Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute


Meet the HTSJI Team!


The University of Toledo has been at the forefront of human trafficking and anti-human trafficking activities since 2000 through the work of Celia Williamson, Ph.D. Founded in 2015, the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute has become a hub for innovative programs and instrumental research used to continue the fight against social injustice. Focused on mentoring the advocates of tomorrow, the Institute has accepted undergraduate and graduate interns from the University of Michigan and the University of Toledo since its inception. The Institute has made significant progress since its opening, completing research studies and managing proactive and reactive anti-trafficking programs. By collaborating with social justice organizations across Toledo and focusing on scholarly productivity, outreach, and engagement, the Institute continues to surpass limits and define standards.


The Mission of the Human Trafficking and Social Justice Institute is to respond to human trafficking and social justice through teaching, research, and engagement. 


With an international reputation, the Institute provides quality and relevant research, a premiere education, and effective community engagement.


The focus of the Institute is to address both upstream and downstream strategies related to combating human trafficking and social injustice. Downstream strategies are those activities that address immediate issues directly related to human trafficking and social justice. Upstream strategies focus on root causes and larger issues that impact and impede progress in enhancing social justice.


    • To provide a platform and institutionalize the activities already taking place and provide the infrastructure to increase critical activities that are related to human trafficking and/or social justice.
    • To increase the ability to address the needs of victims and response to traffickers, customers, and supporters by providing meaningful research that can result in targeted policies and effective interventions.
    • To provide classes to educate and prepare students in areas of human trafficking as well as other social justice focused electives and certificate programs, before they enter their field of practice.
    • To effectively engage with local, state, national, and international governmental and nongovernmental entities involved in human trafficking efforts or other social justice focused efforts.
    • To regularly bring together the scholars in their field to offer best thinking and research that would move the knowledge base forward in critical ways.
    • To consult to offer effective, evidenced based programming that moves victims to survivors and survivors to thrivers and thus complete the healing process.
    • To receive a national and international reputation for addressing human trafficking. 
Last Updated: 6/27/22