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Kevin Connelly and Rebekah Covington

Human trafficking is modern-day slavery that exploits people for profit. In 2019, Texas had the second highest reported cases of human trafficking in the country.* According to NewsNationNow and the University of Texas at Austin, more than 300,000 people are victims, including 79,000 minors who are sex trafficked and 234,000 victims of labor trafficking.* Many victims are often trafficked through airports, including Dallas Love Field. The airport has partnered with BEST –  Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking – for its Not Alone awareness campaign and all Love Field employees are completing BEST’s “Flights to Freedom” training to best be prepared to recognize suspicious activity.

To address human trafficking and its prevention, “Love Field Stories” features a discussion  with two Corporate Relations Managers from BEST:  Rebekah Covington, Maritime/Safe Jobs Collaborative, and Kevin Connelly, Aviation/Hospitality, with an introduction from Chris Perry, Dallas Love Field’s external communications and marketing manager. The public is invited to listen to this conversation live streamed on Tuesday, March 8 at 12:30 p.m. (Central) on Love Field’s Facebook and YouTube. The podcast can be heard on Apple Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio and Pandora.

Chris Perry, Dallas Love Field’s external communications and marketing manager, said, “Businesses like ours are central to preventing and reporting human trafficking, so it was important for our staff to be trained to ‘see something, say something.’ We invite you to listen to this program and hear some important tips along with Rebekah’s moving story of how she was trafficked.”

Mar Brettmann, Ph.D., BEST’s CEO and executive director, added, “We are thrilled that Dallas Love Field Airport has taken such a proactive role by training their staff and placing signage in the airport. We hope this podcast will educate the broader community and will inspire new airports and businesses to follow their lead.”

Rebekah Covington, Corporate Relations Manager, Maritime/Safe Jobs Collaborative: Rebekah provides various human trafficking trainings for port-related industries, government agencies and businesses across the country. Through the Safe Jobs Collaborative, she supports survivors of human trafficking to find safe and reliable employment opportunities. Rebekah is leading the 2021 'Not Alone' poster campaign to help victims & survivors seek services. The national campaign is being implemented in airports, seaports and transit agencies through the US.

Kevin Connelly, Corporate Relations Manager, Aviation/Hospitality: Kevin speaks to business leaders, owners and managers about the importance of human trafficking prevention in the public and private sector. His role at BEST involves supporting leaders to understand their unique position to combat the crime of human trafficking. Kevin has spoken to leaders at global conferences, international webinars and alongside the Department of Transportation. He testified in the state legislature to mandate training for hospitality workers in Washington State.

Businesses Ending Slavery & Trafficking (BEST):

BEST aligns and equips leaders to use the power of business to prevent human trafficking. Through industry-specific training and education, BEST trains thousands of employees every year in airports, seaports, government agencies, and hotels to identify and prevent exploitation. They work to support survivors of human trafficking through employment programs and job readiness skills. They've partnered with groups such as the Texas Hotel and Lodging Association (THLA) and Dallas Love Field Airport to help their employees learn about their role in trafficking prevention. More information can be found at https://www.bestalliance.org/

About “Love Field Stories” Podcast:
“Love Field Stories,” the official podcast of Dallas Love Field Airport, launched in 2021 and completed 13 episodes with guests including Dallas Mavericks’ CEO Cynt Marshall, Dallas Film Society Artistic Director James Faust, and Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa. Season 2 launched February 8 with Kansas City Chiefs’s Chairman/CEO, Clark Hunt, and The Ticket’s sports radio personality, Mark Elfenbein. The podcast features stories, memories, and experiences related to the airport. Each episode is live streamed on Love Field’s Facebook and YouTube and can be heard on Apple Podcast, Spotify, iHeartRadio and Pandora.

About Dallas Love Field (DAL):

An award-winning airport, Dallas Love Field is a 2021 Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accredited facility – the gold standard for stringent protocols for cleaning, disinfection and infectious disease prevention. The airport has also won many of the most prestigious awards including multiple years with Travel+Leisure’s “Top 10 Domestic Airports,” Airports Council International World and North America. For more information visit dallas-lovefield.com or call the Airport Operations Center (214) 670-LOVE (5683). Follow Dallas Love Field on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

*Sources:

https://etactics.com/blog/texas-human-trafficking-statistics

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK573077/

https://www.newsnationnow.com/us-news/southwest/human-trafficking-in-texas-by-the-numbers/

https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/human-trafficking

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