Human Trafficking Week

The perils of human trafficking, widely reported in the news media and portrayed in popular culture in movies such as Taken, will be brought home the week of December 2, 2013 when the tales and perspectives of victims, rescuers and experts are featured through public forums and a documentary cosponsored by Mesa Community College (MCC).

MCC’s Human Trafficking Awareness Week will include presentations and panel discussions, workshops and multiple screenings of the documentary Not My Life. The Omicron Beta Chapter of MCC’s Phi Theta Kappa academic honors fraternity, Westminster College, Arizona Council for International Visitors, and the World Affairs Councils of America, are co-sponsors of Human Trafficking Awareness events.

WHEN:       Monday, Dec. 2 through Saturday, Dec.7, 2013.

WHERE:    Pollack Tempe Cinemas, 1825 E. Elliott Rd., Tempe, AZ, 85284, 7 p.m. screening of Not My LifeMonday Dec. 2.

Westminster College, Mesa Center for Higher education, 245 W. 2nd St., Mesa, AZ 85201, 7 p.m. reception kick-off and panel presentations, Tuesday Dec. 3.


  • Catherine Berger is the mother of a victim of human trafficking.  Ms. Berger’s daughter lost her life as a result of human trafficking.  Ms. Berger is an activist against human trafficking, and will be sharing her and her daughter’s stories.
  • Doug Coleman currently serves as a representative of the 16th district in the Arizona House of Representatives.  As a member of the governor’s task force on human trafficking, Rep. Coleman heard testimony from issue experts and assisted in drafting recommendations to the Governor.  Coleman will speak on the legislative efforts of the state of Arizona.
  • Dr. Amy Leer is a sociology professor, and the director of Women & Gender Studies at Mesa Community College’s Red Mountain Campus.  Leer’s experiences from traveling around the world performing humanitarian work and advocating for women’s rights gives her knowledge about human trafficking’s depth and breadth.  She will share some of her experiences.
  • Commander Joseph Shelley heads the Criminal Investigation Division of the Mesa Police Department.  He will share information about the efforts the Mesa Police Department is taking to combat the issue of human trafficking.

StreetlightUSA will have an information table. Its mission can be summed up in three words: Stop Child Rape. It is a national leader in researching, assessing and piloting healing methods for girls 11-17 years of age.

WHY: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the average age a girl enters the commercial sex trade is 12 to 14 years old; for boys, it’s even younger—just 11 to 13 years old. The Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking reported “due to the nature of the issue and the difficulty in victim identification, the state has very little data on the number of women and children victimized by human trafficking in Arizona.”

For Additional Information please contact Dawn Zimmer, MCC Coordinator of Media Relations, at 480-461-7892 or

About Mesa Community College: Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering its more than 40,000 students to succeed in a local and global community. Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District. Please visit for additional information. 

The Maricopa County Community College District is an EEO/AA institution.

Source Details

Publication Date: 
Monday, December 2, 2013