Bronx Alumnae Raises Awareness of Human Trafficking
Submitted by Karen Skinner-Parkes
On Saturday, Feb. 12, 2021 at 10 a.m. the Delta Academy program of the Bronx Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated held its first session. The COVID-19 Pandemic has limited the ability to have in-person sessions, therefore the session was held via Zoom.
Committee Chair Keimisa Larrier, and Co-Chairs Ayana Bryant-Cain and Tiffany Wright, provided the welcome and introduction of mentors Karen Skinner-Parkes, Azareal McCarthy, Christina Merriweather, Crystal Gobern, and Ivoire Lloyd to the Delta Academy mentees. Upon review of the of the media release, Code of Conduct, history of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy, the group engaged in an interactive icebreaker to get to know each other. A few of the members were returning participants from the previous year and it was exciting for the mentors to see familiar faces and how each of them had grown.
The facilitator for the day was Ms. Monique Riley, founder of Freedom Youth, LLC and the Freedom Youth Family Justice Center. Freedom Youth is an organization that works to prevent and combat human trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Ms. Riley introduced herself and quizzed the girls on the definitions of human trafficking. The participants were well prepared and had extensive knowledge on the topic. They gave multiple examples of human trafficking such as: prostitution, kidnapping, bondage, slavery, and a multitude of other conditions.
Ms. Riley presented an in-depth PowerPoint on the multitude of different classifications of human trafficking. She also provided her own testimony as a victim of human trafficking at the young age of 12 years old. Throughout the conversation, she gave details of trauma as well as physical and mental abuse that came from strangers, family, friends, and classmates. She also shared a timeline of her experience and recovery from being a child victim in this dangerous and lonely world of human trafficking.
The interactive conversation that followed was inquisitive and empowering as mentors witnessed the compassion and thought process of young girls ages 11-14 years old provide acclamations of resilience and protectiveness to the speaker. In their naivety and lack of experience, they were able to understand that Ms. Riley was not a victim of her circumstances but rather she excelled.
The girls were able to capture and understand the different ways children and women become victims to the national/international world of human trafficking, which happens in the USA and within our own neighborhoods. This newfound awareness will allow participants to acknowledge and report human trafficking and spread information learned during this Delta Academy Session with others.
The committee thanks Monique Riley for her commitment to mitigate Human Trafficking in the Bronx. In November 2020, Ms. Riley served as a panelist for the chapter’s Human Trafficking program; and in January 2021, Freedom Youth gave Bronx Alumnae the WOKE Award for assisting in spreading awareness of Human Trafficking.
Submitted by Karen Skinner-Parkes On Saturday, Feb. 12, 2021 at 10 a.m. the Delta Academy program of the Bronx Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated held its first session. The COVID-19 Pandemic has limited the ability to have in-person sessions, therefore the session was held via Zoom. Committee Chair Keimisa Larrier, and Co-Chairs …