Last year, we joined the Long Beach GRIP city-wide campaign to participate in the fight against human trafficking. Over the course of last year, we worked with the Anti-Human Trafficking Club at Long Beach Poly, ran an advertising campaign on Long Beach Transit buses and helped put together events in Long Beach to educate the youth in Long Beach.
Most recently we worked with the Male Leadership Academy at Jordan PLUS High School in north Long Beach to put bring awareness to their peers. The idea was simple. Bring human trafficking advocates into the school during school hours and lead sessions in classrooms. The teachers would take a break and let a speaker take over for a period. We had a local presenters such as the City Prosecutor, representatives from the Los Angeles County Probation office, the Los Angeles District Attorney, Long Beach City Police Department, and even the Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, we had survivors and advocates against human trafficking bring their expertise to the table with Guido Hajenius from iEmphatize and Joshua Henry from A21 among them.
The video that you see above was shot by 4 Male Leadership Academy students who were trained prior to the event by Ben Candee. They conducted all the interviews and visited each classroom to gather the necessary footage. Change Agent Productions simply put the video together to create a short marketing piece that we can show to influence others to join the fight. Even when we can’t use our own YMCA youth to create content, we find a way to include youth somehow.
This student-led event was a huge success and we hope that other schools in LBUSD will follow suit and invite us to run an event on their campus.