brand new this site uses modern materials. About – CCAHT powering Grow Free TN

Human trafficking happens here.

What is human trafficking?

When we hear the words “human trafficking,” it’s easy to believe that it’s a crime that only happens overseas – but the truth is, human trafficking happens right here at home, in the neighborhoods and communities we know and love. Human trafficking happens when someone is forced to work or to have sex, and it does not discriminate based on age, gender, socioeconomic status, race, or neighborhood.

Most often, victims of trafficking aren’t trafficked by strangers; they are trafficked by someone they know: a family member or a romantic partner – someone who sees their vulnerabilities and uses those vulnerabilities to abuse and exploit them.

How We Help

The Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking (CCAHT) is the only counter-trafficking organization in East Tennessee that unites and equips our community to end human trafficking while providing survivors with comprehensive, trauma-informed aftercare services, including case management, safe shelter, food and clothing, transportation, therapeutic services, community resources, and more.

Based in Knoxville, the CCAHT serves 33 counties of East Tennessee, serving as the single point of contact Tennessee Counter-Trafficking Alliance (TCTA) partner for the East Tennessee region.

CCAHT service region purple

Our Values

Each day, we choose to love the survivors we serve relentlessly and unconditionally, building long-term relationships that reach beyond direct service provision. Our love means inclusion, equality, respect, safety, hope, and friendship.

We respect and honor the resilience, courage, and perseverance of the survivors we serve, and we understand that in order to best serve them, we must provide them with individualized, holistic, end-to-end services.

We are helpers; not heroes. We are here to serve, not to judge. We listen before we speak, supporting our clients on their journeys toward restoration, supporting them as allies – not as instructors or mentors. We understand that we still have much to learn, and that we will learn most effectively with open ears, open hearts, and open minds turned toward the clients we serve, the community we love, and the partners that help make this work possible.

We could not do this work if it weren’t for the force of nonprofit organizations, law enforcement agencies, volunteers, interns, board members, faith groups, community groups, and incredible individuals of Knoxville and East Tennessee that provide ongoing support. When it comes to strengthening the movement to end human trafficking and growing our capacity to serve survivors in our community, our ability to do these things comes directly from the support of our community – and that’s powerful.

Human trafficking is a complex crime. By partnering with more than 40 nonprofits, law enforcement agencies, and governmental agencies throughout Tennessee, we seek to foster a collaborative and creative response to human trafficking.

Our aftercare services are not a one-month, six-month, or one-year program. While we have an established aftercare plan in place, we also recognize that our purpose is to provide individualized services for our clients through each unique healing journey, regardless of timing, detours, or challenges.

Our Team

Kate Trudell

Executive Director

Kate is passionate about building connections and creating spaces that foster healing, safety, and inclusion.

Shantel Standefer

Director of Research and Strategic Innovation

Shantel is a warrior princess who enjoys the art of exploring potential with others, showing up and showing love when it is least expected.

Makinzi Greener

Director of Development and Communications

Tara Davis

Community Relationship Coordinator

Tara is a relationship builder who believes in the value of people and fulfilling our purpose in the world.

Adult Services

Brittany Thompson

Director of Adult Services

Brittany is passionate about inspiring change in her community and in the lives of all survivors.

Amanda Dykes

Lead Housing Support Specialist

Amanda loves people and is passionate about showing them that there is hope in darkness regardless of their situation.

Brianna Harrison

Care Coordinator

Brianna believes in the power of positivity and encourages others to reach for the stars.

Jill Ferrie

Jill Ferrie

Care Coordinator

Jill loves helping others find their voice and strength while overcoming adversity and chaos.

Missy Anderson

Missy Anderson

Housing Support Specialist

Charis Mwesigwa

Housing Support Specialist
Jill Shelton

Jill Shelton

Housing Support Specialist

Katie Peterson


Katie thrives on finding the silver lining in any dark situation.

Bethany Norris

Group Facilitator

Meredith Carey

Group Facilitator

Youth Services

Lisa Bolton

Director of Youth Services

Lisa is a fierce advocate that believes in the power of empathy to change the world.

Kristie Lee

Youth Risk Prevention Coordinator

I believe that it is possible to make the world a better place through kindness, compassion, and building relationships.

Judy Martinez

Youth Care Coordinator

Judy is passionate about being a sister to anyone who needs a family, support, and love!

Amanda Stevens

Therapist – Youth and Emerging Adults

Amanda believes we are more than our trauma and with compassion, knowledge, and courage we can become an even more fierce version of ourselves.

Doniqua Joyner

Youth Care Coordinator – Johnson City

Doniqua is passionate about improving one’s emotional wellbeing and resiliency despite their circumstances.


Gabi Smith

Community Care Liaison – Johnson City

Gabi believes that through compassion and collaboration, we can change the lives of those in our communities that have experienced human trafficking.

Our Board of Directors

[ultimate_carousel slides_on_desk=”6″ slides_on_mob=”3″]

Annie Colquitt, MSW

Board President

Masters of Social Work

Joe Butler

Joe Butler

Board Treasurer + Secretary

Senior Director, Fuel Supply & Optimization
Pilot Company

Cynthia Deitle

Cynthia Deitle, JD

President Elect

Director of Civil Rights Reform
Matthew Shepard Foundation


Amanda Hara

Evening Anchor/Executive Producer of Digital Content

Carletta Smelcer, Ed.D

Staff Therapist and Adjunct Professor at Johnson University

Sara Diamond


Chris Rush

Assistant Professor
East Tennessee State University

Brooklyn Sawyers Belk

Lyft Litigation and Safety Counsel University of Tennessee College of Law Visiting Professor

Deprecated: File Theme without footer.php is deprecated since version 3.0.0 with no alternative available. Please include a footer.php template in your theme. in /wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5653