OKLAHOMA CITY -- An Oklahoma City resident was recognized Saturday in Washington, D.C. for his contributing to ending human trafficking. The ceremony took place at the Federal Bureau of Investigations headquarters as the 2010 Director's Community Leadership Awards were given.
Mark Elam became an advocate for stopping the cycle of human trafficking through founding the international NGO Angel Eyes and traveled to India, South Asia, and the Philippines to actively work with organizations that rescue girls from sex trafficking.
Elam and teams under his direction actively work towards public awareness, victim advocacy, safe homes, shelter and foster care for those victimized by human trafficking. His teams also work with Oklahoma state legislators to improve state laws and increasing funding for victim recovery, according to a release from the FBI.
11/17/2010 Related Story: Tulsan Chosen As FBI Citizen Of The Year For Work Against Human Trafficking
"I am honored to recognize today's recipients for their leadership. They are stewards of their communities. They have given their time and talents to make their neighborhoods better, and they embody the true meaning of citizenship," said FBI Director Robert S. Mueller.
Elam also works to combat the problem in the United States, where he serves with the Central Oklahoma Human Trafficking Group (OHTG) in Oklahoma City, the Tulsa Human Trafficking Group (THTG) and as the co-founder and Director of (O.A.T.H.) Oklahomans Against Trafficking of Humans state-wide Coalition.
The first state-wide awareness event on human trafficking issues will take place in Oklahoma City and across the state in the OK Freedom Rally. To learn more, go to OKfreedom.org.