January 17, 2024 (DES MOINES, IOWA) — Mercy College of Health Sciences President Adreain Henry, OD, EdD, signed the 2024 Proclamation Against Human Trafficking and Slavery this week. This year’s event marks the 6th year that Mercy College has made a public declaration against the dual evils of slavery and human trafficking, two crimes which, according to the Office on Trafficking in Persons, are rising public health concerns that coerce individuals into two severe forms of trafficking – labor and sex – and affect generations of individuals from every race, religion, and background.

Mercy College proclaims January as the Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness Month and hosts the public declaration and signing event each year in observance. The proclamation itself condemns the practices of slavery and human trafficking and commits the College to raising awareness and finding solutions for these crimes. This year’s signing event took place in the Sullivan Center on Mercy College’s campus and was witnessed by members of the campus community, President’s Cabinet, and Board of Directors.

As the first college in Iowa to take a stand against human trafficking and slavery, Mercy College remains allied with the Iowa Network Against Human Trafficking and Slavery (NAHT), the Iowa Businesses Against Trafficking, and several other local and state agencies who have become advocates and allies in the fight against these crimes.

Mercy College Professor Joseph Moravec, DMin, facilitates Mercy College’s participation in the public declaration event each year. Moravec has served as a member of NAHT’s Board of Directors, is a cofounder of Stop Trafficking Now, and has led the College’s efforts against human trafficking for many years.

As a national leader in health sciences education, Mercy College will continue to educate and bring awareness to this initiative in combating human trafficking both state- and nation-wide. Individuals who witness or experience human trafficking are encouraged to speak out: National Human Trafficking Hotline (888-3737-888 or text “Help” to 233733), Statewide Iowa Crisis Line (800-770-1650 or test “iowahelp” to 20121), or DHS Child Abuse Hotline (800-362-2178).

About Mercy College of Health Sciences

Mercy College of Health Sciences is a health sciences specialty school rooted in the Catholic heritage of the Sisters of Mercy. Located in the heart of downtown Des Moines, Iowa, Mercy College offers master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees, certificates, and continuing education courses. Through our unique hands-on learning, unparalleled clinical rotations, and accelerated education offerings, our students are prepared to enter the workforce quickly with the critical skills necessary to make an immediate impact in their chosen healthcare careers. Guided by our Core Values of Knowledge, Reverence, Integrity, Compassion, and Excellence, Mercy College has been transforming students into successful healthcare professionals for over 120 years.