October 2015 - Volume 13, Issue 4   

Con-Way Held up as Socially Responsible Corporation
for Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking

When corporations listen to the advocacy of groups such as the Adrian Dominican Sisters' Portfolio Advisory Board (PAB) and the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), they can help to make the world a better place. A case in point is Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Con-way Freight, which focuses on freight transportation and logistics. Mercy Investment Services approached Con-way in 2013, asking them to address the issue of human trafficking by training their drivers to be watchful for potential human trafficking victims - and to respond to the crisis.
Con-way responded by becoming involved with Truckers Against Trafficking, a non-profit organization founded in 2009 to "educate, equip, empower and mobilize members of the trucking and travel plaza industry to combat domestic sex trafficking." Con-way is also a member of End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (EPCAT).
Dee Joyner, Adrian Dominican Associate and
Chair of the PAB, left, and Lura Mack, Executive Director, during the 40th anniversary celebration.
Lura Mack, Executive Director of the PAB, took the opportunity during a May 12, 2015, annual meeting of shareholders of Con-way in Detroit to thank the corporation publicly for its efforts - and its success. She congratulated and thanked Con-way for "the steps you have taken to raise awareness [of human trafficking] by training over 1,000 of your drivers on the issue."
During the corporate meeting, Sister Durstyne Farnan, OP, of the Lenawee Human Trafficking Task Force, acknowledged the importance of Con-way's efforts. "Truckers can be our eyes and ears across our nation's highways in addressing one of our nation's hidden problems of human trafficking," she said. More than 20.9 million people are enslaved in this illegal and immoral $32-billion worldwide industry, Sister Dusty noted. She invited Con-way to join the Michigan Human Trafficking Task Force to collaborate with 90 other member agencies to combat sexual and labor exploitation.
Sarah Power speaks on Con-way's efforts to combat human trafficking. She was one of four guest speakers during PAB's Day of Education and 40-year celebration on September 10. 
During the September 10, 2015 Day of Education marking the PAB's 40th anniversary, Sarah Power, Corporate Citizenship Manager of Con-way, spoke of Con-way's commitment to serving the community. "We wanted something that involved our industry and something we could have a direct impact with," she said. The encouragement by Pat Zerega, of Mercy Investment Partnerships, to get involved in efforts to end human trafficking fit those requirements.
Through Truckers Against Trafficking, Con-way trains their drivers to recognize potential human trafficking situations through both in-person and video instructions. In addition, Con-way equips its drivers with window decals and small visor cards to make trafficking victims aware of the hotline number they can call for help
"The training works," Ms. Power said - especially for a young woman who was freed from a sex-trafficking situation by the alertness and action of Con-way truck driver Kevin Kimmel, of Tavares, Florida. When he saw a suspicious-looking RV parked in a truck stop parking lot - and a young girl's face appear very briefly in the window - he realized that the situation was not quite right. His phone call saved the woman, who had been abducted two weeks earlier from her home in Iowa and forced into prostitution. In recognition of his efforts, Mr. Kimmel received the Harriet Tubman Award, established by Truckers Against Trafficking to members "whose direct actions help save or improve the lives of those enslaved or prevent human trafficking from taking place." 
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