Dr. Al Fuertes of the School of Integrative Studies (SIS) was invited and represented George Mason University at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Roundtable Conversation on Survivor Inclusion with DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, held on March 3, 2023, in Washington DC. The meeting was attended by the US Advisory Council, and directors of some of the leading anti-human trafficking organizations in the US: Polaris, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Freedom Network USA, DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking, USCIS, Fair Girls, the Council to Combat Gender Violence, the Sun Gate Foundation, and the Blue Campaign. Dr. Fuertes was the only representative of the academic community invited to join the meeting.
"It was such a powerful meeting, and I just wanted to listen to the personal narratives of human trafficking survivors, and what they/we all believe are the gaps in terms of federal approaches to combat human trafficking. We need more of these kinds of meetings that bring together stakeholders from federal and non-government entities in addressing the human trafficking problem as one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises in the world today." - Dr. Fuertes.
March 10, 2023