Survivor Teachings: A Process of Healing and Hope

WEBINAR: 1 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern / 12 – 1:30 p.m. Central, Friday, July 17

Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center, the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Florida’s Department of Children and Families invite you to participate the monthly Third Friday Community Training Program: “Survivor Teachings: A Process of Healing and Hope” online from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, July 17.

Special thanks to Florida’s Center for Child Welfare at USF for hosting.

DESCRIPTION: The voices of survivors are essential to our understanding of human trafficking. How do we advocate with and for survivors? What are the immediate and long-term impacts of child sex trafficking and all forms of trafficking? What should we know about survivors’ lives that will help us understand and prevent human trafficking in our communities? What is the impact of trauma? How can we as professionals in healthcare, child welfare, businesses and the hospitality industry, social services, law enforcement, the courts, educators, faith community, family members and parents, and as neighbors understand the range and the reach of traffickers? Please attend for answers to these and other questions from AmyLynn Harrington-Smoot, advocate and survivor of sex trafficking and Graciela Marquina, STAC Victim Assistance Coordinator who has supported survivors for over two decades.

PRESENTERS: AmyLynn Harrington Smoot is a survivor and advocate working with task forces, community-based care organizations and faith groups throughout the southeast.  She is a current consultant for the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center and, in 2018, worked with 121 Hope, as an ambassador and speaker on human trafficking and prevention. She was the Survivor Mentor for the Open Doors Network, through The Florida Baptist Children’s Home, for the Central Florida area including Orange, Polk, Osceola and Brevard counties from November 2017 – February 2018.  She was the Survivor Mentor for The Porch Light, a certified safe home, from January 2015 to February 2017. AmyLynn is a survivor from childhood sex trafficking and torture that occurred for approximately eighteen months from the time she was eight years old. AmyLynn chooses to use her knowledge in the area of sexual exploitation of children as a mentor to help other survivors, to consult with advocates in the fight against this horrific epidemic, and in the areas of education and awareness. She is a frequent speaker and panelist throughout the southeast United States. AmyLynn works with media companies to produce specials and stories about human trafficking.  While in Tallahassee, she participated with the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking (BBCAHT) and for the past three years has worked with the 10th Circuit Human Trafficking Task Force with education and awareness.

Graciela Marquina was born and raised in Mexico City where she completed her BA in Communications, from the Iberoamericana University. She also holds a Master’s degree in social work at Florida State University. Graciela started working at a very young age developing her interviewing skills with different populations in Mexico and the United States. While in Mexico, she helped homeless children. She also has conducted focus groups, and trained interviewers for social research. 

Graciela currently serves as the Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center (STAC) and has worked in Tallahassee with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, serving as Program and Shelter Manager at Refuge House. She also has consulted with the FSU Center of the Advancement of Human Rights interviewing survivors of human trafficking. For the last 20 years, she has worked extensively with victims of human trafficking, as well as victims of domestic and sexual violence, assisting both immigrant and U.S. citizen survivors. Graciela has conducted numerous training programs on the topics of human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault and she assists Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) both in the U.S. and in Mexico to help victims of human trafficking. Graciela has published in two peer-reviewed publications, on topics concerning Hispanic populations. Graciela volunteers extensively in her community. She served on the Board of Directors for PACE Center for Girls, has helped to found the Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center (STAC) to assist victims of trafficking, she is an active member of the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

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