Town Hall Meeting
Fall 2022 Town Hall Meeting Recap
This fall, students from Global Studies and Anthropology courses studying trafficking issues conducted research to understand “what is possible” in their issue area as it relates to regional and global human trafficking concerns. At the Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, November 15, students met in a Dialogue Session with Community Partners serving as Consultants to discuss “what is possible” in their policy area. Students then used realistic policy solutions to create “action plans” outlining possible next steps for themselves and others to influence the future course of the policy issue, during an Action Planning Session.
This year's Town Hall Meeting hosted students from Global Studies with Professor Dino Bozonelos, Ph.D. and Anthropology courses with Konane Martinez, Ph.D.
- The Town Hall Agenda
5:15 - 5:50 PM: Participant Check-in and Dinner
6:00 - 6:30 PM: Welcome and Keynote Address by DA Stephan
6:35 - 6:45 PM: Transition to Dialogue Session Breakout Rooms
6:45 - 7:45 PM: Dialogue Sessions
7:45 - 7:55 PM: Transition to Action Planning Breakout Rooms
8:00 - 8:50 PM: Action Planning Sessions
8:50 - 9:00 PM: Closing Remarks
- Dialogue Session (Breakout Room) Locations
Department within USU
Dialogue Session Group
Black Student Center
Cross Cultural Center
Women and Gender Equity Center
LGBTQA Pride Center
Associated Students, Inc. Conference Room
- Student Remarks
Below you will find remarks shared by students regarding their experience partitipating in this event.
- "That human trafficking depends on us. This is an issue that is our responsibility and nobody will solve it unless we take the necessary steps to take action."
- "I was focusing on debt bondage and it did not occur to me that sex work was included. I was mainly focused on psychical labor to like working in brick factories, but I did not know there forced labor in sex work."
- "Human trafficking has only been a crime in CA since 2005."
- "Not all victims are obvious victims like poorly dressed, illiterate, poor people that a lot of them can be high class, well educated, well off people."
- "A majority of sex trafficking is done by people who know the victim, such as a parent trafficking a child, a husband trafficking their wife, etc."
- "That social media could play like a double edge sword in promoting that we need to find solutions in human trafficking, but social media can be used by traffickers to find a new target."
Students creating "action plans" during the Action Planning Session
- Policy Consultant, Moderator, & Observer/Facilitator ResourcesWe have compiled a Google Drive with supporting materials for the event. This drive will contain a video overview of the event, an agenda, and guidelines for fulfilling each of the roles for the evening.
Keynote Speaker: DA Summer Stephan
District Attorney Summer Stephan has devoted her life to protecting children and families and giving a voice for justice to the voiceless and most vulnerable. She is a national leader in the fight against sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Summer served on the Governor’s Task Force for High-Risk Sex Offenders and Sexually-Violent Predators. She spearheaded the innovative “Know the Price” campaign, which focused on reducing sexual assaults on college campuses. She also led the award-winning “The Ugly Truth” human trafficking awareness campaign as well as the “San Diego Opioid Project,” aimed at reducing opioid overdoses. Summer led a coordinated effort to protect the community from targeted mass violence with a School Threats Task Force that implemented a unified protocol with all 42 school districts in San Diego County. In addition, she began an effective Veterans Treatment model in North County inspired by a heroic Marine Corps veteran.
Meet the 2022 Policy Consultants (Focus Areas)
- Carmen Kcomt: Domestic Workers
Carmen Kcomt is the nationwide Honorary Delegate Refugee Congress. She is also a member of the National Association of Woman Judges and former Magistrate from Peru. Carmen holds a master’s degree in International Law of Human Rights and was a professor in two universities in Peru. She has also worked for United Nations-UNPD, supervising the compliance of the rights of the prisoners in the detention centers in the northern part of Peru. Today, she is Director of the Legal Advocacy and Social Department with La Maestra Community Health Centers, where she manages the largest program fighting International Human Trafficking in San Diego.
- Lindsay Rogers: Sex Trafficking
Lindsay Rogers works for the North County Lifeline, where their mission is “to build self-reliance among youth, adults, and families through high-quality, community-based services”. Rogers’ focus is specifically on sex trafficking. The core mission of their human trafficking prevention and intervention program, Project LIFE (Living In Freedom from Exploitation), is to support human trafficking victims on their path to recovery and self-reliance.
- Paul Chang: Migrant Workers
Paul Chang serves as a Regional Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator at the U.S. Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division. In his 25+ years with the agency, Paul worked on some of the most notorious cases as an investigator and Assistant District Director. He’s developed numerous training materials and programs that also utilize my BITE Model and Influence Continuum. He has also been on a special assignment to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (WHIAANHPI) since 2013 where he currently serves as the National Co-Chair of the Regional Network.
- Marisa Ugarte: Debt Bondage
Marisa Ugarte, an activist instituting structural change, is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition (BSCC), which combats human trafficking in San Diego County and Tijuana. As an expert on the subject, she works, as the BSCC Mission states, "to preserve the dignity and well-being of commercially and sexually exploited women and children through prevention, intervention, and education." She has received grants from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. State Department, and the International Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance awarded her for bringing sanctuary to girls in illegal brothels in Southern California after being smuggled across the border. Ugarte convenes an annual anti-trafficking conference in San Diego and is an active speaker at conferences nationwide and internationally of human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. Her public speaking engagements have included: The Artesana (Successful Coalition Building), Texas; the Millennium Conference, and the International Institute (Restructuring the Justice System in Mexico).
- Charles Wainaina: Organ Trafficking
When human beings experience loss, many times their lives unravel. The ultimate loss is that of a loved one, whether family or friends. These are the families that Charles Wainaina works with every day: people who are either losing their loved one or are about to. In all this loss, there comes a ray of hope that their loved one can leave a lasting legacy and continue living on through organ donation. Charles worked with the organ transplant hospital before transitioning to the organ procurement side where every day he is reminded that he works for over 100,000 people waiting for a lifesaving transplant. His educational background is in Nursing and he obtained a BSN from the University of Texas Arlington. Charles also has a B.Sc in Biomedical Science and Technology from Egerton University in Kenya. His passion with anti-human trafficking is because of the low level of information that the general public has regarding it. It is also one of those subjects that has a lot of misinformation surrounding it, even in the media. After working with organ donations and knowing the intricacies of it, he has a responsibility as an expert to make the public more knowledgeable about the subject of Organ Trafficking.
- Mary-Ellen Barrett: Prosecution
Mary-Ellen Barrett has been a San Diego County Deputy District Attorney for over 25 years prosecuting a variety of cases from theft to murder. Ms. Barrett is the chair of the San Diego County Regional Human Trafficking and CSEC Advisory Council which is responsible for developing best practices to combat human trafficking. At the DA’s office, she handles all petitions to clear the criminal records of survivors and is assigned to support the County Office of Education in a Federal Grant for Human Trafficking Youth Prevention Education which provides anti-trafficking education to San Diego’s public schools. Ms. Barrett is also co-chair of the Southern California Safe Shelter Collaborative which is dedicated to finding shelter quickly for survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault using technology. Ms. Barrett sits on the National District Attorney’s Advisory Board on Human Trafficking. Ms. Barrett has previously received the statewide prosecutor of the year award from the California Narcotics Officers Association and other awards for her work in promoting the rights of victims and survivors including, an “Angel of Trafficking Award” from the Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition, the “Client Advocate of the Year” award from North County Lifeline, and the Rotary District 5340 (San Diego and Imperial Counties) 2021 “Peacemaker of the Year” award.
- Flavio Nominati: Protection
Flavio Nominati has been a prosecutor for approximately 11 years. In that time, Mr. Nominati has been assigned to a diverse array of specialized units, including domestic violence, elder abuse, juvenile prosecution, crimes against peace officers, and the gang prosecution unit. Currently, he is assigned to the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force. In this capacity, he serves as the Human Trafficking Team Leader for the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking Division. He works with approximately 10 Task Force officers (TFOs) as they develop their human trafficking cases and approximately 10 Deputy District Attorneys who prosecute human trafficking cases. In addition, Mr. Nominati serves as the Executive Chair of the San Diego Human Trafficking Task Force.
- Casey French: Prevention
Casey French has been a Deputy District Attorney with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office since 2012. She is currently assigned to the Sex Crimes and Human Trafficking division within the office. Ms. French is a former co-chair of the Lawyers Club of San Diego Human Trafficking Collaborative, which focuses on equipping the community with the knowledge and tools to combat human trafficking and encourage community participation in the fight against it. Previously, she served as co-chair of the Education Subcommittee. Ms. French is also a member of the San Diego Regional Human Trafficking & Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) Advisory Council which is tasked with identifying best practices for combatting human trafficking and making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding county-wide anti-trafficking policies. Ms. French has worked with law enforcement both locally and nationwide to assist victims of human trafficking. Ms. French has met with policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels on ways to improve laws addressing human trafficking and gaps in legislation. On a global scale, Ms. French has met with leaders from European and Western Hemisphere countries as well as delegates from Bahrain and Africa to engage in an interactive dialogue with countries affected by human trafficking.
Background on The Town Hall Meeting at CSUSM
The Town Hall Meeting provides students a public arena for discussing current policy issues with other students, faculty, administrators, and community members. This event is inspired by the Public Sphere Pedagogy.
Through a series of moderated conversations, which include voices of community-based subject matter experts, students are able to deepen their understanding of certain topics, appreciate how those topics manifest in the public arena, dialogue about potential solutions to community issues, and find more relevance in their learning. Public Sphere Pedagogy is an approach to teaching that moves student research and creative ideas outside of the classroom by embedding a ‘public sphere’ in academic courses, usually during the first year of college. (Chico State)
The Town Hall Meeting at CSUSM is framed around global issues that are of particular concern to our regional community, in partnership with faculty and students in one or more academic departments across campus. For the past few years the global issue discussed at the Town Hall Meeting has been human trafficking.
On November 15, 2017, the first the Town Hall Meeting was framed around global issues that are of particular concern to our regional community.
Past partnerships have included faculty and students in the departments of Global Studies and Anthropology.