Ending Human Trafficking Podcast

Ending Human Trafficking Podcast

292 – The Path Foward for the Ending Human Trafficking Podcast

February 06, 2023

The Ending Human Trafficking podcast is moving forward. Dr. Sandie Morgan and Dave Stachowiak reflect on 12 years of the Ending Human Trafficking podcast and what lays ahead for the future of the podcast.

Key Points
  • The Ending Human Trafficking podcast was initially launched to share Dr. Sandie Morgan’s expertise on this issue with a wide audience in an accessible and understandable way.
  • Dave Stachowiak, co-host of the Ending Human Trafficking podcast for 12 years, will be stepping away from the show for two reasons:
    • 1) The show has evolved with networks, experts, and staff to be sustainable with Dr. Sandie Morgan as the single host, and
    • 2) Dave Stachowiak’s podcast, Coaching for Leaders, has grown alongside the Ending Human Trafficking podcast in such that to allow both podcasts to continue to be a resource, Dave and Sandie need to dedicate their time to develop each podcast separately.


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Dave  00:00

You’re listening to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast. This is Episode 292, The Path Forward for the Ending Human Trafficking podcast.

Dave  00:23

Welcome to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast. My name is Dave Stachowiak.

Sandra Morgan  00:28

And my name is Sandie Morgan.

Dave  00:31

And this is the show where we empower you to study the issues, be a voice and make a difference in ending human trafficking. Sandie, it is just you and I today. Normally we have a guest, but here we are. So many years in, 12 years in on the show almost and what fun it has been during this entire time.

Sandra Morgan  00:53

Dave, I am looking back at our first episodes and when we started, you’d just joined the Global Center for Women and Justice board. And you wanted us to start a podcast, and I trusted you. And we did in 2011. And now it’s 2023. And we have just developed an awesome resource. Someone emailed me just the other day and said that the Ending Human Trafficking podcast is their go to to stay up to date on the issues around human trafficking. And that’s such a rewarding feedback for what we’ve been doing. But do you remember when you made that suggestion that we start the podcast? What was in your mind, your heart? How did you perceive this?

Dave  01:57

I remember it vaguely. As I recall, we were in a board meeting. And I’m trying to remember even where the genesis of the idea for me came from. Certainly, I was already thinking about podcasting because I had purchased podcasting equipment because I was planning to start a show on leadership, which became Coaching for Leaders. And then right about that time, I came on the board for the Global Center for Women and Justice. My wife, Bonnie, had been on the board for a number of years, and you did a big transition of no longer having faculty and staff on the board. And so there was a big transition of a number of folks. And you were very kind to invite me on the board. And then I don’t remember if you and I talked about it beforehand, or we talked about it at that board meeting in front of everyone. But I thought, wow, we have all of this expertise from you and from the work and the research the board and the Global Center had been doing, what if we had a way to share it in a medium that was really accessible to folks? And of course, back then podcasting was very much in its infancy still. But I thought, this would be potentially a really great way to get the word out and to talk about your work and to support people around the world. And that was my entire thought process, I think.

Sandra Morgan  03:24

It was so wonderful. And I remember actually asking because the manager, part of me says, so how much is this going to cost? And you said, Well, your time, but this is my give back to the community. I’ve already started learning podcasting for the Coaching for Leaders podcast, and this is my give back. And we started. And the rest is, as they say, history.

Dave  03:53

Yeah, indeed. And it has been such an incredible, it’s been an incredible 12 years. And the reason we are airing this episode today is we are having a transition that is coming into a new era for the podcast. And the transition involves both of us, but me specifically, in that I am going to be stepping away as co-host of the Ending Human Trafficking podcast, which is a big transition for the show now after 12 years of this time. And I suppose the immediate question that will come up in people’s minds who’ve been listening to the show for a while is: why are you stepping aside after 12 years? And there’s two big reasons. One of them is a very practical reason. And then one of them is more of a big picture reason and I think both are actually really good reasons, as you and I have talked about Sandie. So the first one is, you know, maybe I’ll start with the big picture one. When we started this back in 2011 our vision for the show was that you as the person who has dedicated your life to support ending human trafficking around the world and has done so much incredible work and has all of this expertise, that the dynamic of the show could be really helpful to people if you showed up as the expert, as you are, and I showed up as a co-host, who was very much kind of the person on the street, someone who was very interested and had a heart for this issue and wanted to do something about it, but was very much, and I feel like still am in a lot of ways, the every person I know a little bit about this, but I don’t know the depth that you do. But that if I could show up as a person who was curious, and ask the questions that the average person would ask if they ran into you at a event or at a conference, or just walking down the street or sitting next to you on an airplane, but would be the questions I’d ask. And for those who’ve been longtime listeners, our first year or two probably was almost exclusively that dynamic of we’d put together an episode, I would ask questions that were from the perspective of the every day person and you were so gracious to share your expertise and your wisdom.

Sandra Morgan  06:22

And that was so powerful, because it created a nice, even playing field for listeners. And I really trusted your leadership when we launched this. And I felt really comfortable answering questions and not being responsible for any of the tech side of things. You took care of everything. But this idea of asking questions and your curiosity, you ask questions that I didn’t even think if I was trying to put together something I’m going to teach parents about this. It would have been very didactic, and perhaps a little pedantic and boring. But you gave it a lot of life and reflected people from across the country. And I think when I look back and I remember our fourth podcast, so we’d only been in this a couple of months, because we started and have continued to do two podcasts a month. And I talked about brain development and why we can’t blame young people, children for decisions that are made before their brains are fully developed. And within weeks, I had an email from Holly Smith, asking for permission to use that podcast in her survivor congressional testimony. Dave, the power of impact, answering one question, telling one story. And a survivor found that helpful and included it then when she went before Congress. And after that, she wrote a book called Walking Prey by Holly Austin Smith. And in the opening chapter, she describes how she discovered this aspect because she was listening to the conversation between Dave and Sandie.

Dave  08:34

Yeah, it’s really amazing, isn’t it? And so what’s really been wonderful to watch, and this has happened gradually over the years is we’ve transitioned away from that model a bit, and I don’t know if we even ever, I’m trying to recall us ever having an apparent conversation about that. We just kind of evolved as time went on. But your expertise grew in interviewing and, of course, your network has continued to grow over the years. And what happened is I actually while we have still done episodes like this, where it’s been you and me, we’ve had so many more episodes, in fact, more of our standard format now as folks know is to have another guest expert joining us and to feature so many of the incredible partnerships that you have grown and that have grown through the Global Center for Women and Justice over the years, that we’ve been able to feature on the show. And that has been so fun to see and my role has been a little bit more of a backseat role, as listeners will know in recent years, where I often will introduce an episode and close it and I’ll jump in here and there, but it’s been so fun to see you really stepping into full leadership of the podcast and so that’s one big reason from a big picture is that the show has evolved and you have evolved and grown to where my role has changed. And it’s been so fun to see that and in a way, we’ve replaced me, which I think is, in some ways, the best thing I could have ever hoped for. That now, the show and your expertise lives in a way where while I’m thrilled to be involved and love being involved, I no longer need to be involved because we have the ecosystem and the frameworks and the staff now, to support the show in ways that we never had, we never dreamed of 12 years ago. Not only didn’t dream of, didn’t even ever cross our minds we’d be doing this 12 years later.

Sandra Morgan  10:42

This is a good place to give a shout out to the people behind the scenes. We have to start with Andrew, of course, because Andrew makes it sound like I never say uh. Andrew, you have to leave that ‘uh’ in so this sentence will make sense. But, Andrew is just amazing. He answers tech questions, he makes sure our audio edits are beautiful, and that our guests sound good too. And he’s been a mentor for me in this process, much as you have Dave. And I think trusting your leadership in all of this discipled me, mentored me, coached me along the way. And as I listened to the Coaching for Leaders podcast, and realized how you were able to make expert voices assessable for those of us who don’t have the time to go and do the deep dive, to read the whole book, to listen to 17 podcasts, just listen to one. And so that same process began to show up in my strategic planning, as I saw the Ending Human Trafficking podcast as a force multiplier. Amplifying voices of expert guests, subject matter experts, leaders in government, like Ambassador John Cotton Richmond, and members of the United Nations, as well as local law enforcement and our own founder of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, Derek Marsh, who many of you now realize is the Associate Director here at the Center.

Dave  12:33

Yeah, it’s been really incredible. When I think back to the people who have shown up in our studio prior to the pandemic, we’ve done less, we’ve done more virtually since then. But we’ve had here in our studio, police chiefs, judges, Dr. Sami from Iraq. He was here with his team. Yeah, it’s one of the most memorable episodes I can recall of just–

Sandra Morgan  12:53

And you know who else we had in the studio? We had Esther and Camille Ntoto from Congo. Oh, my gosh, that was a memorable moment.

Dave  13:05

Yeah, and it’s been, just on a personal level, it’s been so enriching to me not only to learn, obviously, I know a lot more about human trafficking and the issues around it than I did 12 years ago, I’m still very much the student compared to you, of course. But it’s also been incredibly rewarding to be exposed to so many different kinds of backgrounds and cultures, and the kinds of people who are doing unbelievable work. Just about every time we air an episode, I find myself feeling so humbled, and in awe of the people who, like you, have dedicated their lives to this issue and serve in such selfless ways all around the world, not for their own glory, or for their own notoriety or anything, but who have a passion and a care to support people and humanity around the world. And it is extremely humbling. And so, all of that to say that kind of the big picture of the show having evolved over the years, that’s one big piece. The second piece, as I mentioned there’s two, is a real practical one. We have run into a really good problem, both you and I. We have a good problem in that you have had so many wonderful guests who love appearing on the show and are obviously from all over the world. At the same time, my work with coaching for leaders has grown massively in the last 12 years, as well. It has become a show with a lot of traction. My schedule has gotten so much busier. And we are now in a place where I am actually causing a bit of a disservice to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast because my schedule is such that we are sometimes facilitating months around coordination and schedules and interviews. And occasionally we have not aired an episode every couple of months and when that’s happened, it’s absolutely been me. We are often having to navigate two to three months in advance around scheduling. And I realized in the last year or two that that was not sustainable for either of us. That it was something that we would need to figure out a different system. And I’m very much holding back the opportunity for us to have even more guests, even more interviews on the show. And so for all those reasons, it’s time for a transition. And I am really excited about what’s ahead for you, and for the Center, and for the podcast. And we’re obviously going to talk a little bit more about that in this episode. But that’s what’s coming. So this will be my final voice here.

Sandra Morgan  15:36

Well, not final.

Dave  15:38

At least as co-host.

Sandra Morgan  15:40

Oh, Dave, it is a bit emotional thinking about saying, this is the end of, ‘My name is Dave Stachowiak and my name is Sandie Morgan.’ I can hear that in my sleep at night. And you’re talking about impact around the world. We have listeners, now, in 148 countries. We were one of the first podcasts invited to be part of the Library of Congress. And the impact from your idea, planted and nurtured and watered, has made a difference. And I want to go back and revisit our tagline for ending human trafficking: to study the issues, be a voice and make a difference. And just take a moment, if you’re listening, snap your fingers, if you’re not driving, you can clap your hands. Dave Stachowiak, thank you for being the catalyst to start a podcast that is so widely listened to and used in places that we may never be able to go, but we can connect people. And I like the metaphor of the humble bee with all the cross pollination. And I sometimes run into people that I had no idea that they would even know who I am. But they’ve known somebody who knew somebody who was on the show. And I’ll be on a plane or in a dinner, a conference, and someone will say, Oh, I recognize that voice and they listened to our podcast, Dave. That is something that will be hard to ever measure actual impact, because it’s like trying to follow a bee from flower to flower.

Dave  17:48

Yeah, I often think of your story about the pithari and the analogy you use of the giant pot that was crafted in a way that had all the different handles so that each person could come alongside and grab onto a handle and help lift a thing that would be unmovable by any one person. But that when a group comes together, could be moved much easier. And I’ve always thought about my work with the podcast as very much that. I am certainly not the expert. I don’t have the connections in the space of the work you do, of course. And yet, I did know the technology and the production piece, because I had been doing that for the Coaching for Leaders podcast. And so what a wonderful thing for us to get to come together. And now over these years that it devolved into something even better, and the staff and the support and all that that’s come along. It’s really humbling. It’s really humbling to have seen all that happen. And I’ve always thought along the way, my job is to hold the handle of that piece, the technology, the production, some of the expertise around that. And you know, it’s been really fun to see Andrew take on that handle and some of the staff take on that handle now in recent years and what a joy, what a joyful transition that’s been for me and I think for all of us involved in this.

Sandra Morgan  19:17

Well, and just like at the beginning, I follow your lead. And as you created a mega resource through the Coaching for Leader podcast, in a much smaller way, we have built the Ending Human Trafficking podcast website to create more opportunities for cross pollination with resources. Idalis Moscoso, shout out to her is our web writer. She does a blog for every single podcast and then sends out a resource newsletter with all the links and as we look forward to the future, one of the things that we want to do is increase our reach on the internet through social media. We now have an Ending Human Trafficking podcast social media presence on Facebook and on Instagram. And we are going to begin to use that as a quicker way to identify new resources, and make sure they’re available to you. And I’ve had listeners tell me how important it is for them to know what we’re using, because there’s so much out there, and you do a Google search, and you don’t know exactly who or what. But if they find it on the Ending Human Trafficking podcast website, they know that we have looked at this, and we find it really valuable. And that’s a big time saver for them. One of the new resources recently that I’ve identified is the Office on Trafficking in Persons from Health and Human Services, launched a toolkit for Human Trafficking Prevention month in January. And that toolkit, we’ll have links here, we’ll be making sure that we distribute it in our newsletter as well. But the focus is ‘Partner to Prevent.’ And I feel like that is a great signal of what to look forward to in the Ending Human Trafficking podcast. We want to have stronger partnerships in our community so that we can grow prevention. We’ve talked about the five P’s of partnership, prevention, protection, prosecution and policy. The focus on prevention is growing. And if we really want to end human trafficking, we need to identify ways to prevent it from happening in the first place. So Dave, I think that we will continue to follow your lead, learn from you, and try to emulate the leadership that you’ve demonstrated.

Dave  22:31

Well, and the same is true here. I’ve learned so much from you, of course, and from so many of our listeners and guests. What a privilege it has been. And I’m so excited about what’s going to be ahead. I think about as you coordinate exclusively with guests, and even staff internally and Derek’s partnership, and so many of the things that you’re already planning, it’s going to be so much fun to see how the show continues to evolve from here and what you do. I can’t wait. I’m super grateful. And I think if someone was wanting to say thank you in some way, I think the best way that anyone could thank you or me for the work we’ve been doing is, we’re always so grateful for the kind notes that people send, we’re always so grateful for the reviews that show up online. But I think the very best way that you could not only thank us but way more importantly is continue to support the work that we’re all doing to end human trafficking, is pass along the show, the resource, Sandie’s work from the Global Center for Women and Justice to someone who hasn’t come across it yet. If you’ve been listening to one of our episodes, or maybe been listening for a while, and you found something helpful, pass it along. That’s the very best way that you could thank me, thank us for the work we’re doing. And, like you said, Sandie, this is all about partnership. It always has been, it always will be. This isn’t something any of us do by ourselves or any organization does by itself, or even any country does by itself. You mentioned all the people around the world who’ve listened. It is something we’re all doing together in partnership. And so that is a way that you can really continue to make a difference. In addition to the listening, you’ve allowed us to come into your work and be of influence to you. So, thank you,

Dave  22:46

And we would love your feedback. Some of the ideas that we have as we move forward is to host a quarterly Q&A with a guest expert and we’ll ask you to submit questions. We’ve been asked a few times to podcast from an event and I didn’t think I could do that. I thought I had to get a suitcase for Dave and put him in there and take him with me. Now, I guess I’m going to be ready to do a pop-up podcast if I’m in Dominican Republic or Madrid, Spain, or right here in Orange County at our annual Ensure Justice Conference, which by the way, it is time for you to register, it’s coming up March 3rd and 4th.

Dave  24:21

It is. It’s gonna be so exciting to see what happens with that. And speaking of things that have changed, the technology has changed so much in the last 12 years. It used to be, you had to have a huge setup and fancy microphones and the big mixer board and all that in order to do a podcast of quality. And today, there’s so many wonderful options, as you know now, and I know that it’s incredible, like what’s possible for you to be able to do. To show up in places all over the world and take the show on the road. I just can’t wait to see what happens and to be listening in with you and cheering you on and cheering on the work that continues through the show.

Sandra Morgan  25:45

So stay tuned, people, we are moving to a new path. I love the title of this: The Path Forward. We are not looking back. We’re grateful. And big shout out to Dave, this is going to be an amazing pivot and your give back column must be pretty full, because my gratitude column is off the chart. And I’m excited. I feel prepared. You’ve taught me well. Andrew has picked up on the production side of things. So watch out 2023, the Ending Human Trafficking podcast is going to grow. And we welcome our community to give us your feedback, your ideas, and let us know how we can better serve.

Dave  26:44

And can I say a final thank you to you. You, as I mentioned earlier on, you have dedicated your life to this work. And I am in awe of you. Every time we get together. Every time we have a conversation of the connections that you have. We have had conversations with ambassadors and law enforcement and just about every industry I can imagine around the world. And you are tireless in your travels and in your support and also investing in the next generation of students who are coming through Vanguard University. I can’t even imagine. You tell me about your travel schedule, speaking of us working around schedules, you know, your travel schedule as well, too. And I am just always like, wow, how does she do it all? And with such heart and with such care, and with such dedication and humbleness as well, of wanting to support people in such great ways. You have taught me so much that we could never capture in one episode about working with survivors and partnership. And so many of the things I would never have had any perspective on as a layperson coming into this, and I am constantly inspired by you and your work, and you and Jean, and just your family and everything you all have dedicated to this work over the decades. It’s been such, I feel so privileged and humbled to be in your presence every time we do this. And I thank you as I know everyone listening does every time they hear an episode for the expertise you bring, the dedication, and I will miss tremendously talking to you as much as I do now, we will still talk many times of course, but what a gift you are to all of us, and what a privilege it has been to work with you.

Sandra Morgan  28:41

Thank you, Dave. I really don’t know how to respond. But I think the best thing I can do to show my appreciation for you, is to do a really good job moving forward. I want to invite all of our listeners to join me. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn. Come to Ensure Justice. Register now for March 3rd and 4th right here in sunny Costa Mesa, California. And be sure to stay tuned, subscribe to the Ending Human Trafficking podcast newsletter. And if you want to support us, become a patreon supporter. And there’s a link right on the website to join us there. Thank you Dave. I’m not going to close with our usual ‘see you in two weeks.’ But I will say to our listeners that I will be back in two weeks. Have a great week.

Dave  29:50

See you very soon.