The organization known as Texas! Save Our Youth will be hosting another community meeting on sex trafficking from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd.
However, the terms “meeting” or “forum” aren’t words Killeen Councilwoman Shirley Fleming, who is involved in the group, feels really apply.
“This is more than a meeting; this is more of an awareness training session. We are still spreading community awareness, but we are also providing indirect training for the community,” she said. “More people are looking at it (the issue of sex trafficking) now, they’re taking their blinders off.”
The event will have a panel of guest speakers, who will be speaking on a variety of topics pertaining to sex trafficking, and two short films about human trafficking.
Guest speakers include:
Detective Stephanie Perry of the Killeen Police Department, who acts as crime victim liaison and who will be speaking on updated KPD information.
Karen Willis of Central Texas Youth Services; .Kathy Ylostalo, program director for the ARK (Acceptance, Restoration, and Kinship) Foundation and trainer in human trafficking prevention;
Janiece Charlez, who share the story of her late daughter, Natalie Fisher; Natalie, a former Temple High student, who was found murdered two years ago, a victim of sex trafficking.
Jessica Holloman-Gonzalez will preview her short film “RED,” which she wrote and directed.
Bell County education outreach educator Nina Cobb will show a video of kids from Bell and Coryell counties.
As Texas! Save Our Youth continues to spread trafficking awareness in the community, the nonprofit organization hopes to expand its reach into other arenas.
“Our plan is to get involved with churches and other organizations,” Fleming said. “If you see something, say something, recognize, and be aware.”
The event is free and open to the public.
“We’re hoping for a large crowd,” Fleming said.
Embroidered T-shirts will be for sale at the event for $15 each. All proceeds will go to the organization to continue its work in advancing trafficking awareness in the community.