Showing posts from October, 2022

Association for Women in Slavic Studies Roundtable

Last week I also p articipated in a two part roundtable discussion this morning sponsored by Association for Women in Slavic Studies for the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) entitled Gender, Sexuality, and Violence in the Context of the 2022 Escalation of Russia's War on Ukraine. It was an honor to be invited to participate in the roundtable and I discussed my research on human trafficking and the recent changes due to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.  We had a great discussion and lots of questions but my favorite was this undergraduate student from Howard University who tweeted about my presentation. Undergraduate students can attend the online convention for free and it was great to have so many join the discussions!  Looking forward to presenting the full paper on a migration themed panel at the the in-person conference in early November! 

Walk for Freedom 2022!

For the fifth year in a row the lab made the journey to participate in the Walk for Freedom sponsored by A21 in Springfield, Illinois. Walk for Freedom is A21's global mobilization event, rallying thousands of people in hundreds of cities all over the world to raise awareness and funds to end human trafficking. I worked with A21 when I lived in Ukraine and was able to visit their shelter and job training facilities for victims of human trafficking. Every year I march in Springfield wearing my buttons from Ukraine in honor of them and their work.   This year Millikin donated lanyards to every walker and the research lab team tabled and talked about our research on human trafficking with other local anti-trafficking organizations and activists. The site for the walk is the old state capitol building which is still under renovations but still offers a great space in downtown Springfield for the walk with lost of pedestrian traffic.  Normally the walk is scheduled the same weekend as M

Coding Newspaper Articles on Human Trafficking in Russian

This semester I have been working on a research project at the Human Trafficking Research Lab. I work to explore, analyze and trace the patterns of human trafficking within the given timeline. I am coding newspapers for a paper entitled "The Social Construction of Trafficking in Russian Media" and conducting a content analysis of Russian central and regional newspapers. Usually, while coding I go through two cycles of verification before deciding on a code. Once I code the paragraph or a specific sentence, I make sure that the given content fits the code descriptors and only then do I move to the following article. The gripping part of coding papers, which is also sometimes puzzling, is the dynamics between bias and objectivity. Throughout time it appears that the bias takes over the Russian media, hence, a decline in negative attitudes toward actors occurs.  The Human Trafficking Research Lab allows me to observe how empirical research can be carried out in practice. Another

Illinois Statewide Task Force on Human Trafficking

I was recently appointed to serve on the Illinois Statewide Task Force on Human Trafficking! Over the past few weeks I have been attending my first meetings for Advocacy & Policy Workgroup and the larger task force and have learned a lot already about the wider anti-trafficking movement in Illinois. The larger task force meeting focused on a legislative advocacy & education training teaching us to how to find our legislator, track bills, and formulate one page policy briefs of your asks (I teach my students how to write these so it was great to see how they are used to inform legislators on human trafficking bills). I also learned how to file witness slips on bills to register my support, opposition, or no position on bills and it is a skill I plan to use in the future to advocate for more survivor informed trafficking legislation in the future! The Advocacy & Policy Workgroup meeting we talked about monitoring bills in the legislature and different methods for notifying th