OCDE partners with Vanguard University on human trafficking conference

A two-day conference hosted by Vanguard University in partnership with the Orange County Department of Education will bring together national experts to examine the paths of exploitation that can lead to human trafficking.

Ensure Justice 2019 will equip educators, law enforcement, students, parents and community members with comprehensive strategies to protect women and children who are at risk of victimization, exploring conditions such as domestic violence, war, substance abuse, and child abuse and neglect.

The conference will take place on March 1 and March 2 at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa. Attendees can register at www.ensurejustice.com.

“Ensure Justice is an opportunity for our community to come together to learn from experts about insidious crimes that take place in our backyard and globally,” said Dr. Sandra Morgan, director of Vanguard’s Global Center for Women and Justice. “This year, we chose the theme, ‘When Home Isn’t Safe,’ to help our community better understand the factors that contribute to the pervasive issue of human trafficking.”

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large John Cotton Richmond, who leads the U.S. State Department’s efforts to monitor and combat human trafficking, will be the event’s keynote speaker, discussing the State Department’s role in coordinating anti-trafficking efforts. Richmond is also co-founder of the Human Trafficking Institute, which exists to decimate modern slavery.

Participating for the first time as a co-sponsor of the annual Vanguard conference, the Orange County Department of Education will send nearly a dozen presenters. Sessions will promote strategies for understanding adverse childhood experiences, strengthening trauma-informed care and building resilience.

“The Ensure Justice conference presents a powerful opportunity for the education community to understand the root causes of exploitation and to recognize the potential signs of human trafficking within our schools and neighborhoods,” said Orange County Superintendent Dr. Al Mijares, who is one of this year’s featured speakers.

“The Orange County Department of Education is committed to educating the whole child, which means getting to know each student, understanding his or her unique circumstances, and doing our best to remove barriers to learning, no matter the size,” Mijares said. “We are proud to align our efforts with the Global Center for Women & Justice at Vanguard University on a cause as worthy and essential as human freedom.”

To register for Ensure Justice, or to learn more about the conference and its speakers, visit www.ensurejustice.com.