Marketing Students to Host Community Event to ‘Shine Out Sex Trafficking’


MACON – Decoding Freedom, a group of marketing students from Mercer University, will host a free community event, called “Shine Out Sex Trafficking,” on April 7, 7-9 p.m., in Tattnall Square Park.

The goal of the event is to educate community members on how to get involved in the effort to end sex trafficking in Middle Georgia.

Jeff Shaw, founder and president of Atlanta-based anti-trafficking ministry Out of Darkness, will be the keynote speaker. As part of the Atlanta Dream Center, Out of Darkness, just in the past year, has made 264 rescues from Georgia streets and jails and placed these women into long-term care.

Representatives from several Middle Georgia anti-trafficking organizations, including the Middle Georgia Alliance to End Regional Trafficking (MG ALERT), Out of Darkness Middle Georgia, Hope Haven and Traffick Jam, will also be on hand. Additionally, members of Point B.L.A.N.K., Mercer's first-ever spoken word collective, will perform, and local vendors will provide food.

At the conclusion of the event, glow sticks will be handed out to encourage community members to go “Shine Out Sex Trafficking.”

“We are extremely excited to be hosting this event,” said Mercer senior Blaze Jeffery, CEO of Decoding Freedom. “Our community cares and understands the magnitude of this problem locally. They just don't know what to do to make a difference. There are several organizations in the fight locally. Our goal is to show the community how we can become part of the solution.”

Decoding Freedom is a group of senior marketing students in Mercer's Stetson School of Business and Economics who support the work of anti-trafficking missions and organizations in Middle Georgia. These include sister organization, Traffick Jam, which educates and empowers Middle Georgia middle and high school students, who are the most vulnerable age group for sex trafficking according to research. Last year, Traffick Jam served 80 children and is on track to serve over 300 this year. Both organizations are sustainable year to year with new Mercer marketing seniors taking over existing initiatives.

About the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Established in 1984, Mercer University's Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics is named for Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who leveraged the first major buyout in corporate history. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has granted over 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold senior leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer's business school delivers career-focused business education programs and develops entrepreneurial leaders and responsible global citizens. It holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places it among the top five percent of all top business schools worldwide. Mercer's business school has been recognized by the Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women” as well as being one of its “Best Business Schools.” In addition, it has been recognized among the “Top 15 Schools in the Nation for Marketing and Accounting.”

The School offers the following programs: Atlanta (Evening BBA, Full-Time (One-Year) MBA, Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Professional MBA, Master of Accountancy, M.S. in Business Analytics), Macon (Traditional BBA and Evening MBA), Douglas County and Henry County (Evening BBA).

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.