Erin Collins Fights Against Human Trafficking in Tallahassee, Florida
When Erin Collins relocated from Washington, D.C. to Tallahassee, Florida, she thought it was a temporary move and didn’t immediately get involved in her community. As time went on, she realized Tallahassee was becoming her new home and, after meeting some enthusiastic Junior League members, decided to join the Junior League of Tallahassee.
A volunteer at heart, Collins hoped her League would lead her to make a positive impact in her community. Since joining in 2010, she has engaged in fundraising, budget development, board governance, strategic planning, volunteer management, and has worked with community partners. She has served as Public Affairs Chair, Vice President of Development, Communications Director on the Management Team, and was an Active Member Representative on her League’s Board. Through her Junior League experiences, Collins has also expanded her awareness of issues like food insecurity, youth homelessness, and human trafficking—which even sparked a new career.
“I was aware of human trafficking and exploitation through news reports and anecdotal stories, but learned a lot more through [The Junior League’s] statewide advocacy efforts,” she says.
Collins now serves as Executive Director for the Florida Alliance to End Human Trafficking, which provides funding, support, and assistance to the statewide effort to end human trafficking. In her role, which focuses on finding new and innovative solutions to combat trafficking, she leads the statewide coordination on training and awareness programs for industries, supports innovative technology solutions and expansive data collection for law enforcement, and supports survivor leaders.
Collins continues to use her Junior League skills to raise awareness of human trafficking and to promote community involvement by encouraging everyone to get training in how to identify the potential signs and indicators of human trafficking, how to report suspected exploitation, and how to get engaged in their communities around this issue. (The Florida Alliance offers a free online training.)
How does Collins communicate the message of her League? “By encouraging people to understand the needs of women, children, and families in their community and to take action,” she says.