Metabolic Studio Public Salon
T. J. Mairs, C. de Arce, M. Carrasco, T. McKinney Zisler, S. Faxon‐Mills
Friday, December 4, 2009 @ Noon

Human Trafficking in Los Angeles County

a panel organized with the Studio for Southern California History

for the Studio’s current exhibit “Law & Disorder".

What are the most relevant definitions of human trafficking today? What are examples of human trafficking that we may not see but that may surround us? How has the passage of Assembly Bill 22 – the California Trafficking Victims Protection Act – increased our ability to recognize & respond to human trafficking in Los Angeles? How can we protect our daughters? What are the tell tale signs that someone is in a relationship that may lead to prostitution? What else can we do? As individuals? As a community?

Carmen de Arce: Ms. de Arce is a Victim’s Specialist for the greater Los Angeles area for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI works with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and national victim‐based advocacy groups in joint task forces that combine resources and expertise on the issue. Today, the FBI participates in approximately 30 law enforcement task forces and approximately 42 Bureau of Justice Assistance‐sponsored task forces around the nation. The FBI Victim Specialists (along with victims specialists from the US Attorney Offices and/or other non‐government victim assistance service providers) work with human trafficking victims to not only advise them of their rights as victims but also to assure they get the help they need to address their short‐term and long‐term needs—like legal and repatriation services, immigration relief, housing, employment, education, job training, and child care.

Taja McKinney Zisler: Ms. McKinney Zisler is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking. The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST) is a multi‐ethnic, multi‐lingual human rights organization that has been nationally and internationally recognized for its dedication to the identification of victims, mobilization of all sectors of the community to identify and advocate against trafficking, and provision of direct services for victims. CAST provides comprehensive long‐term services through a three‐armed empowerment approach, which includes Social Services, Legal Services, and Outreach and Training. The organization also operates the first shelter in the nation dedicated to serving victims of trafficking. CAST’s mission is to assist persons trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and slavery‐like practices and to work toward ending all instances of such human rights violations.

Susannah Faxon‐Mills: Ms. Faxon‐Mills is the Senior Coordinator of Youth Education for Break the Cycle. Those at Break the Cycle believe everybody has the right to safe and healthy relationships—regardless of where they live, who they are or what they believe. That is why they work everyday towards a mission to engage, educate and empower youth to build lives and communities free from domestic violence. Break the Cycle offers programs that defy geographic bounds—ensuring that no young person is excluded from receiving the help, tools and information they need to live free from violence. Their success is demonstrated by more than a decade of leadership in working with teens to prevent and end domestic and dating violence.

Leslie Gersicoff: Ms Gersicoff is Executive Director of the Jewish Labor Committee Western Region, a social justice organization that bridges the Labor and Jewish communities in a shared commitment to human rights. She also Chairs the transitioning Los Angeles County Unity Coalition formed to combat all categories of human trafficking. Educating labor leaders and rank and file members about signs of possible human trafficking and providing safe, anonymous avenues to report suspicions has been a prime focus of the JLC, as well as finding Latino victims of trafficking in the car wash and day labor industries. Human trafficking impedes and defies every principle fought for and won by organized labor and every advance gained, including the 40-hour workweek, overtime pay, paid benefits for health, pension and time off, legal recourse for labor law violations, representation on the job and a fair choice of employment. Leslie is also Secretary of the Labor Task Force for Universal Healthcare, a member of Arbeter Ring/Workmen’s Circle, Jewish Communal Professionals of Southern California, National Council of Jewish Women, NABET-CWA Local 53, and Hollywood NOW.

T. Julie Mairs: Julie Mairs is the immediate past president of Soroptimist International of Los Angeles, Chair of Project Five‐0‐Los Angeles, and Chair of the Camino Real Region Soroptimists STOP Trafficking campaign. The Soroptimists STOP Trafficking campaign is an initiative of Soroptimists with 19 countries and territories including Canada, the USA, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Julie has over 25 years of experience in the leadership of human social and heath services and strategy and change management.

Studio For Southern California History

Does your history matter?

Image courtesy of Stanford University



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