On April 22, 2022, the Malouf Foundation™ hosted its second-annual education summit in Salt Lake City. The Malouf Foundation™ Summit consists of influential panelists discussing the prevalence of child sexual exploitation and the importance of making a difference.
One of the first panels of the day included survivor leaders Kara Robinson Chamberlain, activist and author; Tanya Gould, director at the Virginia Office of Attorney General; and Suzie Skirvin, Malouf Foundation™ advisory board member. Each panelist shared their lived experiences and pathways to healing.
“A big part of my healing is learning about myself—who I am and where I’m going,” Gould shared in the panel discussion. “What empowers me on my healing journey will look different for someone else because we’re all different. Every survivor has their own story and I value their experiences.”
The survivor panel was moderated by Ashley Flowers, founder of Audiochuck and host of Crime Junkie podcast. Flowers is an advocate for survivors and is passionate about spreading awareness of abuse and trauma.
“As someone who works in the true crime space, I’ve seen firsthand how prevalent and heartbreaking sexual exploitation can be and the need for survivor resources,” Flowers shared. “I’m thrilled to have participated in this year’s Malouf Summit in order to bring attention, education and resources to a community of survivors and those looking to better support them.”
Malouf Foundation™ advisory board member and survivor leader Julie Whitehead also shared her story at the Summit. She introduced the event’s business panel and shared how business has intersected her experience as a trafficking survivor. Whitehead participated on a survivor panel at last year’s Summit at Malouf™ headquarters in Logan, Utah.
“Business leaders have a tremendous impact on their communities and have an opportunity to make a difference in the anti-trafficking and anti-exploitation space,” Whitehead shared. “The man who helped me escape my trafficker is a business owner and is committed to bringing awareness to this cause. He says getting involved has unified their employees and has helped them create a stronger work culture.”
Members of the business panel were Scott Anderson, chief executive officer at Zions Bank of Salt Lake City; Kelly Gage, director of advancement at Nomi Network based out of New York; and Erika George, director of Tanner Humanities Center at University of Utah. Each leader highlighted their organization’s philanthropic efforts and how others can influence the causes they care about. Salt Lake City Chamber President Derek Miller moderated the panel. Miller also serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Task Force to Eradicate Human Trafficking.
“At Zions Bank, we endeavor to be actively engaged in making our communities better and helping provide creative solutions to community needs,” Anderson said. “Philanthropic engagement goes beyond merely the giving of dollars, it also includes deploying all available resources—influence, voice, reach, time and more—to enable meaningful change.”
The afternoon session of the Summit started with leaders of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). NCMEC is the nation’s comprehensive reporting center for all issues related to the prevention and recovery from child victimization. For nearly 40 years, NCMEC has been working with families, victims, private industry, law enforcement and the public to make a difference.
At the Summit, Michelle DeLaune, NCMEC president and chief executive officer, and Lauren Coffren, NCMEC director of the Exploited Children Division, spoke to the realities, revictimization and response in child sexual abuse material (CSAM), or child pornography.
“The COVID-19 pandemic deeply affected every aspect of life across the globe including how much time everyone spent online. Last year, in 2021, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children saw a 35 percent increase in the number of CyberTipline reports related to suspected child sexual exploitation—that amounts to around 80,000 reports every day,” DeLaune said. “The number is staggering and almost too big to comprehend, but it’s important to talk about. Online enticement and online grooming are on the rise and we at NCMEC believe that action and education are vital components to combating this horrific crime.”
DeLaune and Coffren were joined by Team HOPE consultant Nicole (last name omitted for privacy reasons). Team HOPE is a group of peer-support volunteers who have lived experience with missing and exploited children’s issues. Nicole is the mother of a survivor of CSAM and spoke to the realities of that experience, sharing her unique perspective as a caregiver and as a support to others with similar lived experiences.
The final panel focused on connecting with elected officials. Panelists Blake Moore, United States congressman of Utah’s First District; Angela Romero, Utah House representative for the 26th District; and Ron Welch, Muskingum County, Ohio prosecuting attorney discussed how individuals can get involved with elected officials at every level to support survivors of abuse through policy and legislation. Former National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien introduced the panel.
“We all have unique areas of influence, which means we have the power to make a difference in our communities,” said Kacie Malouf, co-founder and board chair of the Malouf Foundation™. “We hope attendees take what they learned today and take action—that they find a cause they’re passionate about and fight for it.”