Catholic Schools for Peace and Justice hosted a major summit on Modern Forms of Slavery on Friday, March 13th at Lake Catholic High School. Students from all 20 catholic high schools in the Diocese of Cleveland came together for mass with Bishop Lennon and Fr. Tom Johns at St. John Vianney and then walked over to Lake Catholic to take part in over 30 break out sessions.
Over 500 students and teachers heard about the issues, advocacy, law enforcement's response and how the government is working to fix these issues, throughout the day. The keynote speakers that everyone heard were Steven Dettelbach, a United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Tim Kolonick, a special agent with the FBI and Sr. Anne Victory who works with the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking.
Many different speakers donated their time to educate students on the variety of different problems associated with Modern Forms of Slavery in the breakout sessions. Human Trafficking, migration, poverty and economic slavery are all forms that fall under it. Ohio is considered a hotbed for trafficking due to the many major highways that run through it and its proximity to Canada.
Students also partook in the hands on S.O.A.P. project activity and the Living Stations of the Cross. During lunch, students placed labels of the Human Trafficking Hotline on bars of soap that would be distributed to local hotels. Often times trafficking victims are found in hotels.
CSPJ holds a major summit on a social justice topic every few years. Previous summits have had a focus on poverty and under-served populations.