Think human trafficking only happens in the back alleys of far off countries? You’ll think differently after meeting Telisia Espinosa, a young woman from Tampa who was forced to work in the underground sex traffic industry for five tortuous years.
Espinosa is sharing her harrowing story at the Human Trafficking Symposium presented by Seminole State College of Florida’s Diversity Council, which takes place Saturday, April 13, from 2 – 4 p.m. in the CFADA Professional Automotive Training Center Showroom on the Sanford/Lake Mary Campus.
Roughly 50,000 women and children are trafficked in the United States each year, and Florida is one of the top destinations for the exploitive industry.
“It’s our responsibility to ensure the public is informed and aware that trafficking occurs within our community,” says Yolanda Williams, director of Diversity and Inclusion at Seminole State. “Central Floridians are not immune to this travesty. On any given day, we might encounter someone who is enslaved. What would we do? Where could we direct them for assistance if requested? Providing answers to these questions is what this symposium is all about.”
The panel discussion will also feature expert Tami Kent, founder of No More Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about various causes including human trafficking, as well as Linda Klippenstein, of the Clearwater/Tampa Bay Area Task Force on Human Trafficking (CATFHT). Representatives from Orlando and Sanford Police departments also will be on hand to discuss what they are doing to combat the problem.
The symposium is part of Kaleidoscope Engagements, a series of activities, workshops and presentations intended to promote individualism and inclusion at Seminole State.
About Seminole State’s Diversity Council: The Diversity Council was established in 2003 to ensure the College's student and employee demographics mirror those of Seminole County and Central Florida, and to support an environment in which diverse populations are encouraged to achieve their goals. For more information, visit www.seminolestate.edu/diversity/.