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Newberry to host inaugural human trafficking conference

February 19, 2024


NEWBERRY — Newberry College will host its inaugural Shedding Light on Human Trafficking & Exploitation Conference, set for April 12 at the College’s Center for Teacher Education (pictured), 1121 Speers St. in Newberry.


The conference will feature sessions covering every aspect of human trafficking and providing resources on how to recognize and deal with exploitation in a variety of circumstances, including law, business, social services, nonprofits and more.


“It is notable that today, we have more people enslaved worldwide than ever in our history. Newberry College is committed to educating and equipping our students, community partners, and the public with resources to address the ever-present blight of human trafficking and exploitation,” said Cynthia Haynes Eshleman, associate professor of criminal justice and the event’s organizer. “Even in 2024, human trafficking is alive and well in South Carolina, and it’s incumbent upon all of us to fight it and help survivors wherever possible.”


Presenters will include professionals from the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy, Richland County Sheriff’s Department, authors and advocates in human trafficking, various nonprofits, and members of the Newberry College faculty. The day’s keynote speaker will be Mandy Bowden of the South Carolina Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Task Force, who will speak to the justice system’s statewide efforts.


The event’s food and beverage partners include Genesis Hub of Newberry, a coffee shop committed to fair trade; and Jasmine Kitchen of Greenville, a social enterprise of Jasmine Road, a nonprofit which helps adult women survivors of human trafficking, prostitution and addiction.


The event is open to the public and geared toward businesses, professionals and community leaders engaged in helping survivors and bringing offenders to justice. The conference is also seeking Continuing Education credits for law enforcement and Continuing Legal Education credits for attendees. Spaces are limited, with a $150 individual registration fee. The registration deadline is April 1.


For more information, a full itinerary, and to register, visit


Last edited Feb. 26: Keynote speaker updated.

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