Sister Receives Radical Abolitionist Award for Anti-Trafficking Work

April 5, 2023

Concordia, KS – It started out as an inspiration,  and it grew into a nationwide movement that spurred Catholic sisters across the United States into action.

Sister Margaret Nacke was honored on March 25 along with other leading abolitionists from around the country fighting to end modern-day slavery on March 25th at the Greek Annunciation Banquet Center in Columbus, Ohio during the Liberator Awards Ceremony.

Nacke, Sister of St. Joseph, Concordia, Kansas, has been involved with anti-human trafficking initiatives for the past 12 years. It began when she asked herself what Catholic sisters are doing to address human trafficking. She initially involved two other sisters, Anne Scholz, LCWR, and Sr. Jean Schaffer, Sister of the Divine Savior. From there, Alliance to End Human Trafficking was formed in 2013 and will celebrate its 10-year anniversary this year.Since that fateful day, Nacke has engaged in ventures that involve Adult Life Transitions with persons in the U.S. and abroad. As chair of the Survivor Services Working Group Committee of Alliance to End Human Trafficking, she has been instrumental in creating programs that advance education about trafficking including the prison ministries.

“It was humbling,” said Nacke of receiving the award. “I appreciated the affirmation and support. We’re all in this together.”

The Liberator Awards were presented in the following categories: Individual, Volunteer, Organization, Law Enforcement/Public Servant, female and male Survivor of the Year, the Liberator of the Year, and Radical Abolitionist Award.  All proceeds from the evening will benefit future S.O.A.P. outreach initiatives that help rescue missing children from being trafficked, as well as hold survivor retreats for both male and female survivors of human trafficking to heal and recover.

“It was our honor to be able to celebrate Sr. Margaret Nacke and the work she has done in the

fight against modern-day slavery. She paved the way for those who are trying to create laws that help those being trafficked, for the organizations that provide housing and resources for victims, and for the survivors who are trying to be thrivers,” said Theresa Flores, AEHT program director, and S.O.AP. founder. “Our current work could not have happened without her being the radical abolitionist she was and continues to be. It is The SOAP Project’s hope that people will be inspired by her work and passion and join this movement to eradicate trafficking in a radical way.”

Human Trafficking Survivors Cristian Eduardo and Charlie Tebow also were nominated and were finalists for Survivor of the Year Awards and serve on the advisory council for AEHT.

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S.O.A.P. was founded by AEHT Program Director Theresa Flores, who is an author, advocate, and survivor of human trafficking. On her worst night, after being auctioned off to nearly two dozen men in a dingy, dirty, inner-city Detroit motel, Theresa recalled the only item that would have reached out to her was a bar of soap. With that in mind, she created S.O.A.P. — Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution — to help reach out to other victims. S.O.A.P. has distributed more than two million bars of soap with the national human trafficking hotline number to thousands of hotels around the country.

AEHT was founded in 2013 by a group of Catholic Sisters committed to ending human trafficking and supporting survivors. They dreamed of creating a national network of resources and support made up of many different congregations and other mission-aligned partners. Today, this member-based organization has grown to include more than 110 congregations of women religious and another 70+ individuals and groups spread throughout the United States. AEHT is also the U.S. member of Talitha Kum, an international network of consecrated life working to end human trafficking.


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