Workshops for the 9th Annual Conference on Human Trafficking - Be Free: Restoring Hope

WORKSHOP 1 - 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Workshop 1.1 Trauma Informed Art That Heals

Independence Room

Workshop Description: 
This session provides an integrative framework for engaging Trauma Informed Practices (an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma), in serving survivors of human trafficking. The session will emphasize the physical, psychological and emotional safety for survivors through the use of the “Art Thinking Model”, and explore how service providers can assist survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment through exploring a creative outlet. Participants will participate in an art project, and hear first-hand regarding “Art Thinking Groups” which have been utilized as a vehicle for healing.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define trauma and its impact on survivors of human trafficking.
  2. Understand the psychological aspects of trauma on the brain.
  3. Gain an understanding of the Art Thinking Model to address trauma.
  4. Participate in a first-hand in an art project.
  5. Connect with a network of providers and dialogue on promising practices.

World Impact Fresno

Workshop 1.2 The Game: Understanding Survival Tactics of Sex Trafficking


Workshop Description:
This workshop will offer a comprehensive overview of sex trafficking, including Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). The recruiting tactics of traffickers, challenges to breaking free, and the services available to victims and survivors will be discussed. Furthermore, the session will explore an overview of resources and successful approaches to serving survivors.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Increase knowledge of Sex Trafficking and the definition of CSEC.   
  2. Gain an understanding of pimp recruiting tactics and grooming of minors/adult survivors.
  3. Increase knowledge regarding identification of victims of human trafficking and services available.
  4. Learn available community resources and successful approaches to address trafficking.

Danielle S. Nieto, Social Work Supervisor, Fresno County Department of Social Services
Stacy Gomez, Director of Legal Services, Marjaree Mason Center

Workshop 1.3 The Gray Line between Victim and Perpetrator

Veterans Room

Workshop Description: This session will explore the complicated issues of protection and justice for victims of human trafficking who are forced to become perpetrators of that same crime or engage in other criminal activities. What are the implications for victims within the criminal justice system and within their own healing and therapeutic process? What role can service providers, attorneys and/or law enforcement play to ensure that this sub-set of survivors are viewed holistically and receive appropriate support? A multi-disciplinary panel will include a survivor, a service provider and a prosecutor.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand crimes that traffickers may force victims to commit and relief through expungement.
  2. Learn resources available to this sub-set of survivors.
  3. Engage with multiple perspectives on the complexity of the trafficking experience.

Debra Rush, Chief Executive Officer, Breaking the Chains
Miiko Anderson, Deputy District Attorney, Fresno County District Attorney’s Office

WORKSHOP 2 - 1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Workshop 2.1 Redefining Justice for Labor Trafficking Survivors

Independence Room

Workshop Description: While prosecutors traditionally define success as securing a conviction against traffickers, research suggests that not all survivors are best served by, or desire, traditional criminal prosecutions. This session will explore several recent labor cases and discuss obstacles faced and overcome during investigation, intervention, service provision and at trial, when applicable. Civil remedies, and immigration relief in the form of T-Visa’s, U-Visas, Asylum, and victim compensation will also be discussed as other forms of justice for survivors. A multi-disciplinary panel will include a survivor, a service provider, an investigative detective and a prosecutor.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Reflect on obstacles and successes in a recent labor case.
  2. Explore various means of justice available to a survivor.
  3. Understand roles of the survivor, law enforcement and victim services in the court process.
  4. Learn valuable resources for labor trafficking survivors.

Mario Gonzalez, Victim Service Department Manager, Centro La Familia Advocacy Services; Inc.
Evelyn Gonzalez, Case Manager/Advocate, Fresno EOC Central Valley Against Human Trafficking
Lynette Gonzales, Deputy District Attorney, Fresno County District Attorney’s Office
Daniel Longoria, Detective, City of Fresno, Police Department – Vice Unit

Workshop 2.2 Innovative Models for Change in the Juvenile Court System


Workshop Description: Courts have emerged in urban centers across the nation as a response to Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth (CSEC); shifting to a paradigm of youth as victims and survivors rather than criminals. In 2017 the Fresno County Superior Court was awarded a three-year grant to plan and implement a juvenile human trafficking (HT) court, called “Friday Court”. This session will explore lessons learned from California based STARR Court and DREAM Court (Los Angeles) and RESET Court (Sacramento); as well as highlight the current efforts in Fresno as a model of innovation to coordinate a continuum of restorative treatment and supportive services for trafficked youth and those who are at high risk for exploitation.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about innovative court models in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Fresno, CA.
  2. Understand the Friday Court Model and a collaborative approach to care.
  3. Learn how youth access restorative treatment through the Friday Court.
  4. Connect with a network of providers and dialogue on promising practices.

Honorable Kimberly Nystrom-Geist, Presiding Judge, Fresno County Superior Court, Juvenile Human Trafficking Court
Kristin Maxwell, Chief Defense Attorney, Fresno County Public Defender’s Office
Arien Pauls, Breaking The Chains, Lead Victim Advocate

Workshop 2.3 Harness the Power of Media to Boost Visibility and Impact

Veterans Room

Workshop Description: The media shapes every aspect of our lives. Whether we like it or not perceptions are ingrained at an early age regarding gender, race, socio-economic issues, and topics such as victimization. This session will focus on debunking imagery and common narratives around human trafficking, provide examples of ethical practices surrounding survivor engagement and methods to harness the power of media to boost awareness of the problem while contributing to positive solutions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Expand current media narrative of human trafficking and debunk common imagery.
  2. Hear multiple perspectives including a reporter, a survivor and service provider.
  3. Learn key tools to boost visibility and positive impact of a project/program.
  4. Explore ethical practices in survivor engagement with media.

Jamelia Hinds, Survivor Consultant
Kerry Klein, Reporter, Valley Public Radio
Melissa Gomez, Program Manager, Fresno EOC Central Valley Against Human Trafficking

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Contact Information:
Fresno EOC Central Valley Against Human Trafficking
(559) 263-1379