January 12, 2015
Martha Jasso, Crittenton Services: 909-763-0244
Jeanette Cheng, Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force: 949-444-8025
Long Beach, Calif – The Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force (LBHTTF) is joining with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) and the Long Beach PTA to offer the first annual Youth Exploitation Safety Symposium (YESS 2015) – a gathering of more than 80 organizations, workshops and speakers aimed at keeping young people safe from the world of human trafficking.
The event is free and open to parents, educators and students, grades 8-12. There will be supervised recreational activities for children under 13.
- Saturday, January 31, 2015 9 a.m – 3 p.m.
- Cabrillo High School, 2001 Santa Fe Avenue, Long Beach, CA
With 500 attendees expected, YESS 2015 will have more than 40 nonprofits and government agencies present to answer questions and provide information. There will be 15 workshops covering the issues of human trafficking, safety and empowerment. Translators will be available for those speaking Khmer, Spanish and Tagalog.
Speakers include Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-70), Long Beach City Councilman Rex Richardson, Long Beach Deputy Police Chief David Hendricks and LBUSD Board of Education President Diana Craighead.
The key note speaker, documentarian Nicole Clark, will explore the media’s negative effects on girls’ self-image and self-esteem, from oversexualization to the pressures to be thin and pretty.
“Reality Party” – a play depicting the real-life social situations that put teens at risk for violence and exploitation – is one of the featured presentations.
Underscoring the importance of YESS 2015, LBUSD Superintendent Christopher J. Steinhauser said, “We work daily with law enforcement and many community partners to keep our students and schools safe. As an extension of that work, we’re
partnering with the city’s task force on this symposium, which will provide important information for students and parents. Our aim is to help prevent human trafficking through dialogue, education and increased awareness.”
Patrick Erlandson, YESS 2015 co-chair added, “The safety of young people in this age of the internet and rapidly increasing sophistication in the exploitation of children, is of critical importance in the 21st century. It takes more than law enforcement and the courts to defeat the nightmare of human trafficking and cyber-crimes being perpetrated against younger and younger victims. It will take community awareness and vigilance from parents, fellow students who look out for each other, their teachers and healthcare workers who educate and treat them. This first annual symposium will provide up to date information and resources for parents, teens and teachers.”
More information about the event is available by calling (562) 650-6539 and through the YESS 2015 Facebook page: Youth Exploitation Safety Symposium – YESS!
The LBHTTF is a multidisciplinary, survivor-centered collaborative community effort by law enforcement agencies and community- based organizations to combat human trafficking by identifying, rescuing and empowering survivors and assisting in the prosecution of traffickers. The Task Force meets monthly and is open to anyone interested in the human trafficking prevention efforts in Long Beach. For more information, call (949) 444-8025.