Research, education, and advocacy sit at the heart of the CJR's strategy to nurture the hope we are called to be in the world.

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The CJR maintains an action-research agenda, studying sex and labor trafficking in San Diego.

Dr. Jamie Gates, director of the CJR, was a lead researcher on the Department of Justice-funded research studying the connection between gangs and sex trafficking in San Diego County.

The groundbreaking study, "Measuring the Nature and Extent of Gang Involvement in Sex Trafficking in San Diego," focused narrowly on one of the most understudied aspects of human trafficking in the United States: the relationship of street gangs as facilitators of sex trafficking. Researchers gathered and analyzed data from hundreds of current and former gang-affiliated individuals, schools, law enforcement agencies, and victim service providers.

Data was collected from 1,205 individuals, making it one of the largest, most comprehensive human trafficking case studies in the U.S. to date. This included 156 gang-affiliated persons and/or traffickers, 702 first-time prostitution offenders, 189 survivors from eight victim services programs, and 140 county school administrators and staff. The study is a large-scale model of collaborative research to affect policy and practice, and serves as a national model for future research on human trafficking more broadly. View the full executive summary.

In early 2016, the CJR was awarded a County of San Diego contract to manage a regional human trafficking collaborative research effort in the San Diego/Tijuana region. The Human Trafficking Research and Data Advisory Roundtable (HT-RADAR) facilitates collaboration among researchers, identifies research funding, shares data, and affects decision-making in the region with quality research. Learn more about HT-RADAR and get involved!


kNOw MORE! Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Curriculum
The CJR has developed a new curriculum to tackle the challenge of preventing the recruitment of San Diego’s high school students into sex trafficking by targeting the most vulnerable students. Thanks to the support of donors and collaboration with our partners, including the San Diego Unified School District, the County Office of Education, Child Welfare Services, survivor leaders, law enforcement, and others, the curriculum launched in fall 2016.

Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund
The Beauty for Ashes Scholarship currently supports four full-time students at PLNU, with several more in the final stages of application for next fall. This scholarship for survivors of human trafficking is providing hope for a better life for victims all over the country. We believe it is stepping into what we do best — providing a college education in the nurturing environment of PLNU — and standing behind and caring for the most vulnerable.

South Africa Study Abroad
The South Africa study abroad program consists of a full semester experience where students will travel together to South Africa and spend part of the program in the northern part of the country, and another part studying in Cape Town. Living in local residents’ homes and experiencing contemporary life in South Africa, students also have the incredible opportunity to visit many of the historic sites read about in class, such as Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. Other important sites include an AIDS clinic and small business development center, rural and urban schools, and a soccer stadium.


Student Movement
PLNU students have been at the heart of the global movement to end modern slavery. The student movement against human trafficking on PLNU’s campus, led by CJR interns, is affecting the movement in our region and well beyond.

Churches Against Trafficking
The CJR supports the work of Churches Against Trafficking (CAT), a network of local churches that are collaborating to educate and engage the Christian community in the anti-trafficking work in the region.

Abolish Human Trafficking Website
The CJR manages a community website to grow awareness about the region’s efforts to end human trafficking. The website hosts a community calendar, resources, news, and other information to help mobilize our community.

Dr. Jamie Gates testifies for Trafficking Reform Legislation
In April 2016, Dr. Jamie Gates testified on behalf of Assembly Bill 1708, which passed the California State Assembly on a bipartisan 6-0 vote. Under this bill, for the first time, California will treat the purchasing and selling of sex as different crimes, allowing for different penalties. This fundamental change allows a wide range of changes to be made, which improves protections for trafficking victims and creates stronger deterrents for purchasers. Gates' testimony included the findings of the recent research study on the connection between gangs and sex trafficking.

CJR in the News

The work of the CJR frequently appears in local and national news.

Human Trafficking Research
The Department of Justice funded a groundbreaking research project studying the connection between gangs and trafficking in the San Diego region. Led by the University of San Diego and PLNU, the preliminary results of the research were released in 2015 and point toward increased collaboration in the region. The media has responded with increased attention toward human trafficking in our region.


1/10/18: SD News: Human Trafficking Awareness Rally to Spotlight Local Problems

1/13/18: Times of San Diego: Campaign Launched to Warn Parents about Sex Trafficking

1/19/18: Fox News: March in Balboa Park Raises Awareness about Human Trafficking

2/3/18: Los Angeles Times: A Red Light on Human Trafficking

3/7/18: Educate for Life: The New Slavery - Michelle Shoemaker, Jessica, Dr. Jerry Andrews

3/12/18: ABC News: Point Loma Nazarene University Helping Victims of Sex Trafficking with Full-Ride Scholarships

4/12/18: Rancho Santa Fe Review: CCA Student Raising Awareness on Human Trafficking

4/18/18: Voice of San Diego: There's Virtually no such Thing as Voluntary Sex Work, says DA

4/18/18: San Diego Union Tribune: Think Human Trafficking Doesn't Happen in San Diego? Think Again.

4/22/18: San Diego Union Tribune: San Diego's Own Human Trafficking Stories on April 24th

4/24/18: Times of San Diego: Ending Human Trafficking is a San Diego Community Responsibility

5/3/18: San Diego Union Tribune: Forum Focuses on Human Trafficking's Toll, Ways to Help Victims

5/12/18: Voice of San Diego: Even Independent Sex Workers Rarely Enter the Industry Voluntarily

5/17/18: NBC News: Human Trafficking Experts from Across the US Gather in San Diego

5/17/18: Times of San Diego: District Attorney to Address Free Event on Human Trafficking Awareness

5/23/18: FOX News: Victims Speak Out Against San Diego's Sex Trafficking Problem

05/23/18: Voice of San Diego: The DA is Right about Sex Work  

11/07/18: Taking Action: Santa Maria event to focus on education to prevent sexual exploitation of children  

12/04/18: Migrant Families Within San Diego  

12/07/18: Pt Loma Nazarene Faculty and Students Respond to Rapid Response Network Call to Aid Immigrants  

12/19/18: The Inn Without Borders / La Posada Sin Fronteras


1/7/17: San Diego Union-Tribune: Private eyes look for runaways, sex-trade victims to rescue

1/10/17: Times of San Diego: January Is Human Trafficking Awareness Month in San Diego

1/19/17: Times of San Diego: Sex-Trafficking Alert in City Hall: ‘Sole Sisters’ Shoe Display

1/24/17: San Diego City Beat: Local org a new H.O.P.E. for victims of human trafficking

2/4/17: San Diego Union-Tribune: Schools take on sex trafficking

2/9/17: Times of San Diego: Atkins Bill Would Enlist Hotel Employees in Reporting Human Trafficking

2/16/17: CW6 San Diego: New legislation helps human trafficking victims get on their feet

4/12/17: San Diego Union-Tribune: San Diego assemblyman's bill targets sex trafficking as a criminal business

4/26/17: Rancho Santa Fe Review: Lynch Foundation fundraiser to help prevent child sex trafficking

5/5/17: ABC News: San Diego's Sex Trafficking Business Targeted by Task Force

6/1/17: KPBS News: Trafficking Victims find Lifeline at City Heights Agency, but Funding may Run Dry

7/31/17: Rancho Santa Fe Review: Lynch Foundation for Children Holds Fundraising Gala

9/20/17: Village News: Non-Profit Saved in America Rescues Runaways from Sex Trafficking

10/9/17: San Diego Union Tribune: Businesses, Officers and Nonprofits to Launch Human Trafficking Awareness Campaign

10/14/17: San Diego DA: kNOw More Human Trafficking Prevention and Curriculum

10/29/17: San Diego Union Tribune: Slow but Steady Progress being made Against Sex Trafficking in San Diego

11/2/17: San Diego Union Tribune: Special Court Seeks to Aid Teen Trafficking Victims with Support and Rehabilitation

12/28/17: San Diego Magazine: Saved in America Fights Sex Trafficking in San Diego

Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund
The Beauty for Ashes Scholarship Fund was launched in October 2014. This scholarship provides assistance with PLNU tuition expenses for survivors of human trafficking who meet admission requirements for the university. As we grow the Beauty for Ashes Fund at PLNU, we are thankful and excited to see national coverage for the scholarship.

The following are publications that have featured the Beauty for Ashes Fund and PLNU:


Syracuse University's Daily Orange – November 6, 2014

Charisma News – November 5, 2014 (reprint from USA Today)

USA Today – Most Uplifting Stories of the Week – November 2, 2014

Huffington Post – November 1, 2014

MSNBC – November 1, 2014

Washington Post – October 31, 2014

Religion News Service – October 31, 2014

Newser – October 31, 2014

Storify – October 31, 2014

Christian Examiner – October 31, 2014

USA Today, College Edition – October 30, 2014

Lomabeat/Point Weekly (advertising Just Saying event) – October 24, 2014

Nazarene Communications Network – October 23, 2914

Fox News – October 21, 2014

The College Fix – October 17, 2014 - By PLNU student Samantha Watkins

Loma Beat/The Point Weekly – September 14, 2014