Mission Statement: Increase awareness of human trafficking, identify victims and work collaboratively with our partners to provide comprehensive services to identified victims in Oklahoma and throughout America!
Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans (O.A.T.H.) was organized in 2008 by a small group of concerned citizens in Tulsa that had become aware of trafficking problems here in our state. The initial mission has been to bring awareness about human trafficking and the activity of traffickers operating here in Oklahoma and to create a victim-centered approach to our advocacy.
Currently there are only two part-time paid staff positions ( Office manager and Volunteer Coordinator). Everyone else that works with OATH volunteers their time including the Executive Director. Full time volunteer Intern positions are available.
February 2009: O.A.T.H. acting director, Mark Elam, was invited by representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, US Department of State, US Attorney General’s Office, and Oklahoma City Police Department to become the state-wide agency promoting awareness and education about human trafficking in Oklahoma. Additionally Mr. Elam was asked to organize and moderate the FBI working task force on human trafficking and network agencies and service providers to join in the effort to identify victims of human trafficking and provide them the services needed.
March 2009: OATH, Inc was registered with the state of Oklahoma as a non-profit organization and soon after became a fiscal responsible partner with Communities Foundation of Oklahoma for accountability. Mr. Elam is the current executive director as a full-time volunteer. OATH, Inc oversees the O.A.T.H. Coalition, works to establish community Task Force working groups and Community Action Teams throughout the state.
February 2010: Mr. Elam was invited along with other national human trafficking experts to participate in the Bureau of Justice Affairs and the Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute “Focus Group” to review the previous 10 years of U.S. effort in ending human trafficking and to provide a new model for the Department of Justice and HHS Department to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
April 2010: OATH partnered with Oklahoma Regional Community Policing Institute in conjunction with a grant through the District Attorney Council to conduct 8 hour CLEET-certified law enforcement trainings on human trafficking in every county throughout the state. To date, over 700 officers have attended this training.
July 2010: OATH formed the Tulsa Human Trafficking Task Force with over 40 federal, state and local agencies to expose and fight human trafficking in the Northeast sector of our state.
November 2010: OATH was awarded the IRS 501(c)3 letter recognizing the Corporation as a Not For Profit Charitable Organization.
March 2011: OATH partnered with the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children to provide the Internet Safety curriculum, Netsmatrz to schools and churches in Oklahoma. This program is now being offered to communities around the state in partnership with Oklahoma Colleges and Universities.
February 2012: The Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women established a proclamation to partner with OATH Coalition in the fight against human trafficking. Legislation will be drafted for a statewide task force that will conduct studies and develop the necessary protocols in our state to address the issue.
Currently: OATH now conducts monthly volunteer meetings in a variety of locations across the state that are open to the public. You are welcome to attend, bring friends and family members that are just hearing about this issue to learn what is happening in your area. Community Action Teams are forming across the state to mobilize volunteers into practical hands-on participation in exposing and ending modern slavery in our state.
OATH Organizational Plan
OATH has a three-prong focus of Awareness, Action and Prevention. Our strategy includes several phases of operation that will coincide with the needs of our state network and the victims that we serve.
Phase I: Expose the problem and define the issue by providing awareness and education though professional trainings, conferences, community action teams, legislative efforts and public awareness campaigns.
Phase II: Focus on prevention through public school programs, stop the demand efforts, and leadership from the faith community to establish a culturally appropriate model for men and boys in relationship to ending the violence and abuse against women and children.
Phase III: Work to regionalize these efforts with other city and state Coalitions & the DOJ Task Force groups in the Mid-west region, and partner with like minded organizations around the nation.
Phase IV: Create a victim advocacy network though the development of the VOSTA (Victims of Sex Trafficking Advocacy) program.
O.A.T.H. Coalition Organizational Plan
Mission Statement: Bringing Together Oklahomans, to Expose and End Modern Slavery!
The advancement of a state-wide Coalition that builds a network of satellite partnerships working within their community to develop a community response protocol for identifying HT victims and servicing their specific needs.
Partnerships: Partnering with multiple professional agencies, organizations, groups, businesses and the faith community to build the resources necessary that will work to identify Oklahoma victims and provide for them the services that they need.
Education: Expose the problem and define the issue by providing awareness and education though professional trainings, conferences, community action teams, legislative efforts and public awareness campaigns.
Task Force: Develop and deploy Task Force Working Groups in each of the major Oklahoma Cities. Partner with and expand current multi-agency groups working in communities under the District Attorneys Council and the Health Department.
Advocacy: Create a volunteer based program of advocacy that supports the victim’s rights, assist the client with services needed and stands by him/her through the process of rehabilitation.
Board of Directors:
Elizabeth Brown Hines
Dr. Lanny Endicott Grady Smalling Satara Armstrong
Our Work Team
- FBI’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2010 for combating human...
Mr. Elam contributes his time to the cause as a ministry assignment. Donations from his local church, friends, family and supporters allow him to work full time as the Executive Director without receiving a salary from OATH. Mr. Elam is reimbursed for his travel expenses that are related to his service for OATH and when he speaks at events or trainings that do not provide compensation a stipend is provided through the awareness / training program.