Empowering Human Trafficking Survivors Through Economic Opportunities

(L to R: Heidi Alvarez, SAFE Center, Shiva Thirumazhusai, TISTA Science and Technology Corporation, Susan Esserman, SAFE Center, Anna Blue, AHLA, and Abbe Horswill, Marriott International.)

Published by Ashley DeMaio | February 13, 2024

On January 30th, during National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, the MPower-funded SAFE (Support, Advocacy, Freedom, and Empowerment) Center for Human Trafficking Survivors held their first event of 2024 entitled: First Step into Employment: Empowering Human Trafficking Survivors Through Economic Opportunities.

Co-hosted by Steptoe LLP, the event featured survivors & anti-trafficking leaders from Marriott International, TISTA Science and Technology Corporation & American Hotel Lodging Association (AHLA) Foundation. The SAFE Center’s collaboration with these four teams opens the door to crucial economic opportunities for survivors.

During the first of the event’s two panels, current business partners had an opportunity to share how they became involved in the anti-trafficking movement, detailing the steps that they took to collaborate with the SAFE Center, and delivering a roadmap for other businesses interested in providing economic opportunities for survivors.

In the second portion of the program, survivors who took part in Steptoe LLP’s, TISTA Science and Technology Corporation’s and/or Marriott Internationals workforce development programs discussed the ongoing positive impact that job training & employment placement have had on their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

The SAFE Center provides direct services for survivors of sex and labor trafficking, conducts research to fill knowledge gaps and provide better service to survivors, and promotes advocacy in support of justice and empowerment of survivors.

The SAFE Center is an initiative of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State — a collaboration between University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, College Park. For more information on the SAFE Center, visit here.