2013 Thistle Farms National Conference

Nashville, Tennessee
Sunday, October 13, 2013

If you are looking for the 2014 Thistle Farms National Conference registration, please click here

2013 Thistle Farms National Conference Information
A Global Movement for Community Healing
•  INSPIRATION for Survivors of Sex Trafficking, Prostitution and the
    Communities where they Live
•  INFORMATION on the Shared Trade Alliance, a Global Network of
    Social Enterprises in which the Workforce is the Mission
•  REJUVENATION and Connection through Story & Song

is to share inspiration and best practices for meeting the recovery needs of women who have survived trafficking, prostitution, addiction and homelessness and to launch a shared trade alliance among Thistle Farms and other social enterprises whose primary mission is moving women permanently out of poverty. In the past two years more than 1000 unique visitors from over 100 cities have visited Magdalene and Thistle Farms for our monthly education workshops. In response to the growing demand to learn about our model, we are thrilled to be hosting our first national conference. 


1. Share the vision of Magdalene's model of long-term housing and treatment for women recovering from trafficking, prostitution and addiction.
2. Help others duplicate the model by providing education and best practice tools for creating and operating a sustainable social enterprise. 
3. Launch the Shared Trade Alliance and invite others to join this movement with a common commitment to bringing women permanently out of poverty through recovery from violence and sustainable employment, to closing the gap between producers and consumers in the value chain and to stewardship of the environment. 
4. Inspire and offer an opportunity for meditation and renewal

will include Becca Stevens, founder of Magdalene and Thistle Farms, Martina Vandenberg, founder of The Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center in Washington, DC, and Dr. Nicholas Hitimana, founder of Ikirezi, a social enterprise for widows and orphans in Rwanda. Workshop leaders include Magdalene and Thistle Farms staff and graduates, representatives from sister organizations in New Orleans and St. Louis and our Nashville community partners who provide treatment, recovery and criminal justice support to Magdalene residents and graduates. 

THE LOCATION of the conference is Nashville’s Scarritt Bennett Center, a nonprofit retreat center committed to addressing social justice issues through programming that promotes cross-cultural understanding, education on women’s issues and spiritual renewal. It's located on ten tree-filled acres within walking distance of shops, restaurants and Vanderbilt University. Attendees will have access to private bus transportation to and from Thistle Farms for conference activities and offsite excursions. On Tuesday night, October 15, we will welcome all conference registrants along with 1200 local supporters to Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium for Magdalene’s annual fundraising event. The event is an inspirational evening of music and story that honors the supporters and survivors who make up our community of healing and freedom for women. 

General Registration: $195.00 
Fees includes entrance to keynote sessions and workshops, bus transportation to off-site excursions, light Sunday evening supper, two breakfasts and Tuesday lunch. Lodging and remaining meals are the responsibility of the attendees. See Locations & Accommodations for a low-cost lodging option at Scarritt Bennett. Discount of 10% off registration fee is available to groups of 5 or more. Allow at least 30 days for any refunds due in conjunction with the group discount. For more information about the group discount, contact conference@thistlefarms.org.

9 CEUs sponsored by Mental Health Association of Middle TN and 9 contact hours provided in partnership with MTSU Department of Social Work. 

is a new coalition of social enterprises committed to bringing women permanently out of poverty through sustainable employment and recovery from violence. Groups participating in the alliance are working towards closing the gap between producers and consumers in the value chain and stewardship of the environment. Shared Trade Alliance members include small and large social enterprises around the globe that share best practices and marketing strategies for economic leverage. By becoming part of the Shared Trade Alliance, communities pledge to believe that united we can create work environments that are peaceful, healing and empowering. 


Contact Information

  • Registration questions:
    Kim Fletcher      

    General Conference Questions:
    Deb Markland    

Payment Instructions

  • Take me to the 2014 Conference website- please click here

    Thank you for your interest in attending. We have reached capacity. To be added to the waiting list, please contact peggynapier@thistlefarms.org. We will let you know if anything opens up. 

    We will be hosting monthly workshops in Nashville beginning in 2014. Please check the
    Thistle Farms site in the coming months for dates and details. For more information about how to donate to our education and outreach program, click here

    Cancellation policy:
    Refunds will be given in full, minus the $8.00 registration fee we are charged by Regonline, up to 30 days until the conference. Refunds will also be given in full if there is a waiting list, and a confirmed attendee, to take your place. Within 30 days, 50% of the registration fee is refundable up to one week prior to the event.

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