Press Releases

TitleUSD To Host Youth WorldLink Program
ContactMelissa Wagoner
Contact E-mailmwagoner, at
Contact Phone(619) 260-4659

Group to Explore “Crimes Without Borders: Threats to Human Security”

Tony Young to attend as keynote speaker

On Friday, January 21, 2011, the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) will host the 14th Annual Youth Town Meeting for the WorldLink Program.

WorldLink is a unique program that provides opportunities for youth from the greater San Diego and Baja, California, regions to meet world leaders and experts. Through WorldLink’s innovative and experiential focus on global education, students learn about issues facing us locally and internationally, and engage in thoughtful discussions about solutions in a forum where their voices are heard and valued.

The 14th Annual Youth Town Meeting (YTM) at USD will host more than 700 middle and high school students from Southern California, Mexico and international exchange students.

The student-selected theme is “Crimes Without Borders: Threats to Human Security” and will focus on local and international implications of human trafficking, illicit drug trade, transnational gangs, terrorism and small arms. Over 15 experts in the field from government, law enforcement and international NGOs will spend the day discussing this year’s theme with student delegates.

Karla Alvarez, program officer at IPJ, says, “These are issues that have direct consequences on our own human security. What this day will highlight, is how closely these topics hit home. The United States is one of the highest consumers of drugs in the world, and top destination for victims of human trafficking. In San Diego alone, local gangs are increasingly choosing to operate through human trafficking over drugs or weapons sales, while Tijuana faces its own challenges with drug violence. The student participants come from both of these areas.”

Special guest speakers include:

  • Tony Young, San Diego Council president, discussing local initiatives aimed to curb gang activity
  • Antonio Luigi Mazitelli, regional representative for Mexico, Caribbean and Central America, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • William Canny, director of Emergency Operations, Catholic Relief Services
  • Carmen Kcomt, program officer, Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition
  • Edward Laurance, co-founder, IANSA and currently small arms professor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies
  • Jason King, sergeant, Ramona Sheriff’s Substation, actively working on gangs which are dealing in human trafficking

Other speakers include a panel of Mindanaoans who will be coming to premiere the documentary made for WorldLink (trailer viewed here), a panel of former gang members (from transnational gangs), as well as others from the DEA, Homeland Security, SDSU and IPJ.

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