Alumni In Class

December 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Happy Beginnings | Barker Talks about Role in Anti-Human Trafficking in Ohio

Casey Tisdale, Bryttani Barker, Alexis Lowe, and Nicole Kaufman at lunch after Barker's presentation about Human Trafficking in Ohio

Casey Tisdale, Bryttani Barker, Alexis Lowe, and Nicole Kaufman

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

by Logan Stark ’18

Bryttani Barker ’12 ’16M, currently working with the Salvation Army of Central Ohio as the Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, visited Dr. Nicole Kaufman’s SOC 3600 class in October and spoke about her experiences and her role.

Barker touched on the risk factors and general public knowledge of human trafficking in the United States, but more specifically Ohio. She stressed that due to a significant increase in awareness by the public it has helped organizations and groups to combat the threat of trafficking. She also discussed how there is not a singular type of trafficking. It is not just sex trafficking, but labor trafficking as well, and it happens here in Ohio every day.

“It is important for students to learn about victimization and crime trends from many perspectives,” said Kaufman. “Ms. Barker allowed students to learn about the responses to human trafficking in Ohio from the perspective of someone working in advocacy in the social service sector, and advocates and service providers do not always have the same focus or priorities as law enforcement. Ms. Barker could also introduce students to what it looks like to build a career in this field after OHIO, based on studies in multiple disciplines (including sociology and policy).”

A smiling Bryttani Barker

Bryttani Barker

Barker also discussed her education at Ohio University and the ways it prepared her for her current life and her career. She earned a B.A. in Sociology-Criminology from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University, and then stayed to earn a Master of Public Administration from the Voinovich School.

“My educational experience at Ohio University helped me professionally by teaching me the importance of the relationships. Ohio University is a small campus academically and there were several times were I had professors that knew me before I knew them based off of the positive relationships I built with other professors,” said Barker, who expressed excitement when discussing the MPA program and its helpfulness to her current position.

“In the professional world, building and maintaining relationships is key when working in social services and wanting to provide services to victims and survivors because not one agency can do it all.”

Kaufman’s students were very interested in the presentation Barker provided.

“I really enjoyed Ms. Barker’s presentation because it was interesting yet insightful. I learned a lot about the prevalence of human trafficking and how universal this problem is. I’m glad she came because it allowed me to become more aware and talk about this issue more knowledgeably,” said sophomore Aissatou Boye ’20.

Students Casey Tisdale ’17 and Alexis Lowe ’21 took advantage of an opportunity to talk with Barker during lunch.

“I had a really great time at the lunch!” said Tisdale, a Psychology and Sociology-Criminology major with a minor in French who is also pursuing a Certificate in Law, Justice & Culture. “Meeting with Bryttani was a wonderful opportunity as she gave me a lot of guidance about my future. Not just with possible places to apply, but strategies and alternative methods for acquiring a job that I’ll really like! She shared some statistics that I had never known before, like most victims of sex trafficking are around 13 at the time they enter the trafficking. I was happy to see community outreach actually have an effect and someone who is obviously passionate about her work.”

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