2019 LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT AWARD WINNER
The Junior League of Santa Barbara
The Junior League of Santa Barbara chose the difficult, delicate and complex issue of child sex trafficking as their Focus Area. The League knew that an in-depth understanding of the issue was essential to the success of the program and so embarked on creating a program to turn its members into experts.
The true strength of the program lies in the variation of leadership skills it imparts and the innovative approach it takes to teach those skills. At its core, the program is designed to give women expert level training, awareness and education on the topics of Domestic Child Sex Trafficking, Commercial Sex Exploitation of children, youth at-risk and knowledge of all the resources available to combat these issues.
The League instituted Mandatory Annual Focus Area Training conducted by the most well-versed experts in the county. They used webinars and presentations, created a Focus Area Roadmap, posted extensive resources on their website, created a Focus Area Book Club complete with a Suggested Reading list and even held a Guest Author Event. Using all resources available, the Junior League of Santa Barbara created weekly educational posts that furthered both their members’ and their community’s understanding of the issue.
The training was held throughout the year and its impact was significant. Strategic Partnerships were formed with the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office; the League’s members sat on the DA’s Human Trafficking Task Force and on the Community Collaboratives. This led to unprecedented engagement with the Focus Area issue, and has led many members to describe what they’ve learned as “life-changing.”