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FGCU Human Trafficking Center to showcase its symposium

FGCU Human Trafficking Center to showcase its symposium

The FGCU Human Trafficking Resource Center is hosting its Human Trafficking Symposium on Jan. 21 in the Cohen Center Ballroom.

Alex Olivares, the HTRC coordinator who manages day-to-day operations, has been working to create a full-day event for students, faculty and guests who attend the symposium.

“The human trafficking issue is complex,” Olivares said. “We try to do a program that is diverse and resonates over a lot of areas with people who are attending.”

The event offers five workshops divided into two separate topics related to human trafficking issues.

Among the topics included in the workshops, Olivares said “substance abuse; identification of male and transgender victims; law enforcement case studies, discussing cases they investigated and their techniques; (and) trauma enforced care” will be available for people to participate in.

The symposium will feature its main speaker, Elizabeth Hopper, who has a doctorate, for an hour of the event from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., followed by a complimentary lunch.

Hopper is the program director of Project REACH at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is “a program that serves human trafficking victims throughout the United States.”

The event is free to FGCU students; however, the event is reaching capacity in number of attendants who may fill the ballroom’s space. Olivares is working to create more room for the growing number of attendants to the symposium.

Among the students, there will be people from various occupations who have, in common, the concern and support for understanding issues behind human trafficking.

“There will be a wonderful mixture of law enforcement, legal and mental health council, people from the Department of Juvenile Justice, attorney general, children advocacy centers throughout the state and Department of Children and Families from multiple counties,” Olivares said.

Registration to those who are not students will begin at 7:45 a.m., and the symposium will begin at 8:45 a.m., running until 4:30 p.m.

The first two workshops will run until 10:30 a.m. when Hopper speaks, and then, there will be a complimentary lunch break after she speaks, which will lead into the three remaining workshops until the end of the event.

“The symposium is going to offer students the opportunity to look at this social issue from multiple different angles from multiple different perspectives, give them knowledge on what it is,” Olivares said.

HTRC offers an internship program and many opportunities for students on campus to be involved and educated about human trafficking issues in the state and worldwide.

To learn more about HTRC at FGCU, visit fgcu.edu and search for HTRC.

Contact Olivares for further event details at 239-745-4276, or email him at aolivares@fgcu.edu

“There are multiple students that know about what the center is doing, but it is not that widespread,” Olivares said. “So, I think the symposium is going to do that.”

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