(Photo by Monica D. Spencer)

MCC to host virtual human trafficking awareness event

Mesa Community College will hold a virtual event called Human Trafficking 101: Protecting Yourself and Your Campus Community on Oct. 21 with Diego Luque from the Department of Homeland Security as a speaker.

“The event is an extension of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement and their “EngageMe” workshop at MCC.” Human Trafficking 101: Protecting Yourself and Your Campus Community will occur on Friday, Oct. 21 from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. 

The event will be virtual to accommodate Luque, who is based out of New York and is a campaign specialist for the Blue Campaign, Office of Partnership and Engagement, and Department of Homeland Security.

According to the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, the Blue Campaign has a mission to end human trafficking and use their voice to do so. The Blue Campaign is a part of Homeland Security. 

The informational session has a goal to have community members recognize, respond to, and raise awareness of human trafficking and college campuses.

“We’ve had events like this before to make sure students are aware and the saying is always if you see something, say something,” said Civic Engagement Program Coordinator Debra Ohlinger.

The Department of Homeland Security had an interest in holding this event because students on college campuses do not have a lot of information about trafficking and the signs to look for on a college campus, according to Ohlinger. 

Ohlinger is no stranger to human trafficking awareness, as she helped facilitate events to raise awareness of human trafficking in the past.

Ohlinger sets this event apart from the rest  because of Luque’s and Homeland Security’s participation which will make this event bigger. 

Human Trafficking 101: Protecting Yourself and Your Campus Community will also last two hours instead of the usual one hour. They extended this event because of the information that will be in the informational event. 

According to Ohlinger, Luque will have a tool kit for students and other people who decide to join the event which will have surprise information shared that will be beneficial to the Mesa Community. 

According to Ohlinger, large events such as the Superbowl makes the Human Trafficking 101 event more important to share at this moment. Arizona will be a hotspot and it is important that students and the community know what to watch out for in the following months. 

Ohlinger said that students need to know that traffickers are manipulative, and they look to find vulnerable people. Human Trafficking 101 will cover the tips and tricks that traffickers use to lure people in. 

The goal for the Center for Community and Civic Engagement is to have students be aware of how to protect themselves on a college campus. 

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni can register for this event in the Civic for Community and Civic Engagements section on Mesa’s website. Possible attendees can use this link to the EngageMe Workshops where a link is provided to a WebEx meeting where the event will be conducted.

  • Jodicee Arianna

    Jodicee has been at MCC for one year. Her goal is to be an on-air host or sports journalist. She enjoys playing sports as well as traveling and watching reality TV.

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