CONFERENCE ON AUTISM & HUMAN TRAFFICKING

HOSTED BY FREE FOR LIFE INTERNATIONAL

Free for Life International will host its first Conference on Autism and Human Trafficking on April 28, 2021, during Autism Awareness Month. Free for Life has created a cutting-edge prevention curriculum – alongside the Emory Autism Center – highlighting the overlap between Autism Spectrum Disorder and Human Trafficking. 

During this Conference, you will learn about the experience of autistic individuals transitioning into adulthood, the risks and vulnerabilities related to human trafficking, and the cross-section between the autistic population and trafficking dangers.

Conference attendees will learn how to recognize and feel empowered to respond to potentially exploitative situations. The sessions have been created by autistic adults, professionals in anti-human trafficking, and experts on autism. 

MEET OUR SPEAKERS

T.C. Waisman, EdD, MA

T.C. Waisman, EdD, MA

Doctor of Innovations, Autism Training Academy

Dr. TC Waisman is an Autistic non-binary Indigenous Pasifika, and Nepalese woman born in Fiji and living in Vancouver, Canada.

Her life trajectory took her from being a straight ‘A’ student to a failing student who attended 6 different high schools before being told by a teacher that she should just quit. Dr. Waisman persevered through educational racism and ableism over the next 30 years of her life. Though she dropped out of college 4 times, she persisted until she received her master’s degree in leadership & training and her doctoral degree in leadership, policy & governance.

 Dr. Waisman was diagnosed as Autistic at 48-years-old in 2017, which resulted in her conducting research that focused on how higher education leaders, faculty members, and professional staff can enhance services and outcomes for Autistic students in higher education. She is part of the team that created the online open-source ‘Autism Campus Prep’ program for Autistic young adults considering attending higher education. The program assists Autistic young adults and their advocate parents to make decisions about the Autistic youth’s future by assessing their needs, vulnerabilities, and strengths.

 Dr. Waisman started the Autism Training Academy in 2021 to offer online asynchronous digital-badged micro-trainings on all things related to Autism and neurodiversity. Her team is working with different organizations to design bespoke micro-trainings to meet their specific needs.

 Dr. Waisman is happy to be a part of the important work that Rachel Harmon, the Emory Autism Center, and Free For Life International are conducting.

Rondy Smith, EdD

Rondy Smith, EdD

Founder and Executive Director, Rest Stop Ministries

Dr. Rondy M. Smith is Founder and CEO of Rest Stop Ministries, Inc., Tennessee’s first long-term residential restoration program for adult female survivors of sex trafficking. Rondy is an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene and served as Community Life Pastor of the Hermitage congregation from 2001-2015.  From 1991-2001 she was Associate Professor of Management at Trevecca Nazarene University and Founding Director of the Graduate degree program in Organizational Management. Dr. Smith began her career in the corporate sector serving the Leadership Development Center at Northern Telecom, Inc.  She was also a consultant with Executive Learning, Inc. and continued her consulting practice after joining the academic ranks as university faculty. 

Rondy, an undergrad alum of Trevecca University, earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Kansas in 1987 and a Doctorate in Human and Organizational Development from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University in 1996.

Rondy loves sharing life with Bobby, her husband of 35 years, at their home on Old Hickory Lake and wherever their foodie/travel adventures take them!  She loves being the biggest fan of their 4 adult children; their sons Daniel & Kyle and the two daughters-in-love who expanded their hearts, Lauren & Emmy.   She loves to read, study and teach the WORD, and to live in sacred community with the women she serves and the team she leads at Rest Stop.  Becoming Love and Inspiring Hope are her core values. 

“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” – Saint Francis of Assisi

Rachel Harmon, MA

Rachel Harmon, MA

Ph.D. Candidate, Emory University and FFLI Board Member

Rachel Harmon is an autistic PhD candidate at Emory University in Atlanta. Her research and teaching focus is on human trafficking, conflict, and gender-based human rights abuses. Harmon holds masters degrees in International Affairs (Security) and Political Science from Middle Tennessee State University and Emory University respectively. She is a pre-doctoral teaching fellow for the 2020-2021 academic year and teaches at the Arrendale State Prison for Women in north Georgia. Harmon is a board member of Free for Life International and has worked with FFLI for more than eight years. 

Kelsey Bohlke, MS, CRC, LPC

Kelsey Bohlke, MS, CRC, LPC

Assistant Director for Accessible Education at Agnes Scott College

Kelsey Bohlke, MS, CRC, LPC, is the new Assistant Director for Accessible Education at Agnes Scott College. Ms. Bohlke began her undergraduate studies at Oxford College and completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Emory University. In 2015, she earned her Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Georgia State University and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Prior to coming to Agnes Scott, Ms. Bohlke was a counselor at the Emory Autism Center in the Emory University School of Medicine. There, she worked with the Education and Transition Services program, providing individual counseling to young adults with autism, engaging in transition support for individuals and their families, and assisting with initiatives to support college students.

If you have any questions about the event or would like to submit a sponsorship form, please contact Bridgette Johnson, Director of Development.

Our One-of-a-kind Prevention Curriculum

Free for Life International is fighting human trafficking around the world. We believe in freedom for all.

Free for Life International is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. 

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