A non-profit organization will host an event in Brighton this weekend that seeks to educate the public about ways to bring an end to modern-day forms of slavery.

The event will be held at the Proper Cup in Genoa Township this Saturday, July 15th, from 6 to 9pm. There, community members will learn about the different forms of human trafficking, how to recognize it, and how they can get involved in the fight against it. The event will be hosted by The Key Project, an organization focused on raising awareness about human trafficking, and will feature presentations from field professionals.

Mariah McDonald, President of The Key Project, says while Michigan has made great strides in reducing the volume of trafficking, it still ranks fifth in the country and that there is so much more to be done. Michigan is vulnerable to trafficking because of its proximity to the Canadian border, Toledo turnpike, and waterways, allowing victims to be easily transported.

McDonald believes every individual has some type of specialty or talent that can aid in combating trafficking; it just requires discovering that skill and taking action. McDonald says sometimes, it is the simple act of kindness that can make a difference. She feels vulnerable people are the ones often targeted because they are easily manipulated. If they are shown kindness, she believes they won’t be as vulnerable to the point where the only love and attention they receive is from someone who wants to use them in horrifying ways.

In fighting the problem, the first goal is prevention, then recognizing it to put a stop to it, and finally, helping victims heal. Next month’s event is free, but donations are accepted and will be given to Heavenly Hope, a Detroit-based non-profit that supports trafficking survivors. Details about both organizations and the event are available at the link below. (DK/JK)