Honoring Black Voices in the Anti Trafficking Movement

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Survivors of labor trafficking discuss why the voices of Black survivors of trafficking are needed, the barriers they continue to face as they engage in advocacy, and provide recommendations on ways that the anti-trafficking movement can engage them in a dignifying way. Panel moderator Bella Hounakey guides panelists Evelyn Chumbow, James Dold, Kwami Adoboe-Herrera, and Moninda Marube as they speak on the importance of culturally responsive services and how aspects of Black identity shows up in supporting survivors. 

1:15 – Introduction of Black history month

02:16 – Introduction of panelists Panelist Questions:

04:34 – Have you ever been afraid to use your voice in a space where you were the only or one of just a few Black people in your industry?

5:17 – Evelyn

07:30 – The question of tokenization and being biracial. Acknowledging that there is diversity within the Black community as well-James

10:00 – America is an English-speaking country that fears others speaking different languages-Moninda

13:22 – Personal experience of being the only Black speaker at a conference-Kwami

16:10 – Why honoring Black voices in anti-trafficking movement is important

16:50 – In your opinion, does nationality impact identification and services?

18:24 – The role of America’s history of slavery and continued abuse of African Americans overtimes as well as the over and under policing of these communities-James

21:40 – Human trafficking does not discriminate-Bella

21:55 – Evelyn, as someone who identifies as African, impacts identification and services people receive after?

22:00 – The history of slavery in America was built on labor but the focus is still more on sex trafficking, which leads to missed opportunities to identify Black Americans who are victims of labor trafficking and are still enslaved -Evelyn

26:23 – We assume we know everything about that person from that identity. The human aspect is lost now -Moninda

28:40 – Government agencies or policymakers need to go beyond the category you put on people. One group is not more of a priority than the other, whether you are African in the diaspora or Black American -Bella

30:08 – We’re all human. It’s difficult to come out and say you are a labor trafficking survivor because of the associated stigma -Kwami

31:50 – Counterargument: Race plays a big part in it, even if we want to be seen as human -Evelyn

34:40 – The 13th amendment and its prison labor exemption are modern forms of slavery. Americans think that child soldiers are a part of human trafficking in other countries, but there are child soldiers in America kids recruited into gangs. Points to the failure of the anti-trafficking movement are wrapped in race and nationality -James

37:35 – Important to think about what constitutes whiteness, and what composes the white imagination? We are not aware of our own biases -Moninda

41:15 – America’s history and political systems that still marginalize people of color -Bella

42:50 – Share a strength-based approach that service providers can take when providing services to labor trafficking survivors who identify as Black?

43:09 – Look at the person as a whole, put the checklist away, and take the time to build that trust -Kwami

45:37 – Learn about that person’s culture -Evelyn

49:10 – Empathy, authenticity, shared value, and support. Service providers have tools to help navigate survivors towards a solution. -Moninda

52:10 – Have knowledge about the culture and historical context of the person -James

55:07 – Panelist share on mental health and provide recommendations to bridge cultural differences for all people.

101:30 – How do you want history to remember you?

101:30 – Modern-day slavery fighter -Evelyn

103:18 – Fighter -Kwami

105:21 – As a human who shed light on the issue -Moninda

106:38 – As someone who took the worst thing that happened to them and transformed it into hope -James


109:35 – Q. What part of the legal, social, or political system do you feel failed you the most? During your most difficult times?

109:42 – The foster care system in terms of the environment they were placed in. Also, the legal system in terms of not assisting survivors in understanding their rights and obtaining restitutions as ordered by the court -Evelyn

111:18 – Housing options failure -Kwami

114:00 – Housing and service provisions failure -Moninda

116:38 – Legal issues regarding the statutes of limitations on the crimes committed against survivors. Also failed by the education system that could have identified him earlier -James

118:40 – Q. What children should know so they do not fall into the trap of being labor trafficked?

1:19:20 – Teach young people about healthy relationships -James

1:21:16. Engagement to self-identify requires education -Bella

1:22:42 – Traffickers capitalize on lack of affection -Moninda

125:00– Q. What service that you received benefited you the most?

1:25:40 – Therapy helps understand why what happened happed -James

129:00 – Closing comments

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Topic(s): Survivor Experiences
Resource Type: Event Recording
Date: February 28, 2022