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News from Baylor School of Education

Baylor Alumna Fighting Against Human Trafficking [01/25/2017]


Dr. Christina Crenshaw, a Baylor School of Education PhD graduate, is using her degree — and her passion — to fight human trafficking. She has developed a curriculum, conducted academic research, and serves in a local non-profit in hopes of making a difference.

January is Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and Crenshaw said everyone — especially educators — should be aware of the symptoms of trafficked victims. “Learn the signs of trafficking, because it is happening all around you,” Crenshaw noted.

The red flags that indicate a person is being potentially trafficked are:

  • Living away from home with friends or an older boyfriend
  • Vulnerable home life
  • Inability or unwillingness to speak alone
  • Signs of physical and emotional abuse
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Lack of school attendance
  • Acquisition of new, expensive material possessions

“I first heard about human trafficking from Antioch’s World Mandate Conference. We’ve been a part of Antioch Community Church for 16 years,” Crenshaw said about her first awareness of the severity of human trafficking.

After graduating from Baylor, Crenshaw and her husband moved to San Diego, where she took a job as an Assistant Professor at California Baptist University. “I was basically teaching in the same vicinity as the one of the largest global human trafficking organizations,” she said.

While on maternity leave from her teaching position, Crenshaw contacted A21, an organization dedicated to human trafficking prevention, to see if they needed help five to 10 hours a week. They needed help with curriculum writing.

A21 is a global non-profit that fights against human trafficking, focusing on rescuing, rehabilitation, and restoration of victims.

Crenshaw worked with a team to develop a curriculum that would meet state standards and integrate activities that most kids would be studying, or have already studied, by the time they reached 10th grade.

The A21 curriculum that Crenshaw helped developed is called “Bodies Are Not Commodities” and can be purchased by educators through A21 at

The curriculum has five interactive multimedia sessions that start with how slavery has evolved into human trafficking and end with how the student can help abolish it. It has been implemented in high schools, youth groups, non-profits and universities.

After the curriculum was developed, Crenshaw worked with School of Education assistant professor Dr. Lakia Scott to conduct a multi-faceted research study regarding the successes of the curriculum in actual high school classrooms. Their research is under review for publication in two separate national academic journals.

Crenshaw graduated from Texas A&M in 2002 with a BA in English and minor in education. After teaching high school English for a few years, she received her MEd from Cambridge College in 2005. She then received her PhD in Curriculum and Teaching from Baylor University in 2013.

“I loved Baylor’s faith integration, and I wanted to study the profession of teaching and the art of educating from a Christian world-view,” she said. Crenshaw wrote her dissertation on faith and learning and how it makes teachers better educators.

Having moved back to Waco, Crenshaw is teaching leadership courses through the School of Education’s Leadership minor for undergraduates, as well as serving as the Program Director for Truett Seminary’s Youth Spirituality and Sports Institute: Running the Race Well.

In addition to her work at Baylor and the A21 campaign, Crenshaw also serves at the Prevention Committee Chair for The Heart of Texas Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition.

The coalition just received a $1.5 million grant from the Department of Justice that was implemented earlier this month. The sheriff’s office received $600,000 to hire a full-time detective and different equipment needed to conduct investigations, while $900,000 went to Communities in Schools to hire counselors and other resources necessary for victim rehabilitation.

By Lana Baugh

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Founded in 1919, Baylor School of Education ranks among the nation’s top 20 education schools located at private universities. The School’s research portfolio complements its long-standing commitment to excellence in teaching and student mentoring. Baylor’s undergraduate program in teacher education has earned national distinction for innovative partnerships with local schools that provide future teachers deep clinical preparation, while graduate programs culminating in both the Ed.D. and PhD. prepare outstanding leaders, teachers and clinicians through an intentional blend of theory and practice.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.





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