Global Issues students address human trafficking with competitive poster campaign

Students enrolled in Durham College’s (DC) Global Issues: Extremism and Trafficking course had an opportunity to address a real-life issue when they were asked to create an appeal poster to attract the attention of a human trafficking victim and provide vital contact information for immediate assistance.

The campaign was designed to encourage students to apply their newly developed skills in graphics software while considering the issue of human trafficking in their community. Led by Murray Rose, professor, School of Justice & Emergency Services (JES), and former investigator with the Durham Regional Police Services Human Trafficking Unit, the project’s final component asked students to present their posters to an expert panel of members of the college community and external partners, including:

  • Joanne Spicer, associate dean, JES
  • Yvonne Armstrong, program co-ordinator, Advanced Law Graduate Certificate program, JES
  • Jeff Tucker, constable, Durham Regional Police Services and former investigator in the Human Trafficking Unit
  • Laura Burch, manager, Bethesda House
  • Darlene Rosa, chief operating officer, Timea’s Cause Inc.
  • Jenna Peace, student chair person, Durham College Student Association and graduate, School of Media, Art & Design

“As a panelist, it was incredibly rewarding to witness the level of student engagement on this project,” said Joanne Spicer, associate dean, JES. “By fostering their creative voices, the students proved how innovation and analytical thinking can effectively be used in their future careers to make a positive impact in their community.”

After a difficult deliberation, the panel was able to narrow it down to two finalists, Robyn Leger and Julie Potapinski, both post-graduate certificate students in the Advanced Law Enforcement and Investigations program. As the finalists, Robyn and Julie collaborated to create a combined final poster.

Know the signs of human trafficking poster

“By working together with experts in the field of anti-trafficking, we can improve the experiential learning of Durham College students entering the field of law enforcement,” said Murray. “Collaborations like these continue to help bring awareness to this important cause, and strengthen the unique student experience offered at Durham College.”

After four years of teaching the course, Murray hopes to continue partnering with local organizations, such as Bethesda House, a shelter that facilitates care for domestic violence and human trafficking victims, and Timea’s Cause Inc., an organization dedicated to assisting survivors of human trafficking, to build on the momentum of the poster campaign and further enhance the course’s innovative training opportunities.