About Us


The mission of the International Human Trafficking Institute is to leverage the role of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Inc. as a thought leader and convener, to facilitate the collective efforts of the private and public sectors, faith-based and civic organizations to accelerate local, national and global movements  to end the trafficking of persons.


"Human Trafficking of all forms cannot be tolerated in the 21st Century. We must do what we can, when we can, to ensure that not even one person is exploited by labor or sex trafficking. Please join me along with the International Human Trafficking Institute, the Center for Civil and Human Rights and justice-seeking persons everywhere to learn something, see something, do something."


IHIT's Response

IHTI Demand Focus to Disrupt the Business Model of Human Trafficking

Given the steadily increasing growth in residents and visitors, partners across Atlanta must come together to get a handle on our human trafficking problem.

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In January 2018, in partnership with the City of Atlanta, FBI, and Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee, IHTI convened persons representing business, government, anti-human trafficking organizations, advocacy, civic, faith, and philanthropic entities to form the Metro-Atlanta Human Trafficking Coalition.

The agenda focused on creating a multi-sector comprehensive strategy to address Atlanta’s intractable human trafficking problem. Subsequently, Accenture, providing pro bono consultation, facilitated several ideation sessions capturing information on harnessing the resources of the community for a holistic approach to reducing human trafficking. IHTI also reviewed best practices in other major cities and conducted interviews with local and national subject matter experts.

The result is a three-year strategic plan (see below), grounded in interrupting the business model of human trafficking using technology, training, policy, compliance, outreach and awareness. Human trafficking exists when a trafficker seizes the business opportunity to sell humans, especially minors, to a customer seeking to purchase a person for exploited sexual or labor purposes. Wherever there are vulnerable populations and market demand, there are human trafficking transactions.

On June 8, 2018, Human Traffick Proof the ATL was launched. More than 275 people attended from our multi-stakeholders’ group, and more than 150 commitments were made from the attendees to contribute a wide-range of resources to move the effort forward.

Meet Our Team

International Human Trafficking Institute

Deborah Richardson is the Executive Director of the International Human Trafficking Institute (IHTI) of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. IHTI is charged with a three-year strategic plan to reduce human trafficking in Metro-Atlanta. She is a nationally recognized expert on social justice for women and girls and advocate to end human trafficking.  Twenty years ago, she pioneered the first programming for sexually exploited girls in the southeast, then led a national campaign to eradicate the facilitation of trafficking on online platforms.

She testified before Congress, and advised more than 20 communities throughout the United States on organizing and implementing their efforts to address child sexual exploitation.  In addition to also serving as the Center's Interim CEO, her impactful career includes: Chief Program Officer at the Women's Funding Network in San Francisco, CEO of The Atlanta Women's Foundation, Director of Program Development for Fulton County Juvenile Court, Founding Executive Director of the Juvenile Justice Fund (now YouthSpark).

Deborah received honors and awards from many organizations for her lifetime of community service and contributions to the field of ending human trafficking. In 2018, Deborah was appointed the Alonzo F. and Norris B. Herndon Human Rights Expert in Residence in the Honors College of Georgia State University. Recently she received the Lives of Commitment Award from Auburn Theological Seminary, Big Voice Award from Georgia Voices for Children, Community Service Award by Spelman College Board of Trustees and The Pathbreaker Award from Shared Hope International.

She holds a Masters of Arts in Leadership from St. Mary's College of California and is a doctoral candidate in Public Policy and Social Change from Union Institute & University.

DeAndre' Davison Marshall is the Director of Training at the International Human Trafficking Institute (IHTI) of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. IHTI is charged with a three-year strategic plan to reduce human trafficking in Metro-Atlanta. Along with IHTI, DeAndre' works in the community by serving on several non-profit boards in Atlanta.

She earned a Masters Degree in Christian Education from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA and a Bachelor's Degree in .... from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.  She is a Certified Christian Educator who has experience working in the corporate, religious, and non-profit sectors. She has ..... years of experience managing children and youth programs.  She has been a Program Manager for a local community center and a Case Manager for a non-profit organization.

DeAndre' was introduced to human trafficking over 20 years ago while serving as an Art Therapist for the Fulton County Juvenile Court teaching art to girls who were human trafficking survivors.  She has written a self-esteem curriculum entitled ...... for tweens and facilitates seminars to introduce tween girls to their menstrual cycles.

Meet Our Team

New Ambassador of the Quarter: Shawn Smash-Jett

IHTI is pleased to announce Shawn Smash-Jett as the Ambassador of the Quarter.  Shawn has been a tremendous help in training and assisting IHTI to spread the message throughout Georgia. Shawn's additional focus is on rescuing victims and offering support to trafficked survivors.

Mrs. Smash-Jett believes in the power of training adults to keep youth and other vulnerable individuals safe from predators. One of her passions is in advocating against domestic minor sex trafficking and empowering women.

Her organization, Wealthy Divas International, helps empowers women through the educational curriculum. This curriculum also provides human sex trafficked survivors with the tools and resources needed to establish independence.

Shawn puts her boots on the ground to help rescue individuals from human trafficking. To date, she has recused over 300 people from human trafficking situations. Thank you Shawn for all your hard work with the International Human Trafficking Institute, through your organization, recuses, and so much more.

Help us congratulation our New Ambassador of the Quarter by leaving a few positive and encouraging messages on her Ambassador Speaks Video


IHTI continues our efforts to create a movement in Georgia to disrupt the business model of human trafficking and end it in Georgia. IHTI is looking for volunteers to assist us as we increase awareness about the dangers and harms of human trafficking. Are you interested in making a difference in your community, then consider joining us as an Ambassador?

As an IHTI Ambassador, you will receive training on how to conduct various IHTI training sessions. You will work with the IHTI Administrative Team and other passionate Ambassadors to Traffick Proof Georgia.

Only through the help of Ambassadors can IHTI increase awareness and conduct training sessions throughout the state and reach our goal of 50,000 by the end of 2021. Will you join us? If not you, then who? If not now, then when? Help make a difference today and join the IHTI Ambassador Training Team. Fill out the signup form below to submit your contact information to the training team, and someone will contact you back within 48 hours.

IHTI Celebrates Graduates From Class 2020



IHTI is honored to present to you the high graduates of our Ambassador Parent Training Team for the Class of 2020.

Gary Sheppard - Salutatorian of Charles R. Drew Charter School

Gary Sheppard, who is a native Atlantan, attended Charles R, Drew Charter School, where his hard work and dedication awarded him the Salutatorian position within his graduating class. Inside the school, Gary’s accomplishments are numerous.  He was the co-founder of the Biology Mentoring Program, member of the Math Mentorship Program, Beta Club, and Student Government Association.  If inside school was not enough, Gary has been very active in his community.  He is the Technology Assistant in his church, freelance video/ photo editor, and an HR Hourly Intern for the Atlanta Public School System.

Gary’s future shows his inspirations of a sense of justice and integrity.  He plans to attend Georgia Tech University and getting a Major in Computer Science with minors in Cyber Security and Film.  He is working towards becoming a video game developer and freelance videographer.  Watch out for this polite and driven young man; we are sure he will go on to do great things.

Proud Parents: Ambassador of Last Quarter, Ms. Kedria Sheppard and her late husband, Mr. Gary Sheppard


Michael Southern - Graduate of McEachern High School 

Michael Southern is a graduate of McEachern High School and will be attending Morehouse College.  He plans to pursue a Major in Software Engineering, and he dreams of working in the field of Cyber Security upon graduation.  We are all proud of his acceptance into Morehouse College and wish him well in the next chapter of his life.

Proud Parents: Ambassador, Mrs. Chandra Southern, and her husband, Mr. Michael Southern


Join The Ambassador Team Today!

Sign Up For The Ambassador Team Here Today!

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