Wednesday, October 31, 2012

First community forum a success!

The first community forum hosted by the Asian American Trafficking Outreach Project (AATOP) last week saw over 40 attendees! Those who were present ranged from college students to professionals in the advocacy, health, legal, and social service fields. This was the first opportunity for us at IOFA to introduce AATOP to potential partners in a group setting and invite them to join us in driving AATOP efforts. We are excited to already have some organizations on board with us!

Shelby French, IOFA's director introducing AATOP at the forum

We asked the group these following questions to generate ideas for next steps as we move forward in producing outreach and training materials in collaboration with our partners:

  • Do you believe that human trafficking is a critical issue facing API (Asian and Pacific Islander) communities?
  • Do you think human trafficking is being addressed adequately in API communities?
  • What are the challenges to building public awareness and concern about human trafficking?
  • What are the opportunities?
  • Which API communities are at greatest risk?
  • Who needs to be involved to ensure success and sustainability of AATOP efforts?
  • What are the specific challenges and opportunities in relation to outreach into this particular community?
  • What are some culturally appropriate models or methods of outreach to victims of similar crimes?
These questions generated useful discussion that we are compiling into an outcome document. We look forward to sharing the results with you!

Monday, October 15, 2012

AATOP's first collaborative community forum

Asian American Trafficking Outreach Project (AATOP), a program of the International Organization of Adolescents (IOFA) is excited to hold its first community forum on next Thursday, October 24 at the Hull House Museum! This forum will be the first meeting place to connect organizations with an invested interest in human trafficking in the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community of Chicago. As a member-driven coalition, the forum will help begin the dialogue of addressing API needs as human trafficking victims and garner community support for anti-trafficking sentiment and programming. It is a platform for individual organizations to provide areas of expertise as we strategize training models, brainstorm culturally-sensitive outreach efforts, and identify areas of research. We have gathered the support of direct social services, research organizations, legal representatives, educational institutions, and community organizations who will be represented at the forum. In forming a community network supportive of API rights, the group will present as a unified front to the existing anti-trafficking networks in the greater Chicago area.
Check back soon for an update on the results of our discussions and potential next steps as we move forward!