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Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 18, 2015) -- California Baptist University's School of Behavioral Sciences hosted Jeremy Vallerand, president and CEO of Rescue: Freedom International (RFI), Sept. 17 for its Culture and Justice Lecture Series.

Vallerand spoke on the global fight against human trafficking and explained his approach to help deal with this issue. 

RFI began operations 18 years ago in India to help rescue and restore women and children who have suffered through human trafficking.

Vallerand grew up with two sisters. His father worked as a traveling salesman and put Vallerand in charge when he was gone. Vallerand wanted to do whatever it took to be a protector.

"I tried to look intimidating when I needed," he said. It is a role that has grown for him.

Vallerand recalled his first trip to India, where he visited Mumbai and met David and Beth Grant, the founders of RFI. Vallerand agreed to visit the red light district with the couple.

He said his "blood began to boil' as he looked at the sights. The couple then took Vallerand to visit the safe houses RFI operated.

"[When] we got to the first home and walked in; it was this beautiful place full of hope and life," he said.

Upon returning to America, Vallerand was moved by what he saw. An avid outdoorsman, Vallerand rallied his friends and started what is now the Climb for Captives initiative. The idea behind the program is to use mountain climbing as a way to spark conversation about human trafficking and raise funds for its victims. The group's first climb raised more than $20,000.

Vallerand encouraged students to approach the issue of human trafficking and all social injustice from a Micah 6:8 perspective: "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?"(NASB).

He concluded his remarks with a quote that hangs on the wall at the entrance to his office: "It is not the injustice that drives us, it is the magnitude of hope."