Preventing Sex Trafficking of Black Girls

Person looking to the left

Youth Collaboratory works to prevent and reduce the victimization of girls vulnerable to sex trafficking by expanding the skills of program providers and other stakeholders working to prevent the trafficking of girls. This initiative focuses on developing effective prevention and intervention strategies related to Black girls (under 18 years old), due to their higher likelihood of being targeted for exploitation, trafficking, arrest for prostitution, and the lack of research. While Black women and girls represent only 7.2 percent of the U.S. population, analyses of 2008-2010 data from the Human Trafficking Reporting System found that 40 percent of all confirmed trafficking cases are of Black women and girls. While alarming, Black girls are often not seen as being victims of crime, and are more likely to be criminalized and subjected to harsher interventions by the justice system. Because of this, we know that this data only represents a portion of the impact of trafficking on Black girls.

Girls Action Board 

This initiative benefits from the expertise of Girls Action Board (GAB) consultants. GAB is a national leadership opportunity for youth and young adults (ages 18-24) with lived expertise. GAB aims to create pathways for Black girls to lead in the work that centers their healing, resilience, and professional development.

Operating as Youth Catalyst Team paid consultants, members use their knowledge, skills, and vision to assist in overseeing this initiative, provide insight, co-create materials, co-facilitate webinars, and share their expertise to ensure quality, culturally responsive services for Black girls. Interested in joining the GAB team? Email us at

GAB members wrote and performed this collaborative poetry piece about the importance of centering Black girls. 

Youth Collaboratory and the Girls Action Board Consultants provide training and consulting to providers and stakeholders that:

  • Support the replication and scaling up of prevention and early intervention strategies that have undergone rigorous evaluation and/or have a record of success, with a strategic focus on filling the resource gap related to serving Black girls. 
  • Strengthen program/community responses to more effectively meet the needs of girls vulnerable to sex trafficking. 
  • Develop and host peer-to-peer learning meetings for providers and stakeholders to learn and share effective strategies with one another.

To learn more about this initiative and our work to prevent and end violence, exploitation, and trafficking, contact Lenore Jean-Baptiste at

* Lived Expertise: A strength based term that encompasses the "understanding of, and intersections with emergency shelters, safe-houses, transitional living, drop-in centers, or other programs for youth experiencing homelessness, trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation, domestic violence, foster care or juvenile justice system.” These unique experiences help youth develop and utilize skills that are specific and desired for the Youth Catalyst Team.