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Request Speaker: Karen Marion

Children energize Karen as she has spent her life devoted to students, families, and communities as a teacher in public and private schools over the past 38 years in five states and in London, England. When she encountered two students in her high school classroom who were working as child prostitutes, it ignited a spark that has become a passion to extinguish modern-day slavery in this generation.

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Karen Marion: Educator, activist, World Vision partner

Karen Marion: Educator, activist, World Vision partner

More About Karen

Karen’s Biography

Children energize Karen as she has spent her life devoted to students, families, and communities as a teacher in public and private schools over the past 38 years in five states and in London, England. When she encountered two students in her high school classroom who were working as child prostitutes, it ignited a spark that has become a passion to extinguish modern-day slavery in this generation.

“Once we see what is happening locally, nationally and globally to children who are sex and labor slaves, how can we turn a blind eye?” says Karen.

“It is our responsibility to protect these children and do all that we can to free them from slavery. We need to bring the light of Jesus to give hope and healing to these terrified ones.”

There is much that we can do, and Karen seeks practical ways to bring an end to this heinous crime. Karen is the co-founder of the Federal Way, Washington, Coalition Against Human Trafficking (CAT) that is impacting grassroots community members toward education about and action against local human trafficking. Karen is currently founding a CAT in northern Washington.

Karen is also one of the founding members of the South Puget Sound Women of Vision Chapter (SPS WOV), which strongly advocates for victims of child trafficking by sponsoring a local homeless shelter for women and children; the World Vision domestic project to bring stability to families in Appalachia; and the World Vision child protection program in Cambodia, which focuses on the prevention, protection, and restoration of those at most risk of human trafficking.

As part of the SPS WOV Chapter leadership team, Karen helped coordinate the “Break the Chain” Human Trafficking Conference in 2009 and the Western Washington Chapters’ “Make It Right: From Oppression to Opportunity” event with keynote speaker Sheryl WuDunn in 2011, with 525 attendees.

As a Women of Vision member, Karen attended the Washington Engage Anti-Human Trafficking Day in Olympia, Washington, advocating against slavery with state legislators.

She also attended the Women of Vision national conference in Washington, D.C., in 2010 and 2012, which included “storming the Hill” on Lobby Day with 250 other women, advocating for child health and the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. In both “Washingtons,” Karen has been able to relate the story about her students working as child prostitutes, to the shock and horror of the legislators and staffers.

Karen has her master’s degree in education and has taught students in first grade through college. After receiving the Outstanding Teacher of The Year Award from her college, she began her first teaching job in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

She has been a teaching principal in a private Christian school, a high school English teacher, an elementary teacher of first through fifth grades, a middle school language arts teacher, a reading specialist, a special education teacher, and a private tutor. Karen also taught secondary school English at an inner-city public school in London where students spoke 63 different languages, and started an after-school reading program for English language learners.

In addition, Karen served as a volunteer for World Vision U.S. with Women of Vision for almost four years — giving more than 1,500 hours of her time. She worked as a consultant for World Vision International, writing resource materials with the education and life skills sector.

She is currently a full-time faculty member at Western Washington University in the Woodring College of Education’s Special Education Department with the Compass to Campus Program, a service learning program with over 500 university students mentoring over 1,200 at risk, under-served students in fifth through 12th grades.

Karen enjoys skiing, hiking, bike riding, and tennis but most of all being a “Grammie to her precious grandgirlies.”

Karen’s Presentation Topic

Karen is available to speak on the following topics. Learn more about our work in these areas, and contact the Speakers Bureau with any questions.