Episode 4: The Mindfulness Approach

Updated: Oct 30

In this Episode, Task Force Talks discusses the use of mindfulness in providing direct services to survivors of human trafficking.


With 20 years of experience, the Executive Director of Mindful Kids Miami, Sandy Skelaney, shares with listeners the benefits of using a mindfulness approach when working with a survivors of human trafficking. Sandy Skelaney also shares with listeners different resources they can access on their own time.


Sandy Skelaney

Sandy Skelaney is the Executive Director of Mindful Kids Miami. For the last 20 years, Sandy has been mindfully building and improving programs in the social impact space focused on victim-services, public policy and educational initiatives. Sandy is recognized for spearheading Florida's response to sexually trafficked minors with the creation of Project GOLD at Kristi House in 2007; an effort which resulted in the development of the state's first multi-disciplinary response, transformation of protocols in dozens of agencies, drafting and passage of FL Safe Harbor Act, training thousands of professionals, and launching of a program and drop-in center providing comprehensive services to hundreds of trafficked children in Miami. At Florida International University, she has been a Program Director and Adjunct Lecturer for the Center for Women and Gender Studies and School of International and Public Affairs where she teaches students to use design thinking and entrepreneurial skills to address pervasive social problems.


Sandy’s work on child trafficking spans over 15 years, previously working with renowned organizations ECPAT International in Bangkok, Thailand, and GEMS in New York City where she organized the First National Summit of Commercially Sexually Exploited Youth and Congressional Briefing in 2002. Sandy has a Master’s degree in International Relations from Yale University and has won several awards for her advocacy and program development, including the prestigious “Women Who Make a Difference in Miami” award from the Junior League of Miami. She volunteers as Chair of the Board of Directors for Hanan Arts and as the Speaker Director for TEDxMiami 2020, and is a member of the South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force and the Miami-Dade Human Trafficking Coalition. Sandy credits 20 years of mindfulness and meditation practice with developing a foundation for designing human-centered programs as well as the resiliency needed to thrive through personal and professional challenges.


Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force - https://www.sfhumantraffickingtaskforce.org/

Mindful Kids Miami - https://www.mindfulkidsmiami.org

Kristi House - Project Gold

Florida International University - https://cwgs.fiu.edu


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© 2020 by South Florida Human Trafficking Task Force

This is supported by Grant No. 2018-VT-BX-K073 awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime. The Office for Victims of Crime is a component of the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs.