To raise awareness of human trafficking, an issue that has become increasingly prevalent in California, College of the Canyons will host the one-day conference, “It’s Still Happening Right Here! Human Trafficking,” on Friday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The conference will be held in the East P.E. Gymnasium, located at the college’s Valencia campus.
According to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center, 705 cases of human trafficking have been reported in California this year.
“It is hard to believe that human trafficking is an issue that plagues our communities today,” said Patty Robinson, faculty director of civic engagement and community engagement initiatives at the college and one of the event’s organizers. “We hope this conference helps raise awareness about this important issue, which exists in the Santa Clarita Valley.”
Tika Thornton, an advocate against sex trafficking and a survivor herself, will be the conference’s keynote speaker. As a mentor and speaker, Thornton provides one-on-one peer counseling to at-risk youth and works to provide sex trafficking survivors with job skills and resources.
Other event speakers will include:
* Kate Wedell (Director and Founder of Cherished)
* Barbara Vasquez (Human trafficking survivor)
* Lydia Ramirez (Human trafficking survivor)
“We hope this event will give attendees the tools and resources they need to help victims free themselves from human trafficking,” said Larry Schallert, assistant director of the Student Health and Wellness/Mental Health program at COC and one of the event’s organizers.
To RSVP for this free event, email CivicEngagement@canyons.edu.