Karen Marion, Secretary
Children energize Karen as she has spent her life devoted to students, families and communities as a teacher in public and private schools over the past 43 years in five states and London, England. When she encountered two students in her high school classroom who were working as child prostitutes in 2008 it ignited a spark that has become a passion to extinguish modern-day slavery in this generation.
“Once we see what is happening locally, nationally and globally to children who are sex and labor slaves how can we turn a blind eye?” wonders Karen. “It is our responsibility to protect these children and do all that we can to free them from slavery.” There is much that we can do, and Karen seeks practical ways to bring an end to this heinous crime.
Karen is the cofounder of the Washington Engage, Federal Way Coalition Against Trafficking (CAT) and Founder of the Whatcom CAT impacting grassroots community members toward education about and action against local human trafficking. Karen is also one of the founding members of the South Puget Sound Women of Vision Chapter, a volunteer outreach of World Vision which strongly advocated for victims of child trafficking. As part of the SPS WOV Chapter leadership team, Karen helped coordinate the “Break the Chain” Human Trafficking Conference and the Western Washington Chapters’ “Make It Right: From Oppression to Opportunity” event with keynote speaker Sheryl WuDunn with 525 attendees. Karen also served on the World Vision Speakers’ Bureau speaking about trafficking.
Karen has attended several of the Washington Engage Anti-Human Trafficking Day events in Olympia, WA, advocating against slavery with State legislators as well as the Women of Vision National Conference in Washington, DC, storming “The Hill” on Lobby Day with 250 other women, advocating for child health and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. In both “Washingtons” Karen has been able to relate the story about her students working as child prostitutes, to the shock and horror of legislators, congresswomen and staffers. She has also attended the International Justice Mission Prayer Gathering in Washington, DC gaining a global lens on current trafficking issues.
The Whatcom CAT merged with Hope4Justice in 2014 and Karen is currently serving on the Board of Directors for H4J as Secretary. She views this as another opportunity to impact the darkness of trafficking in Whatcom County and is grateful to have the opportunity to continue this fight locally through H4J with the opportunity to join with Rebound, Engedi Refuge and other nonprofits in the area. She speaks when invited at university classes and anti-trafficking events.
Karen enjoys time with her family and friends, especially her “grandgirlies” and spends leisure-time hours hiking, skiing and bicycling.