Weekly Reader February 28, 2020
By: Hannah Rabalais, Program Officer
1. Governor Abbott gives the gift of hope by making it easier for trafficking victims to apply for clemency
By: Dallas Morning News Editorial
"On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott granted a Christmas wish that has been on our list for two years: a clear path to restoration for incarcerated victims of human trafficking.
Abbott announced the creation of a customized clemency application for survivors of trafficking and domestic abuse. Under the new protocol, Texas inmates will be allowed to cite their experience as victims when requesting relief from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
“Texas is committed to empowering survivors of domestic abuse and human trafficking,” Abbott said. “And one of the surest signals of that goal is laying out a true path to redemption and restoration.”
2. Exclusive: Airbnb expands pledge to fight human trafficking amid hospitality industry struggles
By: USA Today David Oliver
"Airbnb staff training. The company is ensuring its trust and customer support teams are trained in human trafficking signs as a part of employee onboarding and is expanding the number of teams that receive training.
Airbnb also works with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and was a founding member, along with several large hotel chains, of the World Travel & Tourism Council's global task force to prevent and combat human trafficking.
"We are aligned with ECPAT’s mission and are reviewing ways that we can possibly become more involved," Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit said."
3. Hollywood Actress Taraji P. Henson Visits, Donates $10,000 to South Dallas School
By: Laura Harris, NBCDFW
"Taraji P. Henson has taken notice of those students and their achievements. She has had some memorable movie roles and been nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Katherine Johnson in the 2016 film Hidden Figures. It hasn't always been easy. Henson has overcome so much to get to this point, just like many of the students who attend the school.
The address for the school and community center is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., just west of Interstate 45. It’s roots trace back to the first African American Episcopalian church in Dallas in the 1940’s and that legacy is running through the halls of the school today. Positioned at a famous address with students looking to make history of their own."
4. Student-Run Program for Homeless Youth Spreading to More Cities
By: Emily Nonko, Next City
"The facility also provides a framework for students and the youth experiencing homelessness to develop programming together. In 2019, 199 young adults experiencing homelessness stayed at Y2Y Harvard Square, with guests and students planning outings like kayaking and ice skating. Y2Y also launched programming like the Computer Club and Art Workshops, as well as an integrated clinic with Boston Health Care for the Homeless.
In New Haven, collaboration between students and youth experiencing homelessness started early, including the Youth Advisory Board comprised of young people with lived experience. There’s also a program model workstream with three focuses for students: policy, staffing model and service model. In each focus, teams think critically about integration of youth voice.
The team launched a pilot in the fall of 2018 in which students began volunteering with Youth Continuum’s existing youth program. One challenge is developing a model accommodating college student’s schedules, says Kosowsky. “We want to operate 24/7, 365, so we want our professional staff engaged so that even if there’s no students or volunteers we can operate the program as if it were fully functional.”