This week I really just worked hard on my projects. The internships seem to be coming to an end at an alarming pace, and I want to make sure I can produce the best product possible.
The brochure is coming along well. I am collaborating with a few people in the office in order to make the most accurate and inclusive brochure. I think my favorite part of it so far is the section that heads: “Human Trafficking is more than individualized experiences of vulnerable populations. These are a few larger contributing factors to this global industry”. This section is an opportunity for me to really bring what I learned in the classroom to this project. I follow it with short blurbs on various topics like rape culture, poor economic conditions, and gender inequality. In my Contemporary Human Trafficking class, Professor Bickford challenged us to see that larger forces behind trafficking instead of just a single occurrence.
A few things I began to consider this week:
- I conducted the informational interview with one of the women who works at the Coalition. It challenged my career intentions, and showed me the long-term reality of working in a field like this. I also look forward to asking other colleagues some questions, and, in particular, asking my boss how to negotiate a salary.
- The woman I interviewed sends me articles about human trafficking every week that she is reading. Right now, I am reading one that calls attention to the language in the TVPA. It is an interesting look at how the movement got started and the emotional/religious/non-law language that it is based on. Earlier in the week she ran her idea by me about the whether-or-not-to-use-modern-day-slavery debate. She suggested that chattel slavery was centered around race, while contemporary human trafficking is dependent on vulnerability. I found it an interesting take on the debate, and a well articulated argument against the use of “modern day slavery”.
- Working at the both the coalition and the clinic have forced me to reflect upon my education at Dickinson. One thing I’ve noticed that makes an enormous difference on the ground, but maybe doesn’t make its way into the classroom all the time is the importance of community. I find that we focus, to no fault, mostly on individual and institutional levels. However, a person’s community has a huge impact on how the people I work with do their work. For example, when looking over the various training programs the coalition wants to bring to the pilot sites, one aspect they take into consideration is who will come to facilitate the trainings. Its important that someone who is similar to the community members (dress, accent, demographics) addresses them. Also, in the clinic, community seems to have a huge impact on the patients’ decision to transition. Things like whether or not the school has a bathroom for them, what pronouns teachers use, and whether or not the family knows are all things to consider for these patients.
July 9th – July 15th