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The Amistad Movement


Amistad Institute 2016

For over three years, the Amistad Movement  has been training and equipping immigrants with the educational resources necessary to identify victims of human trafficking in their communities, prevent exploitation, and build bridges to law enforcement and other community activists.

On November 4-6, 2016, the Amistad Movement will hold its first Amistad Institute, a weekend of intensive training for anti-trafficking community activists—especially immigrant leaders —to equip them with the educational tools and resources necessary to prevent human trafficking in immigrant communities. Participants will commit themselves to training and recruiting more trainers in the immigrant communities they have access to. The Institute will be held at the Oblate Renewal Center, in San Antonio, Texas. USCCB will cover transportation costs, meals, and supplies. If you are interested in attending, please download the application form and send it to You are also welcome to distribute the Amistad Institute flyer available for download.

Si le interesa asistir al Instituto Amistad y le gustaría llenar una aplicación en español, descárguela aquí. Aquí también puede encontrar la hoja promocional.


Frequently Asked Questions about the Amistad Institute

1.    What are some of the benefits of attending the Institute?

By attending the Amistad Institute, participants will receive intensive training on human trafficking as it occurs in the United States, including some of the following themes: specific vulnerabilities of recent immigrants and how to prevent human trafficking in these populations; dynamics of victim identification; constructing bridges to law enforcement and other community organizations, etc. Participants will also learn the basics of the 'train-the-trainer' model, so as to be able to use it in their communities. The Institute will be a great way of meeting other anti-trafficking community activists, and learning from one another.

2.    Do I have to be an immigrant to apply for the Amistad Institute training?

No, you do not. The Amistad Movement, however, does focus on training immigrant leaders so that they can increase awareness of human trafficking in their communities "in their own voice." If in your ministry or volunteer opportunities you have access to immigrants, you may be eligible to attend.

3.    What is the commitment one makes if accepted to attend the Amistad Institute?

The Amistad Movement is a national, grassroots train-the-trainer anti-trafficking prevention campaign that relies on its trainers to build local anti-trafficking capacity. The Institute seeks to train a core group of volunteers who will take the initiative back to their communities and train more trainers. We ask for a commitment of about one year.

4.    Do I have to be Catholic, or working with a group affiliated with the Catholic Church, in order to apply?

No, you do not have to be Catholic, or working with a Catholic organization, in order to apply.

5.    In order to be considered, do I need to have some level of experience working in the field of human trafficking?

No, there is no minimum level of required experience. What is required is enthusiasm and a high level of commitment to raise awareness of human trafficking in immigrant communities. We will provide attendees intensive training, as well as continual communication in support of trainees' further anti-trafficking activities.

6.    Is there any cost for trainers to attend?

There is no cost, as USCCB will cover transportation, accommodation at the Oblate Renewal Center, meals, and supplies.

7.    Can one invite a potential community trainer who does not speak English?

Yes, especially if the potential trainer speaks Spanish, as depending on need, we may offer training at the Institute in Spanish, as well.

The Amistad Movement

Like the captives aboard the Amistad slave ship who revolted and won their freedom, the Amistad Movement seeks to empower immigrants in at risk communities with the educational tools to protect their own community members from falling victim to human trafficking. The Amistad Movement has four goals:
  1. The empowerment of the immigrants themselves through a comprehensive, day-long, intensive training program
  2. The formation of peer educators from within the community to continue raising awareness with our support
  3. The building of trust between the immigrant community and law enforcement
  4. Coalition-building that enables the immigrant community to reach across and benefit from other local NGOs and government programs working against human trafficking

The Amistad Movement is inspired by the Catholic social principle of subsidiarity, which teaches that the best solutions to local problems are those which arise from, and are led by, the members of the affected communities. The Amistad Movement uses the talents and gifts of the immigrants themselves to effect lasting change in their communities, recognizing that their initiative arises from intimate knowledge of the factors that make their communities vulnerable to human trafficking.

The Training

The Amistad Movement offers a wide range of educational empowerment tools that respond to the diverse needs of the communities we serve. We invite local communities to contribute to the creation of new training materials, to meet local needs. Our training sessions are delivered in the immigrants’ preferred language. Among the educational training tools we employ, we offer:

  • Trafficking 101
  • How to Conduct Outreach
  • Domestic Servitude (Labor)
  • Trafficking in the Agriculture Industry (Labor)
  • Trafficking in the Service Industry (Labor)
  • Sex Trafficking
  • Being an Ethical Employer and Consumer
  • Coalition Building/Community Support/Integration of Survivors
  • Human Trafficking Prevention Training for Parents
  • Human Trafficking Prevention Training for Youth

Awareness Raising Campaigns

The bishops’ Amistad Movement is especially suited to implementing a direct and action-oriented awareness raising campaign for two reasons:
  1. The Amistad Movement utilizes the Catholic Church’s extensive network of social service providers, advocates, charitable associations and ministry outreach programs to reach immigrants where they are.
  2. The Catholic Church’s consistent and forceful advocacy on behalf of immigrants gives the Amistad Movement credibility and access in immigrant communities.
Many of the immigrant communities whose members work in poorly regulated sectors, such as agriculture, domestic service, and hospitality industries, are not receiving the prevention training they need to be aware of the dangers of trafficking. The Amistad Movement is dynamically filling this gap and reaching the recent immigrants, helping them implement the practical, goal-oriented strategies that safeguard their communities from the scourge of human trafficking. 

More Information 

For more information or to schedule a training email or call 202-541-3021.

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