Skip to main content

Human Trafficking, Health Equity, Academic Collaborative

Suk-hee Kim, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Northern Kentucky University, was interviewed by Sam Knef of Spectrum News 1 about her work on Human Trafficking. 


The Human Trafficking, Health Equity, and Academic Collaborative was born from the growing concern and community critical challenges in human trafficking  that was funded study at Northern Kentucky University (NKU) in 2022. The goal of the collaborative is to expand the understanding of human trafficking at the regional, national and global level in a comprehensive and interdisciplinary context. During this challenging time, raise awareness of the injustices of human trafficking by educating college students and partnering with local coalitions, including K-12 communities are one mission through the Human Trafficking, Health Equity, and Academic Collaborative Project. Educators and other school-based professionals in the Greater Cincinnati region have a critical role to play in recognizing potential human trafficking and in helping potential victims access educational resources and specialized services.


The purpose of the Human Trafficking, Health Equity, and Academic Collaborative is to help university move beyond college students, faculty, and staff development to academic curricular implementation and change as it pertains to human trafficking and health equity. The project provides human trafficking trainings and pilot data to inform our campus programs, schools, colleges of ways to increase human trafficking awareness and resources to enhance teaching, research, and community partnership. The collaborative is to collaborate with the NKU’s Institute for Health Innovation Science Café Program and implement a human trafficking collaborative to become institutionalized and demonstrate more support for the need for our campus programs, schools, colleges to provide our students, faculty, staff, and K-12 community with human trafficking content and course implementation.


Project Founder and Team

Profile photo of Dr. Suk-hee Kim

Suk-hee Kim, Ph.D., COI, MSW, eLearning to Advance Racial and Ethnic Diversity Friendly University Initiative Founder, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work & Academic Affairs Diversity Faculty Fellow at Northern Kentucky University.

Dr. Kim was honored by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) with its Distinguished Recent Contributions to Social Work Education Award 2021 as one of the significant recognitions at the national level. She also received CSWE’s 2020 Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work Education Community Impact Award and 2019 Commission for Diversity and Social & Economic Justice Community Partnership Action Inaugural Award at the national level.

Profile photo of Carolyn Noe

Carolyn Noe, Project Web Developer

Carolyn Noe is the Director for the Institute for Health Innovation. Carolyn earned her MA in History and Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and her BS in Social Science from Florida State University. Carolyn comes to NKU from the University of Cincinnati where she served as the Program Coordinator for UC LEAF on the ADVANCE grant to support women in STEM faculty. Prior to that position, she worked for the Academy of Science – St. Louis where she developed and coordinated STEM education programs. Carolyn is the founder of Super Heroines, Etc., a non-profit organization that uses the power of fandom to fight for equity and representation in geek culture. She lives with her husband, Chris, daughter, Claire, and two dogs, Mr. Darcy & Petie. Carolyn is excited to start NKU’s EdD program in summer 2022.

Profile photo of Molly Diamon

Molly Diamon, Project Coordinator, Institute for Health Innovation at Northern Kentucky University

I grew up in Northern Kentucky and received all my education inside the state lines. I received my BS in Psychology and Substance Abuse Counseling from Union College in 2018, where I also participated in collegiate sports. I also received my MS in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Northern Kentucky University in 2022. I ended up finding a home at NKU in the IHI department and landed a job before my program completion. My main focus is on sustaining and creating community and K-12 programs that address health disparities, health education, and substance abuse across our communities. I am a proud German Sheppard dog mom and a Disney fanatic!


Profile photo of Sheri Frey

Sheri Frey is a former business consultant with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Honors Accounting from Grand Valley State University.  Since her children are now grown, she returned to school and is working to finish her Master of Social Work from Northern Kentucky University.

She has completed an internship a Safe Haven Ministries in Grand Rapids, Michigan, an emergency shelter for survivors of intimate partner violence and human trafficking as a non-residential advocate.  Currently she is a Graduate Social Work Research Assistant with Norther Kentucky University’s Human Trafficking, Health Equity, and Academic Collaborative. In addition, in August, she will be completing an internship as a therapist with Omni Family of Services in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.


Profile photo of Madison Beichler

Madison Beichler is a social justice, sexual assault and interpersonal violence survivor advocate. She has a personal mission of working to become multi-culturally educated to better aid the intersectionality of survivors. She recently graduated from Northern Kentucky University in Spring of 2022 Summa Cum Laude with her bachelor’s in art of communication. Currently she is pursuing further education with her master’s in social work at NKU, working on campus as part of the Norse Violence Prevention Center, the Norse Support Council, and as a Victim Advocate in the Kentucky Air National Guard.

Upcoming Webinars


Logo for NKU First Year Experience
Teen Health Science Cafe Logo

Past Events

Tree roots

Human Trafficking: Rooting out Trafficking

Do you think society's current approach to addressing trafficking gets to the root of the problem? Come learn about the systemic inequities that allow human trafficking to happen in the first place, and learn what we can do about it. This interactive webinar session will 1) critique our current approach to addressing human trafficking, 2) name ways traffickers exploit vulnerabilities of their victims, 3) identify root causes of those vulnerabilities, and 4) name ways we can advocate to address root causes. We invite you to join in this interactive webinar series with our project partner organization, Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center.

Download the Slides

View the Recording

Words that are fairly indistinguishable scribbled on a chalkboard.

Words Matter: Language, Imagery and Storytelling in Human Trafficking Awareness

The majority of language and imagery used in human trafficking education and awareness efforts is ineffective at telling a dignified and comprehensive story about human trafficking. This webinar teaches how to identify and critique images and language used in human trafficking awareness efforts, reframe stories of trafficking to respect the dignity of survivors, and propose better language, image and storytelling techniques. 

Download the Slides

Download the Handout

View the Recording

Group of people from the waist down crossing the street at a crosswalk.

The "Do's" and "Don'ts" of Human Trafficking Awareness

Since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, advocates have been creating educational content to equip the public with the knowledge and tools to correct this injustice. However, as new information and best practices emerge, we must challenge ourselves to continuously review the material we use. Come learn how to raise awareness to address various elements of human trafficking within the bounds of respectful language and objective, research-based truths. 

Download the Slides

Download the Tip Sheet

View the Recording

Beginning slide of How to Be a Good Ally

How to Be a Good Ally

Working with, and advocating for, survivors of trafficking is not an easy task. This session digs into the community organizing concept of self-interest, "the self among others," and how it affects our ability to be effective allies to survivors of human trafficking. Engage in
self-reflection and walk away with concrete ideas on how to take action and end human trafficking.

Download the Slides

View the Recording

Logo of IJPC and NKU

The Damaging Myths of Human Trafficking

There are many misconceptions surrounding the issue of human trafficking, often leading to real world consequences. Many pervasive falsehoods divert crucial assistance and resources away from the populations that need it most. Come learn how to address 10 common myths about human trafficking with statistical tools and research.

Download the Slides

View the Recording

Headshot of Samantha Searls

Human Trafficking 101

Speaker: Samantha Searls, Program Manager at the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center 

When you hear the phrase "human trafficking," what comes to mind? Young girls? Viral Facebook posts? Smuggling? This webinar examined the federal definition of human trafficking to determine what is, and is not, a situation of trafficking. Learn about the myriad of ways trafficking can occur, how people who traffic others exploit society's vulnerable populations, and what you can do about it.

Download the Slides

View the Recording

Contact Us

Learn more about this project

Contact Dr. Suk-hee Kim, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work & NKU’s Diversity Fellow

hands on a chain link fence