Human Trafficking Leadership Academy
The Human Trafficking Leadership Academy (HTLA) is committed to developing and expanding survivor-informed services while also providing leadership development opportunities to survivor leaders and anti-trafficking professionals.
The HTLA fellowship is funded by the Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) and the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center (NHTTAC).
A team of six survivor leaders and six non-government service providers work collaboratively to provide recommendations to a project question proposed by OTIP and OWH. These fellows provide OTIP and OWH with substantive input that will inform research, policies, and programs that improve awareness, understanding, and assistance to survivors of human trafficking or those at risk of human trafficking.
To develop and deliver this program, NHTTAC partners with Coro, a nationally recognized leadership development organization. The objectives for each seminar vary, but within each, fellows learn from community leaders, discuss goals, and practice new leadership skills. The HTLA is a combination of in-person and virtual work. The leadership training provided at monthly seminars over the course of 4–6 months is applicable to the fellows’ current work and helps them grow in their chosen career. Fellows collaborate between sessions using the skills they have learned to develop their recommendations. As they collaborate, they also establish a trusted network among all the fellows that could last a lifetime. The final seminar takes place in Washington, D.C., and includes a graduation ceremony and a presentation to federal stakeholders on findings and recommendations related to the project question.
From May to August 2018, fellows of the Academy worked together to provide recommendations that address the question: “Using trauma-informed principles and survivor-informed practices, how can service providers improve their support of human trafficking survivors who are struggling with co-occurring disorders?”
The fellows presented their recommendations in Washington, DC, to members of the Office on Trafficking in Persons, the Office on Women’s Health, and other federal stakeholders. Recommendations focused on risk reduction, cultural competency, housing, and peer support. Learn more about the HTLA fellows’ recommendations.
HHS piloted the HTLA from June to September of 2017. A cohort of twelve fellows worked collaboratively to address the question: “How can OTIP grantees enhance their programming and services to support survivors of trafficking and/or those at risk using trauma-informed and survivor-informed practices?”
At the final seminar in Washington, D.C., the fellows presented seven recommendations, including tools they developed, to OTIP, OWH, and other key federal stakeholders. Recommendations included a definition of survivor-informed practices and a checklist for organizations to assess their current implementation of survivor-informed practices. Learn more about the 2017 fellows.
“I have watched myself grow exponentially well. I now have confidence to hold a space in a room and own it! I have attended a lot of trainings as a survivor leader and, by far, this one was the most helpful, interactive, and caring.” – La Toya Gix, HTLA Alumni
NHTTAC is a program of OTIP that delivers training and technical assistance to inform and enhance the public health response to human trafficking. NHTTAC is committed to building the health and human services capacity of professionals to:
- Reduce the vulnerabilities of those most at risk of human trafficking
- Increase victim identification and access to trauma-informed services for all survivors
- Strengthen the short-, medium-, and long-term health and well-being of survivors of human trafficking
Coro delivers customized, cohort-based leadership development experiences focused on addressing specific issues and/or populations. Coro has supported countless fellows through partnerships with universities, local government, and nonprofits. Graduates from other Coro fellowship programs report—
- 93 percent are more confident in leading/managing in challenging times
- 81 percent are more confident in handling leadership responsibilities
- 78 percent are more effective in leadership roles
- 90 percent report having stronger interpersonal skills
- 92 percent gained a better understanding of their institution or issue area