City to Host Youth Exploitation Safety Symposium

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The City of Long Beach in partnership with the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) and the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force (LBHTTF) will host a Youth Exploitation Safety Symposium (YESS), featuring a series of informational presentations and workshops for parents, educators, and youth grades 8 to 12.

The free event is scheduled for Saturday, February 20, 2016, at 10:00 am (registration begins at 9:00 am) at Long Beach City College, 4901 Carson St. This event is part of the City’s Safe Long Beach My Sister’s Keeper awareness campaign. Interpreters will provide information in Spanish and Khmer, and there will be opportunity drawings and complimentary food.

“Long Beach is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our youth and families,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “This event provides another important opportunity for the community to come together to engage and support young people.”

The YESS event, Healthy Relationships, the Best Prevention, will feature information aimed at ensuring the safety of young people; and resources from over 40 participating agencies, consisting of government, non-profit, and faith-based organizations. Keynote speaker Opal Singleton, President and CEO of Million Kids, will discuss strategies on combating the dangers facing youth and parents today.

“The Long Beach Human Trafficking Taskforce is excited to partner this year with Long Beach City College and the City of Long Beach to bring this important event to our community,” said Jeanette Cheng, the LBHTTF Co-Founder and the Director of Public Policy & Advocacy at Crittenton Services for Children and Families. “The safety of our youth and the factors that contribute to exploitation is of critical importance to the mission of our collaborative community task force. We want to inform and equip our community by bringing in experts with up-to-the date information, resources and services. We’re proud to continue to raise awareness and partner with community-based organizations around issues of youth exploitation and human trafficking happening in our City.”

The event will also include several workshops for adults and youth to discuss child exploitation prevention methods; and effective approaches for responding to victims of human trafficking, including empathy, compassion, and commitment.

In January 2015, the Long Beach City Council accepted a three-year, $1.5 million California Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention Program (CalGRIP) grant to support anti-gang efforts and prevent the victimization of at-risk female youth. The CalGRIP grant, titled My Sister’s Keeper, is aimed at preventing gang membership and gang victimization among at-risk females between the ages of 10 and 24 years. The project includes a human trafficking awareness campaign, intervention, prevention, and diversion services.

This is the seventh consecutive year that the City has been a recipient of the CalGRIP grant. Since 2008, more than 2,200 Long Beach youth and families have been served by CalGRIP funded programs and services.

My Sister’s Keeper is part of Safe Long Beach, the City’s Violence Prevention Plan. Adopted by the City Council in May 2014, Safe Long Beach addresses a broad safety agenda aimed at reducing all forms of violence, including domestic abuse, child abuse, elder abuse, hate crimes, bullying, gang violence, and violent crime. The Plan draws upon the City’s many existing assets to target violence at its root and attain the goal of building a safer Long Beach by 2020.

The LBHTTF is a multidisciplinary, survivor-centered collaborative community effort by law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations to combat human trafficking by identifying, rescuing and empowering survivors; and assisting in the prosecution of traffickers. The LBHTTF holds monthly meetings that are open to the public. For more information about the LBHTTF, visit

For more information about My Sister’s Keeper, please contact Teresa Gomez at 562.570.6730 or For more information on Safe Long Beach, visit

To register to attend the YESS event, go to Attendees are encouraged to post photos from the event to social media, using the hashtags #SafeLB and #YESS2016.

To anonymously report suspected human trafficking, call 888.373.7888.

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