OCDE and Vanguard University to cohost conference on human trafficking, state of children in OC

Vanguard University is partnering with the Orange County Department of Education to present a two-day hybrid conference on human trafficking in March.

Hosted by Vanguard’s Global Center for Women and Justice at the university’s campus in Costa Mesa, Ensure Justice 2022 will focus on building wellness, support and resilience among youth while providing updated strategies for protecting vulnerable populations from exploitation.

The event will take place on March 4 and March 5 under the theme “How Are Our Children?” Students, parents, educators, social workers, service providers, law enforcement representatives, community members and others are encouraged to attend by registering at www.gcwj.org/ENSUREJUSTICE.

“Many children are already vulnerable to abuse and neglect, which can increase vulnerability to risky behavior and in some case can lead to exploitation through human trafficking,” said Dr. Sandra Morgan, director of Vanguard’s Global Center for Women and Justice. “The best approach is prevention, and we are fortunate to have the resources in our communities to keep our children safe, strong and resilient.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Katherine McGibbons Givens, co-founder of Twelve 11 Partners, a survivor-led nonprofit. Other featured presenters include the Hon. Joanne Motoike, Juvenile Court judge for the Orange County Superior Court, and Stephan Lambert, prevention coordinator for the Orange County Department of Education.

Equipping educators and families

As a co-sponsor of the conference, OCDE will send several presenters with expertise on adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care and resilience.

“Ensure Justice 2022 is designed to bring our communities together to talk about the state of children and youth,” Orange County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Mijares said. “As we continue to examine the factors that contribute to human trafficking, this conference will underscore the importance of parental involvement and community stakeholder action to prevent and treat chronic and generational abuse. At the same time, we want to equip educators and child care workers with strategies to ensure safe learning environments for all students.”

Founded in 2003, Vanguard’s Global Center for Women and Justice is a nonprofit that focuses on the prevention of human trafficking with interdisciplinary studies programs, integrated research, victim-survivor advocacy and education on issues impacting vulnerable and at-risk populations.

For more information on Ensure Justice 2022, or to register for the event, click on the graphic below or visit www.gcwj.org/ensurejustice.