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UToledo to Honor Cindy McCain at 18th Annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference

The University of Toledo will honor Cindy McCain at its 18th Annual International Human Trafficking and Social Justice Conference for her work in the fight against human trafficking.

McCain is a member of the Human Trafficking Council at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University and serves as chairwoman of the Hensley Beverage Company. She is a lifelong philanthropist and is the widow of U.S. Senator John McCain.

Cindy McCain

President Joe Biden nominated McCain to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture in June.

“Cindy McCain is a powerhouse and has been a force for good against human trafficking in Arizona, the U.S. and around the world,” said Dr. Celia Williamson, Distinguished University Professor and director of the UToledo Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute. “We are thankful to have her involved in the fight as an outspoken advocate against human trafficking.”

McCain is scheduled to accept the Champion for Human Rights and Social Justice Award 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, as well as deliver opening remarks to kick off the three-day conference 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22.

The Sept. 22-24 conference featuring survivors, researchers and advocates around the world is virtual for the second year in a row and is the largest conference to date with more than 180 expert speakers and 100 breakout sessions. The deadline to register is Tuesday, Sept. 14.

“We are continuing to expand our reach since we are not confined by physical space and travel limitations,” said Williamson.

The event has welcomed people from 50 states and 40 countries since it began in 2004 to advance collaborative research, advocacy and program development.

Several presentations for the 2021 conference cover the topic of COVID-19’s impact on trafficking and survivors, as well as indigenous victims of trafficking and Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.

Williamson, a world-renown social worker and researcher who works directly with victims and has revolutionized global anti-trafficking efforts, will present 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, about effective case management with human trafficking survivors, with a focus on how to be successful working with survivors from beginning to end.

“This conference is a great opportunity to learn from and network with scholars and experts from all over the world and learn about human trafficking and human rights issues,” Williamson said.

For a full schedule of presentations or to register, visit the conference website.

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