McKenna Miller crop

McKenna Miller

Outreach and Engagement Coordinator

How did you first learn about and begin working with Free Our Girls/The Avery Center?

I learned about Free Our Girls in the beginning of 2019. I looked up to Megan Lundstrom in a huge way because I wanted to start my own non-profit. I never thought that she would give me the time of day because she was busy changing the world! Flash forward to August of 2020 and I am having intimate conversations with her because Dr. Angie Henderson was assigned as my advisor for graduate school at UNC. I had a passion for fighting violence against women and fell deeply in love with the anti-trafficking movement. Now I am the Outreach and Engagement Coordinator and get to share about the innovative ways that The Avery Center has impacted services for survivors and victims nationwide!

 

What do you think sets The Avery Center apart from other organizations in this sector?

We hold sacred spaces for victims to show up as their authentic selves and determine the direction of their own journeys.

 

What's your favorite part/the most fulfilling part of your role?

Two of the best parts of my job is myth busting common misconceptions about trafficking and sharing a valuable resource for people when other efforts have been exhausted or non-existent. All too often, people think that trafficking looks like individuals being physically held hostage. When in all reality, it’s much less obvious than that and hidden in plain sight. Additionally, I have been able to witness people regaining hope; service providers and victims/survivors included. There are minimal resources available for people impacted by commercial sexual exploitation. It changes lives by providing a space to talk about these experiences, as such a stigmatized sector of society. We allow the ability for people to get second chances and regain control over their futures.

 

What do you enjoy doing when you're not at The Avery Center?

Rock climbing, reading, running, and cuddling with my dog Rex!

 

What advice would you give someone who wants to join our team of superstars?

Stay humble and curious. We all have worth and value in our ideas. Each and every person should be heard. We are never too old, experienced, or busy to learn more! And always, listen to people who have lived experience in whatever industry you work in.

 

Favorite book:

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Girls Like Us by Rachel Lloyd
Know My Name by Chanel Miller

 

TV show you're hooked on:

Pose on Netflix
Die-hard Greys Anatomy fan!

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