Thursday, July 15, 2004

A few months ago, a colleague and I were invited to this thing in Ft. Lauderdale where the Secretary of Education was speaking at a luncheon.  They must have put our names on a list or something, because last Friday the Department of Justice called and invited us to attend a conference in Tampa this week.
As it turns out, Justice is increasingly addressing the issue of human trafficking, a sort of modern-day slavery which affects nearly a million victims, many of whom are children.  Police are discovering more and more cases of it even here in the United States.
I don’t know much about it (yet), but I guess that’s the point.  They wanted us to come and learn more about it (presumably so we can spread the word on it through the media entity we work for), and were willing to pay for us to fly up here and stay.
Well, we’re not ones to pass up a free trip, and we figured maybe we could do some good.  So we said “sure,” and flew up here to Tampa earlier today. 
There are, I would estimate, about 300 of us here who were brought in for the conference.  The itinerary has been kind of sketchy all week (and I didn’t even find out about the whole thing until six days ago), so I came up here not really knowing who would be speaking or what would be going on. 
So here's the thing.  After we checked into the hotel this afternoon and registered for the conference, they finally gave us an itinerary that announced the plenary speakers who will be here to address us in the conference room tomorrow.
As it turns out, the keynote speaker will be the President of the United States.  
Which is pretty cool.

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