Akron Municipal Court Administrative/Presiding Judge, Hope Meadows Foundation Staff Featured on National Smart Talks Podcast

Last month, the Elizabeth Smart Foundation’s Smart Talks podcast launched an episode entitled “How Local Government and Organizations Can Work Together for Survivors” which entails a discussion between Administrative/Presiding Judge Ron Cable, Hope Meadows Foundation Co-Founder/Community Outreach Director Anne Kichurchak and Hope Meadows Foundation Clinical Director Lisa Borchert moderated by Child Abduction and Recovery Program Advocate Elizabeth Smart. 

These four individuals discuss programming and how collaboration can provide meaningful resources to human trafficking survivors. The Elizabeth Smart Foundation, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, has a mission “to bring hope and end the victimization and exploitation of sexual assault.”

In 2018, Judge Cable created the Restore Individual Self-Empowerment (RISE) Program for human trafficking survivors in the Akron Municipal Court’s jurisdiction. In 2020, RISE received a specialized docket certification from the Supreme Court of Ohio and became RISE Court. Ohio law provides for expungement for victims of human trafficking. Eighteen individuals are currently enrolled in RISE.

Hope Meadows is a non-profit organization, based in Granger Township, Ohio, that offers equine assisted therapy and life skills programming to all demographics including first responders, human trafficking victims and youth who have experienced trauma.

Thanks to generous grant funding from The Lehner Family Foundation and the Akron Bar Foundation, RISE participants have been able to experience equine assisted therapy at Hope Meadows.

Smart Talks is currently in its third season and “How Local Government and Organizations Can Work Together for Survivors” is episode 3.15. The podcast episode is available here.