Human trafficking can exist anywhere, “every child is vulnerable to trafficking, no matter where they live, their economic background, their religion, or the color of their skin,” (LOVE146). Human trafficking prevention education is a critical need in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles County Office of Education is in a unique position to deliver and maximize the impact of the Human Trafficking Youth Prevention Education (HTYPE) Demonstration Program along with iEmpathize, a national nonprofit organization, the University of Southern California Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, and the Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department. Through these partnerships, LACOE will work to protect our students from human trafficking by educating youth and the adults that interact with them is schools every day.
iEmpathize is an international human rights nonprofit working to end exploitation and human trafficking. iEmpathize serves to educate and empower youth and adults most affected by the issue. They specialize in the production of original media, guided by survivor leaders, and utilizes a curated library of educational multimedia to engage professionals whose work intersects with the issue of exploitation. Prioritizing empathy at its foundation, iEmpathize exists to evoke empathy and empower people to eradicate child exploitation.
iEmpathize Executive Summary
The Teaching Institute (TI) is a capacity-building partnership between the University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work (USC SDP SSW), and agencies interested in developing a Master of Social Work (MSW) internship training program that enhances student learning and increases the quality of services provided to the community. In collaboration with the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) and the identified schools, USC SDP SSW will establish a TI with a tailored internship curriculum that supports and enhances service delivery to students who are at risk for or experiencing human trafficking. These services will include mental health counseling, case management, psychoeducation, and referrals to needed services such as medical, emergency housing, and others as described in the Human Trafficking Safety Protocol (HTSSP).
The Los Angeles County Sheriff Department (LASD), Special Victims Bureau (SVB) Human Trafficking Task Force (HTTF) offers support to the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) in their continued efforts to establish and implement a Human Trafficking School Safety Protocol (HTSSP). Through this opportunity and with the collaboration of the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force (LAHTTF). LACOE’s HTSSP is a collaborative initiative that works to provide for the management of suspected and confirmed cases of human trafficking in a person-centered, trauma-informed, culturally and linguistically appropriate fashion. LASD will support LACOE in the development of the HTSSP to address safety, security, and well-being of staff and students.
A graduate of UCLA with a Masters in Education and a survivor of human trafficking, Rachel has over 12 years’ of experience teaching, corporate training, curriculum writing, public speaking, consulting and anti-trafficking direct services. She founded Sowers Education Group in 2012 and her organization's sex trafficking intervention curriculum Ending The Game is being used across 38 states and was published in the Journal of Violence Against Women (2021). Her latest sex trafficking prevention online course, The Cool Aunt Series has helped thousands of youth and their families. In 2020, Rachel was appointed to the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking for a term of two years.