2021 Human Trafficking and Prevention Awareness Day: Take Two
January 11, 2021 was Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention Day. Although the Rochester Regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking was unable to meet in person this year, we nonetheless held a dynamic virtual meeting.
Click here for a link to this event: https://youtu.be/YP0TbEGCGKg The first twenty-five minutes are dedicated to the proclamation statements offered by a number of our representatives.
Melanie Blow, RRCAHT Board member and New York Project Director of the Stop Abuse Campaign, and Dr. Celia McIntosh, President of the Coalition, presented an overview of human trafficking,
Then elected officials or their representatives presented proclamations recognizing the enormous work needed to eradicate human trafficking and praising the work of RRCAHT. The proclamations and the full list of those who attended the event can be found at rrcaht.org.
The second part of the event was a discussion about the topic of prostitution in the State of New York. Among the positions taken about it are: criminalization, partial decriminalization (also known as the Nordic model or equality model), full decriminalization, and legalization of prostitution. These four models are under discussion by governments, agencies, groups, and individuals.
The first two speakers, Melanie, and Jayne Bigelson of Covenant House, explained that research shows that every place that has decriminalized prostitution suffers an increase – a ‘’skyrocketing” increase -- in illegal and unregulated sex activity. Another side effect of decriminalization is that those who participate in prostitution are mostly disadvantaged people in society, the marginalized population whose protections are already slim.
The participants were Jayne Bigelson of Covenant House, Melanie Blow, Alfonsina DeSino, Human Trafficking Court case manager in Monroe County; Christian Eduardo and Esperanza Fonseca.
If you want to learn more deeply about the thoughts of survivors, and the work of those who advocate for victims and survivors, listening to this portion of the event, beginning at around minute 31, will be invaluable to your understanding of the many issues that need to be talked about.
Psi Omega Zeta Chapter Donates PPE to Local Agencies
Dr. Celia McIntosh and Caroline McClendon,
Community Service Chair, Psi Omega Zeta
Rochester Regional Coalition against Human Trafficking and Hillside Children’s Center were both recent recipients of 50 ‘blessing bundles’ donated to them by Psi Omega Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., an international community service action oriented organization.
The purpose of the recent gifts was to thank these agencies for the work that they do for our community. The items serve to help keep staff and clients safe during this global pandemic. Some of the bundles included must-haves such as a mask, hand sanitizer, a pair of gloves, a pack of facial tissues and anti-bacterial wipes. President Dr. Celia McIntosh said that RRCAHT will distribute the items received to organizations doing direct service work with human trafficking survivors.
Caroline McClendon, Community Service Chair at Psi Omega Zeta, told us that the overall goal of this sorority is to help others excel through service and scholarship. She continued, "We have connected with various agencies throughout the Rochester community and beyond to provide assistance to them. During the global pandemic, our goal has been to show various agencies our support and appreciation for what they do. Besides these blessing bundles we have also provided donations of various items to front line workers and the Academy of Health Sciences Charter School for over 190 of their students."
Members of Psi Omega Zeta assemble bundles of joy at Seneca Methodist Church
DATES TO REMEMBER:
APRIL 8:The next monthly meeting of RRCAHT, via Zoom, will be Thursday, April 8 at 4 p.m. If you are interested in attending, and need access information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 7 p.m: Webinar: "The Weaponization of Child Trafficking" with Presenter Melanie Blow.
One day you’re struggling to make people believe that human trafficking actually happens in their own neighborhood. The next day, half of your Facebook friends think a furniture retailer is trafficking kidnapped children. References to child trafficking and legalizing pedophilia are everywhere, and you keep hearing all about it on QAnon.
What’s really going on?! Why have human trafficking and child sexual abuse been weaponized over night? What does it say about us as a society? And what opportunities and obligations does it represent for the anti-human trafficking community?
RRCAHT founding member and board member Melanie Blow will answer these questions and more in an upcoming webinar on Thursday, April 22 at 7 p.m.. Melanie is active in legislative advocacy, the anti-human trafficking community, the sex abuse survivor community, and has a passion for cultural history and sociology. And she’s going to bring it all together in a webinar. Keep checking your email for the specific time and date.
Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 10445
Rochester, NY 14610