Dear John: Addressing Child Sex Exploitation

TUE, AUG 21, 2007 (56:09)

Dear John, a public education campaign under Atlanta Women's Agenda (AWA), aims at ending the commercial sexual exploitation of children, is a collaboration by Mayor Shirley Franklin, the Juvenile Justice Fund and a wide-range of supporters. The campaign seeks to educate and activate audiences to help stem the problem, which also results in children withdrawing from schools and their families, entering into poverty and becoming more susceptible to health risks. The Atlanta Women's Agenda (AWA) is an initiative of Mayor Shirley Franklin to highlight issues affecting women and bring together new energy for change. AWA coordinates quarterly roundtables on women's issues, develops strategies to end child prostitution and seeks to gain women's full participation in civil society.

+ BIO: Shirley Franklin

Shirley Franklin is the 58th mayor of Atlanta. She is also the first female mayor and the first African American woman to serve as mayor of a major southern city. Her term ends in 2009. Franklin served as one of the co-chairs of the 2008 National Democratic Convention. She has held leadership roles in the US Conference of Mayors as the chair of the women's caucus, co-chair of the tourism task force and a member of the environmental committee. She was the first Atlanta mayor to serve as president of the Georgia Municipal Association, which is the only state organization that represents the 502 local governments in Georgia.

+ BIO: Stephanie Davis

Stephanie Davis is the policy advisor on Women's Issues to the Mayor and is charged with developing the agenda and coordinating the quarterly Roundtables. She is a part-time consultant who recently served as the CEO of the Atlanta Women's Foundation and was on the first City of Atlanta Commission for Women.

+ BIO: Kaffie McCullough

Kaffie McCullough received her masters degree in Community Counseling in 1986 and launched a successful 10-year career as a licensed professional counselor, focusing her work on female clients and issues of self-esteem. Through her experience in her own private therapy practice, in which she saw a number of middle school age clients, McCullough identified that age as the pivotal time when the decline in self-esteem begins.

Drawing on experience gained volunteering in a week-long outdoor leadership camp for young girls at Wells, Kaffie McCullough founded the not-for-profit organization, Girls Opportunities for Adventure and Leadership (GOAL). Started as a week-long summer camp, GOAL now offers a number of programs primarily for girls in grades 6 through 9. The mission of GOAL is to promote self-esteem, self-awareness and a respect for individual differences in girls and young women, resulting in an enhanced capacity for leadership.

Along with her entrepreneurial successes, McCullough serves the Atlanta community as a speaker, resource, and advisor for other groups working on programs for girls and young women. Over the last year, she has worked to develop a consortium of nonprofit consultants to support new groups and organizations that are preparing to move to the next stage of their development. She is now working with the Juvenile Justice Fund, overseeing a program aimed at combating the criminal sexual exploitation of children.

+ BIO: Paul Howard

Paul Howard is Fulton County District Attorney and is currently serving his third term. He is the first African-American to be elected district attorney in the history of the State of Georgia.

Prior to being elected district attorney in 1996, Howard served as Fulton County's Solicitor General for four years. A cum laude graduate of Morehouse College in political science, Howard received the school's Marvin C. Magnum Legal Achievement Award. His exemplary undergraduate performance also earned him an academic scholarship at Emory University's School of Law. While doing graduate work at Emory, Howard became the president of the Black American Law Students Association and later the vice president of the Student Bar Association.

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