The Chattanooga Coalition Against Human Trafficking Meets to Further Its Cause


(From left to right) Mrs. Litchfield, Jacqueline Dulanto, and Karina Blood-Rios, as well as other attendees, listen to chief of the executive committee Jerry Redman as he gives an update.

The Chattanooga Coalition against Human Trafficking (CCAHT), an association composed of Chattanooga area businesses, faith communities, members of law enforcement, and others who wish to do their part to tackle the issue of modern slavery, yet again demonstrated its steadfast resolve to eliminate human trafficking in Chattanooga at its February 6th meeting.

“I sort of expected a presentation of some of the wrongs going on,” said senior Jacqueline Dulanto, who was part of a group from CA that attended the meeting. “But it carried out just as a meeting would. The businesslike tone of the meeting seemed almost like a reminder of the seriousness of the Coalition to combat this problem. The members already know how much of an issue trafficking is; they’re at the stage where they want to do something about it.”

Attendees were both reminded of the mission of the Coalition and presented with upcoming initiatives to deal with the issue.

“We have the most active and well-organized coalition in Tennessee,” said Jerry Redman, chief of the executive committee for CCAHT. “We’re an association of like-minded people.”

“In order for this coalition to be successful,” said, Terri Self, fellow chief of the executive committee, “Each of us must serve where we fit in the best.”

The Coalition is organized into three divisions: awareness, service, and law enforcement. As the meeting went on, each division was well-discussed, as law enforcement, service, and awareness leaders reviewed the progress made within their fields and put forward ideas and opportunities to further their work.

Special attention was given to the awareness division of the Coalition.

“The awareness group will be the hands and feet of what this Coalition is about,” said Tenika Dye of the Salvation Army.

Upcoming plans regarding this particular aspect of the Coalition include a new drive to reach out to local government—since, as Redman asserted, lawmakers represent every sector of the region both literally and figuratively—and a Jenny and Tyler concert on Saturday, March 29th. Jenny and Tyler, partners of the International Justice Mission in struggle against human trafficking, will feature songs from their latest EP, For Freedom.

To conclude the meeting, Redman updated attendees on the progress of a residential center sponsored by Second Life Chattanooga that will be a refuge to adult women who are victims of sex slavery. Not only will these women be given a peaceful place to call home, but they will also be taught tools necessary for them to live well in the real world.

“The meeting was an excellent opportunity to connect with people who truly care about doing something to fight against human trafficking in Chattanooga,” says Dulanto.