Talk at San Diego State University

Last week I flew out to San Diego to give a talk on Human Trafficking Recruitment during Russia's War in Ukraine. I was able to give a guest lecture in a Human Trafficking class in the European Studies Department at San Diego State University. It was interesting to talk to a human trafficking class that was very knowledgeable about the topic on the border of the US with some of the students even crossing the border from Mexico to attend class. 
Since the students in class has an entire semester's worth of knowledge on human trafficking but there were also other students and faculty from the university it presented a few complexities. You don't want the students in the class to be bored but you also want the people with no knowledge to understand the basic aspects of the talk. So I used this opportunity to have students from the human trafficking class teach other students the basics of human trafficking. Since my talk was focused on recruitment I also did my human trafficking chain activity where students worked to put themselves in the order of the chain. It always provokes a great discussion and the students knew the trafficking chain so well that they told me I needed to include more cards for deceptions etc. When I do this activity with community members they definitely don't know the material as well as those students did and it was so fun to talk to such an informed group.
It was also a great opportunity to talk about Ukraine and start formulating thoughts about the results of my research trip. Since doing research in a war zone was quite stressful I was really focused on just getting the interviews and I hadn't really tried to formulate my interviews into results. So I used this talk as an opportunity to start delving into the rich data I was able to gather in Ukraine and start the analysis process. Finally, it was a great opportunity to take a morning walk on the beach and watch the sunset from the oldest mission in California so despite the fact that I flew out there and then back right away, it was quite a relaxing trip.


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