Thursday, June 9, 2011

ICAP 2011: A Cornucopia of Workshops

The team from Emmaus Ministries came to the conference to learn, we also came to present. Sill Davis’ presentation was “What Drives Men to Sell Their Souls: Why Do They Prostitute Themselves?” Sill is the director of our ministry center. He has extensive experience working with people living with HIV and with working with people who are struggling with their identity. I like Sill a lot. However, Sill spoke two days before us, I never want that to happen again! Everyone told me how dynamic Sill was and they asked if we were going to be as much fun, as interesting. Who needs the pressure, next time I want to go first.

Doug and I gave a presentation titled “Homeless Youth: the Face of Vulnerability and Prostitution.” I provided facts and figures from the World Health Organization and various NGOs. I provided some typologies and plans of action. Doug provided three profiles that made the dry facts come to life. We received very positive feedback from our audience.

There were far more workshops than we could possibly attend. The nice part was that there were no bad choices. I attended a workshop on the challenges of working in Central Asia. It was given by Ann Marie Isenberg the team leader for the Central Asian Team. She was able to show how cultural norms and gender roles have to be taken into consideration when ministry to women involved in prostitution in this part of the world. I loved her strong Scottish brogue. She also had three women from different Central Asian nations participate in the workshop.

There was a workshop on Contemplative Prayer presented by Thelma Nambu and Peggy Giacoletto. I did not attend because my time was limited and because I was familiar with the topic. Still, as someone whose mantra is “self-care” I was so happy to see it on the schedule.

Svend-Gunnar Lidden our Swedish “African drummer” gave a presentation on “Demand.” It was a talk on the Swedish initiative to criminalize the purchaser of sex. I am told it was very good. Alicia attended Francesca Nuzzolese’s presentation “Joyful Care: Spiritual Resources for Caring Practices.” Alicia loved the talk and I cannot wait to get information about it from Alicia.

I did attend Bill Prevette’s talk, “Leading from Within: What does the inner spiritual journey mean for activities caregivers.” Again, as someone who cares about self-care for the care-givers, this was a useful workshop. Many of us from Emmaus Ministries attended “Men Are Part of the Solution”. The presentation was given by Chris Lenty and his colleagues from the MST Project. I had never considered ministering to the men who purchase sex. I found their talk to be challenging. I really respect them and I am a little jealous that they live in Thailand! It was a great presentation.

Time prevented me from attending “No Will of My Own”: How Patriarchy Smothers Female Dignity & Personhood” by Jon Zens. That seemed like such a relevant conversation to have. A friend of mine attended Mariliana Morales’ workshop on Prophetic Dance. He loved it, I would have felt pretty uncomfortable in the class but by the end of the conference it was clear many, many people found it to be a useful tool to have in their ministry tool box.

I am an Adlerian. We Adlerians lok at function by how it is addressed in the Life Tasks: Work Friendship, Love and Intimacy. Thagt being said, I wish I had time for the presentation on “Sacred Sex” by Tim Alan Gardner and the talk on “Safe and Dignified Work” by Jane Tafel.

I did get to attend “Telling Your Story” presented by Steve Lawson and Lisa Thompson. It was on how to most effectively get your message out. This might be in the form of book, video media, blogging or speaking. Steve is the senior editor at Regal Books. Lisa is the Liaison for the Abolition of Sexual Trafficking for the Salvation Army National Headquarters. I went to the talk thinking it would be useful but not interesting, wrong. Steve was very practical and Lisa was one of the most inspiring speakers I heard at the conference.

I went to hear Toos Heemskerk from the Netherlands’ speak on “Reintegration and After Care for Those Coming Out of Prostitution.” I learned so much at that talk. I learned about “Lover Boys” and branding or tattooing your “property.” I learned about decriminalization and the role of Eastern European poverty in the sex trade. I also witnessed the power of using limited self disclosure to illustrate how working in the this field and effect your personal life. I admire Toos so much.

Finally, I attended Glenn Miles’ presentation “What about Boys/?. The presentation was a powerful combination of facts, recommendations and practical applications. I found this workshop to be the most useful and compelling workshop I had attended. I felt privileged to spend time with this Welshmen who lives in Cambodia and has become a world expert on human trafficking. He has worked in India, as well as Cambodia. He studied in England and he is an author. He also testified before the United States State Department.

There were more presenters and workshops. I never heard anyone complaining that they had made a bad choice or wasted their time. This was not just a global conference, it was a world class conference.

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