Lauren Ziegler, Mrs. United States 2017, will speak Friday, Jan. 19, at New Beginnings Lutheran Church to bring awareness to human trafficking in the nation.

Other speakers at the forum will include Franklin County Sheriff Steve Pelton and State Rep. Nate Tate.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. It is being hosted by Alderman Steve Myers and New Beginnings Lutheran Church, 491 New Beginnings Drive.

The St. Louis area is known to be a hotspot for this criminal activity and the Interstate 44 and I-70 corridors are known transportation routes.

Ziegler has been an outspoken advocate for the protection of children from human trafficking and is considered to be an authority on the subject.

As a wife and a mother to two young toddlers, an entrepreneur, business owner, model, former Mrs. Missouri United States 2016, and humanitarian, she is extremely dedicated and passionate about this cause.

Ziegler uses every opportunity to empower women of all ages and is a true leader in the effort to stop modern day slavery.  She often hosts fundraisers and represents organizations battling this epidemic.

The FBI has reported that St. Louis is one of the top 20 human trafficking destinations in the country.

January also is national “Human Trafficking Awareness Month.”

For more information, contact Myers at 314-974-7446.