by Jessica Boyles
Human Trafficking Prevention Manager, YWCA Silicon Valley
At the YWCA Silicon Valley, we are working to bring an end to human trafficking by addressing the issue at both a cultural and systemic level. Our efforts are centered on public awareness, but they extend far beyond spreading accurate information. We picture the real and permanent high-level change that only comes when we reach a critical mass (so to speak) of individual transformation. We pursue this vision by promoting self-examination, encouraging honest dialogue, and dispelling myths and confronting lies, with the ultimate hope that we will change individuals, communities, systems, and society.
This may seem like a lofty, unattainable goal. However, having the end in mind, we are able to break the task down into manageable pieces to help us reach it. Our efforts focus on providing meaningful learning opportunities tailored for specific groups, like faith communities, high school students, etc. We also offer services to trafficking victims through our Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis departments, offering case management, counseling services and emergency shelter for trafficking survivors when there is an intersection with domestic violence. Our community may know that human trafficking exists, but many people think that it only happens far away, in other cities or countries – the truth is that it is all around us.
This month, we will be launching a much-anticipated initiative for local college students to think critically about and actively engage with the issue of human trafficking. Students will compete for two paid internship opportunities with our agency by designing projects that will work to end trafficking. Winning students will be mentored and guided as they implement their project and effect real-world change. This is the type of relevant and creative learning opportunity that every teacher loves. At the end of the day (or, in this case, at the end of the two-year grant), we might not change all of society and end trafficking at once, but we’ll be making our own small dent.
When you get home tonight, raise a glass to finishing the work that William Wilberforce, Abraham Lincoln, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., along with many, many others, started before us. Here’s to January, new beginnings, and National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.
Please check out our website for more comprehensive information about human trafficking and our programs, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates. You, too, can get involved – here are 15 ways to help fight trafficking in your community.
Jessica is currently operating a two-year federally funded public awareness initiative through the YWCA Silicon Valley. She earned her MA in Urban Community Development through Eastern University after spending ten years working with special education students and foster children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
8 responses to “Dispelling Myths and Confronting Lies: Let’s End Human Trafficking”
Hello there I am so happy I found your weblog,
I really found you by mistake, while I was browsing
on Digg for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a incredible post and a all round exciting blog
(I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it
and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please do keep up
the superb job.
It’s in fact very difficult in this full of activity life to listen news on TV, so I only use the web for that purpose, and obtain the hottest information.
Excellent, what a blog it is! This blog presents helpful data to
us, keep it up.
Thanks very nice blog!
Everything is very open with a very clear description of the issues.
It was truly informative. Your website is useful. Many thanks for sharing!
Hey there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
Is it hard to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal
but I can figure things out pretty quick. I’m thinking about making my
own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
First of all I would like to say excellent blog! I had a quick question which I’d like
to ask if you don’t mind. I was interested to know how you center yourself
and clear your head before writing. I have had difficulty
clearing my mind in getting my ideas out there. I truly do enjoy
writing however it just seems like the first 10
to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions or hints?
Good blog you have here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours these days.
I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!