Social Work Institutes Centers
Social Work Institutes Centers
If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 3737-888 or visit humantraffickinghotline.org
Michelle Brazeal, Ph.D., LCSW, is an assistant professor currently serving as the associate director and MSW Coordinator for the School of Social Work at USM. Her practice experience has included providing outpatient and residential mental health services to children and transitional-age young adults, outpatient addiction treatment, and social work services in primary care. Dr. Brazeal is the principal investigator for an Integrated Health program in a primary care clinic. The project provides social work services to underserved individuals to uncover and address the connections between trauma and mental, emotional and physical health. She also is the program evaluator for the SOARing in Mississippi HHS grant. She has received and administered federal, state and non-profit grants and contracts.
Sunny Wells, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of secondary education and multidisciplinary research in the School of Education at USM. She teaches undergraduate and graduate secondary education courses in curriculum, classroom management, and assessment in which she emphasizes culturally responsive pedagogies and teacher agency within the classroom. She also serves as a core faculty member in the Master of Arts in Teaching secondary alternative licensure program at USM. As a qualitative and post-qualitative researcher, her research agenda reflects situated critical citizenship and intersections of teacher identity and agency. Her teaching and research projects are grounded firmly in critical, multicultural, and particularly feminist epistemologies and praxis. Dr. Wells is a strong advocate for the enactment and application of theory to practice in various institutional contexts, including secondary education, higher education, and residential settings for sexually trafficked youth. Outside of her professional pursuits, she reads, crafts, gardens, and enjoys exploring the southern historical and cultural landscape through local festivals and events.
SOARing in Mississippi Grant
Graduate Research Assistants/Interns
SOARing in Mississippi - Increasing Human Trafficking Victim Identification, Trafficking-Informed Response, and Capacity to Serve Among Healthcare Providers and Allied Agencies. Funded by a SOAR to Health and Wellness Demonstration Grant (10/1/2022 – 9/30/2027). The demonstration program aims to build a Continuum of Care and increase knowledge, capacity, and human trafficking response protocols with healthcare, behavioral health providers, and allied providers in a geographic location known for its high-risk employment industries and vulnerable populations. These efforts will improve the ability of providers to intervene and appropriately respond to patients and clients who experience severe forms of human trafficking. Supportive services offered through interventions will fully utilize the state’s human trafficking service providers within the targeted nine-county area (Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, George, Pearl River, Forrest, Stone, Perry, and Green counties).
Race, Informal Support Systems, and Human Trafficking
Metanoia: A Mixed-Methods Study of a Residential Facility for Female Adolescent Victims of Human Trafficking (Hogan, Goode, and Wells). Metanoia Manor was founded in 2018 by Fr. Jeffery Bayhi and is a faith-based residential facility in Zachary, Louisiana. This is one of the only homes in the Gulf South to serve female adolescent victims of human trafficking. This program offers a place of refuge to domestic and foreign female adolescent victims of human trafficking in which to heal physically and mentally. Metanoia is licensed to provide direct services for mental, physical, and spiritual health, instruction in academics, and life skills to biologically born girls ages 0–18. To deliver a model recovery and rehabilitation program for female youth victims of human trafficking, an evaluation of their efforts for the past five years is necessary. Drs. Hogan, Goode, and Wells are undertaking a mixed-methods case study (Chaumba, 2013; Yin, 2018) of Metanoia Manor. First, the researchers will conduct a program evaluation by thoroughly analyzing shared data from the inception of the program to the present (2017-2023) and conducting observations and interviews with the staff. The evaluation will include an analysis and summary of the client intake and case file data and a report written using the data to provide an analysis of the services and activities of Metanoia. This first study goal will add to the research conversation about human trafficking risk factors (Fedina et al., 2013) and the needs of female adolescent victims of human trafficking (Gonzalez-Pons et al., 2020; Hammond & McGlone, 2014). A second goal of the study is to understand how Metanoia staff take a trauma-informed approach to academic instruction (Record-Lemon & Buchanan, 2017).
Wage and Labor Violations (Hogan, Stan, Southerland, and Hurst)
VIEW AN INTERACTIVE MAP OF MISSISSIPPI WAGE AND LABOR VIOLATIONS BY INDUSTRY (2004 - 2023)
Hogan, K.A. & Roe-Sepowitz, D. (2023). Providing services to victims of human trafficking during
the COVID-19 pandemic: A social service agency state-wide survey. Journal of Social
Service Research. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01488376.2023.2232827.
Hogan, K.A. (2022). Exploring sex trafficking risk factors for LGBTQ+ young adults experiencing homelessness. (Doctoral dissertation, Arizona State University). https://www.proquest.com/openview/c19723dd75db58ea882577fe9b073409/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y.
Hurst, T. E. (2021). Prevention of child sexual exploitation: Insights from adult survivors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(13-14), NP7350-NP7372. Click here to view the article
Hogan, K. A., & Roe-Sepowitz, D. (2020). LGBTQ+ homeless young adults and sex trafficking vulnerability. Journal of Human Trafficking, 1-16. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23322705.2020.1841985.
Hurst, T. E. (2015). Internalized racism and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). Race, Gender & Class, 22(1-2), 90-101. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26505326.
Dierkhising, C. B., Geiger, J. M., Hurst, T. E., Panlilio, C., & Schelbe, L. (2015). Preventing adolescent maltreatment: A focus on child welfare, juvenile justice, and sexual exploitation. Advances in child abuse prevention knowledge: The perspective of new leadership, 43-65. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-16327-7_3.
Hurst, T. E. (2013). Childhood emotional maltreatment and the prevention of the commercial sexual exploitation of children: A mixed methods study (Doctoral dissertation, University of Georgia). https://getd.libs.uga.edu/pdfs/hurst_tamara_e_201312_phd.pdf.
Child Protection Services – To report child sex and labor trafficking, abuse, or neglect call: 888-222-8000
Emergencies – Dial 911
Mississippi State Department of Health – Human Trafficking Program Navigators:
National Human Trafficking Hotline – If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, call 888-3737-888 or Text: BEFREE (233733). You have the option to remain anonymous.
Follow CHRT on Social Media:
CHRT in the Media:
Center Announcement -
HHS Grant Announcement -
Human Trafficking Awareness & Prevention Month: January -
MBAT Summit & Sextortion Film Screening (1.24.23) -
Louisiana Human Trafficking Symposium (5.23) -
Virtual MBAT Summit (6.26.23) -
SOAR for Communities training session (8.15.23) -
Are you interested in supporting the work of CHRT with a philanthropic contribution?
Donations can be made through the USM Foundation to Fund 2534 - Center for Human Trafficking
Research and Training Development Fund.
MAKE A GIFT!
Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Specialization Areas: Child Maltreatment and Advocacy, Human Trafficking
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Specialization Areas: Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Labor
Trafficking, LGBTQ+ Issues