The Brevard County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in conjunction with the Space Coast Human Trafficking Taskforce hosted a Youth Safety and Human Trafficking Seminar at Cocoa High School in Cocoa, FL on January 25th, 2020. The seminar was well received by the community with over 130 participating parents, middle and high school students.
Cocoa Mayor Jake Williams, Jr. and Deputy Mayor Alex Goins presented the sorority and its Immediate Past President, Marian Jackson with a proclamation declaring January 25th as “Youth Safety and Human Trafficking Day” in the City of Cocoa. “You all are thanking us for attending, we should be thanking you for providing us with this valuable information,” Mayor Williams, Jr. said.
Human trafficking involves the commercial exchange and exploitation of humans including forced prostitution and pornography, involuntary labor, servitude and debt bondage. Current data shows that Florida has been identified as having the 3rd highest cases of human trafficking activity in the country.
The students were broken into sessions by age groups. The middle school students received information from Lutheran Services and viewed an animated video “The Reds”. The movie was an alternative version of the classic Little Red Riding Hood discussing dangers on the path of life and addressing the predators that may be encountered. A presentation was given by the Cocoa Police Department sharing basic protection tips. The department also provided snow cones and popcorn to the participants in their police trailer.
Rainey Nave, a survivor of human trafficking, shared her story with the high school students and their parents. Nave disclosed intimate details, both horrific and triumphant, of her experience and also provided communication tips with parents. Detective Pam Hibbs of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office worked with parents on safely navigating the internet and showed them the dangers of popular social media applications and how to set parental controls. There was also a focus on protection using self-defense and it was well-received in its practical application.
Prior to the January 25th, 2020 event, the Brevard County Alumnae Chapter participated in the Department of Homeland Security’s “Wear Blue” on January 11th, 2020. The Chapter also participated with the “In Our Backyard” organization by posting stickers with contact information for the National Human Trafficking Hotline in businesses off of the major interstate, I-95 South corridor in Brevard County.
The sorority has received numerous requests, including from the Mayor of Cocoa, to continue providing additional information on the human trafficking epidemic in efforts to educate and improve the Brevard County community. Due to our efforts in conjunction with our community partners, the Brevard County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, received the Regional Red Ribbon Award, which is given to Chapters that are focused on the mission of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. through our Five-Point Programmatic Thrust specifically focusing on Social Action. If you have any questions, please contact President Lisa S. Patrick, Brevard County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. at: President@dstbcac.org.