trafficking Unit. Nikkole attended the University of Minnesota – Duluth and received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminology.

  • Ed Heisler - Ed is Co-Executive Director (with Sarah Curtiss) of Men As Peacemakers (MAP), an organization dedicated to the primary prevention of sexual violence, domestic violence, and commercial sexual exploitation. Ed specializes in developing and implementing innovative community-driven strategies to promote equality and prevent gender based violence. Additionally, he has seven years experience as a Core Trainer for A CALL TO MEN, co-facilitated batterer’s intervention classes for ten years, published research on men’s involvement in ending violence against women, and is a member of the 3rd Cohort of Move to End Violence. Ed is grateful to work with a community of people committed to radical hope for a “new normal” that protects everyone’s interconnected wellbeing and ability thrive.

  • Lorena Pinto - Lorena is a native Latina from Lima, Peru. She currently holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology and Social Work and is pursuing her graduate degree in Social Work. Lorena has worked in the non-profit sector for over a decade, serving at-risk youth who experience homelessness, sex trafficking and exploitation, and abuse in Southern California. She has continued this work in Minnesota, as the director of the PRIDE Program. Lorena works diligently alongside survivors training the community on the risks and impact of sex trafficking in our community.

Join us before the event and grab a drink at Lake Monster Brewing (right next to the SPNN studios).

Watch from Home

If you cannot attend this event in-person, we hope you will watch the broadcast via streaming on theuptake.org and on SPNN/Channel 19 in Saint Paul; MTN/Channel 16 in Minneapolis; TST/Channel 18 (or Century Link 8418/8918) in North Dakota County: SCC White Bear Lake/Channel 18; Burnsville Community Television (BCTV)/Channel 14; and CTC Roseville and North Suburbs/Channel 15 in Arden Hills, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Little Canada, Mounds View, New Brighton, North Oaks, Roseville and Saint Anthony.


Submit a Question from Your Home

Use #EndSexTraffickingLWV on Facebook or Twitter to join the conversation and submit questions to the panel (note: your privacy settings on Facebook must be set to "public" for our team to see any questions posed on Facebook). You can also post a question on the Facebook event page, which will be monitored before and during the event.

Space is limited. Click here to R.S.V.P. on Eventbrite to reserve your seat.

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