Experts to discuss human trafficking, opioid awareness


Libraries are sometimes called the community’s living room for the conversations they facilitate and ideas they spark. On Jan. 30 and Feb. 5, the Delaware County District Library will host two different community conversations centering on the topics of human trafficking and the opioid epidemic.

“With January being Human Trafficking Awareness Month, we felt that it was important to use the library as a place for the community to learn about the victims of this horrible crime, where to find resources for help, and how people can offer their time and talents to help,” said Ostrander Branch Manager Harla Lawson.

The community conversation on human trafficking will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, in the Ostrander Branch Library, 75 N. Fourth St., Ostrander. It will be facilitated by the Delaware County Against Human Trafficking Coalition and an update will be provided by Brande Urban, United Way of Delaware County director of Collective Impact.

“A frequent comment I hear is that people have no idea this is a crime happening in their own backyards,” said Urban. “Victims of human trafficking are of all genders, ages, races, and more. The best way to start to help is to empower yourself to learn more.”

Then, just a week later on Wednesday, Feb. 5, the Delaware Main Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, will host a community conversation on the opioid epidemic in Ohio. Co-editors of the book “Not Far from Me: Stories of Opioids and Ohio,” Berkeley Franz and Dan Skinner, will facilitate in-depth discussions to encourage critical, historically-informed dialogue around opioid use, with the aim of reducing stigma.

Central Ohio Symphony will co-sponsor the event and initiate the conversation with a drum circle. The Symphony’s nationally acclaimed drum circle began in the Delaware County Juvenile Court in 2013 as a pilot program for young people with alcohol, drug and behavior problems. The drums provided therapeutic benefits and the program has since expanded to other courts and groups. A chapter of “Not Far from Me” is written by the symphony’s Executive Director Warren Hyer.

“The guided discussion between attendees and the book’s editors will focus on the topic of ‘Establishing Place’ and what that means to promote recovery within Delaware County,” said Hyer. “As a community, we need to establish a safe and supportive environment for those dealing with addiction and those seeking, are in the progress of, and who have achieved recovery.”

Information can be found on both programs at on the Events page. Advanced registration is requested for the Feb. 5 conversation on opioids. However, walk-in attendees are welcome at both programs.

Submitted story

Submitted by the Delaware County District Library.

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